Nonadherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) may cause virologic failure and disease progression has been associated with switch of viral coreceptor usage from CCR5 to CXCR4. We aimed to assess the association between patient-reported non-adherence and HIV tropism. This is a cross-sectional analysis. HIV-tropism was performed within routine clinical practice either at start of ART or at virological failure. Adherence questionnaire includes: how many times ART has been taken during the last month, missed doses in the last week, timing deviation, refill interruption, drug holidays. Demographics, epidemiological data, HIV and ART history, CD4 and HIVRNA were collected. To assess co-receptor tropism, env V3 genotyping from viremic plasma HIVRNA was performed. For the analysis, dual/mixed viruses were considered as X4. We included 102 individuals: 76% males; median age 42 y (IQR, 37–46); transmission was heterosexual 37%, homosexual 31%, intravenous drug use 29%. Median nadir of CD4 154/mmc (IQR, 53–274), median zenith of HIVRNA 5.26 (4.72–5.70), 46% had AIDS. 124 tropism tests were: 78% R5, 17% X4, 5% dual/mixed. In cases with previous ART, mono/dual ART was found in 26%, median number of regimens was 5 (IQR, 2–10), median time on triple-ART was 54 months (IQR, 0–123) with median time of HIVRNA <50 c/ml of 16 months (IQR, 6.5–34.9). At HIV-tropism, median CD4 and HIV RNA were 321/mmc (IQR, 210–436) and 2.65 (IQR, 2.65–4.91), respectively. Median time between adherence questionnaire and HIV-tropism was 68 days (IQR, 23–116). At adherence questionnaire, median percentage of ART taken during the last month was 100% (IQR, 90–100), 39% reported missed doses in the last week, 40% timing deviation, 7% refill interruption, 17% drug holidays. At univariate analysis, no statistically significant association between non-adherence and dual/mixed-X4 viruses was found (p>0.1). Also gender, age, HIV transmission, AIDS, CD4 nadir, HIVRNA zenith, mono/dual ART, and number of ART regimens were not associated with type of tropism. Only longer time with undetectable HIVRNA before tropism test showed a lower probability of dual/mixed-X4 viruses (OR for each month 0.95; 95% CI 0.90–1.00; p=0.06). No significant association between adherence and HIV-tropism was found in this preliminary analysis. It is possible that patient self-reported adherence is not able to capture nonadherence behaviors that underlie more pronounced viral replication which may be necessary for tropism switch.
In resource-constrained settings, antiretroviral treatment (ART) is often continued based on clinical and CD4 responses, without virologic monitoring. ART with incomplete viral suppression was assessed in 27 subjects with subtype C HIV-1 by measuring plasma HIV-1 RNA, drug resistance, viral tropism, and evolution in polymerase (pol) and envelope (env) genes. The association between these viral parameters and CD4 cell change over time was analyzed using linear regression models. Increased area under the curve of HIV-1 RNA replication was a predictor of lower CD4 cell gains (p <0.007), while less drug resistance measured as a genotypic susceptibility score (GSS) (p=0.065), and lower rates of evolution in pol and env genes (p= 0.08 and 0.097, respectively) measured as genetic distance were modestly associated with increasing CD4 cell counts. Evolution of pol and env were correlated (R2 = 0.48, p=0.005), however, greater evolution was identified in env vs. pol (p <0.05). CXCR4-usage (X4) was detected in 14/27 (52%) but no differences in CD4 cell change or plasma viremia were associated with X4-usage. Among subtype C HIV-1 infected patients in Zimbabwe receiving incompletely suppressive ART, higher virus replication and lower CD4 cell gains were associated with drug resistance and evolution of polymerase and envelope.
Viral evolution; tropism; CD4 response; subtype C HIV; antiretroviral therapy
Our objective was to analyze the evolution of resistance mutations (RM) and viral tropism of multi-drug-resistant (MDR) strains detected at primary HIV-1 infection (PHI). MDR HIV strain was defined as the presence of genotypic resistance to at least 1 antiretroviral of the 3 classes. Tropism determinations (CCR5 or CXCR4) were performed on baseline plasma HIV-RNA and/or PBMC-HIV-DNA samples, then during follow-up using population-based sequencing of V3 loop and phenotypic tests. Clonal analysis was performed at baseline for env, RT and protease genes, and for HIV-DNA env gene during follow-up. Five patients were eligible. At baseline, RT, protease and env clones from HIV-RNA and HIV-DNA were highly homogenous for each patient; genotypic tropism was R5 in 3 (A,B,C) and X4 in 2 patients (D,E). MDR strains persisted in HIV-DNA throughout follow-up in all patients. For patient A, tropism remained R5 with concordance between phenotypic and genotypic tests. Clonal analysis on Month (M) 78 HIV-DNA evidenced exclusively R5 (21/21) variants. In patient B, clonal analysis at M36 showed exclusively R5 variants (19/19) using both genotypic and phenotypic tests. In patient C, baseline tropism was R5 by genotypic test and R5/X4 by phenotypic test. An expansion of these X4 clones was evidenced by clonal analysis on M72 HIV-DNA (12/14 X4 and 2/14 R5 variants). In patient D, baseline tropism was X4 with concordance between both techniques and HIV-RNA and HIV-DNA remained X4-tropic up to M72, confirmed by the clonal analysis. Patient E harboured highly homogenous X4-using population at baseline; tropism was unchanged at M1 and M18. In all patients, the initial MDR population was highly homogenous initially, supporting the early expansion of a monoclonal population and its long-term persistence. X4-tropic variants present at baseline were still exclusive (patients D and E) or dominant (at least one time point, patient C) far from PHI.
The prevalence of antiretroviral therapy (ART) resistance mutations present in HIV-1 subtype C pol and env regions of the proviral DNA was analyzed and compared from therapy-naive individuals before (Cohort A) and after (Cohort B) the availability of free ART in Zambia. Mutations present in sequences published in a previous study from Zambian ART-naive individuals infected with subtype C were analyzed using current parameters for the classification of ART drug resistance and compared with Cohorts A and B. No statistically significant differences were observed when comparing mutations present in the pol and env of these cohorts. However, an increase in the number of minor, borderline, or partial resistance mutations as well as the presence of major resistance mutations were observed in Cohort B. These results suggest there is an increasing trend of drug resistance-associated mutations that could be a result of the availability of free ART in Zambia. Moreover, the high prevalence of resistance mutations observed for maraviroc and vicriviroc in both cohorts may suggest a limited efficacy of entry inhibitors on HIV-1 subtype C.
Infection with HIV-1 is characterized by genetic diversity such that specific viral subtypes are predominant in specific geographical areas. The genetic variation in HIV-1 pol and env genes is responsible for rapid development of resistance to current drugs. This variation has influenced disease progression among the infected and necessitated the search for alternative drugs with novel targets. Though successfully used in developed countries, these novel drugs are still limited in resource-poor countries. The aim of this study was to determine HIV-1 subtypes, recombination, dual infections and viral tropism of HIV-1 among Kenyan patients prior to widespread use of antiretroviral drugs.
Remnant blood samples from consenting sexually transmitted infection (STI) patients in Nairobi were collected between February and May 2001 and stored. Polymerase chain reaction and cloning of portions of HIV-1 gag, pol and env genes was carried out followed by automated DNA sequencing.
Twenty HIV-1 positive samples (from 11 females and 9 males) were analyzed. The average age of males (32.5 years) and females (26.5 years) was significantly different (p value < 0.0001). Phylogenetic analysis revealed that 90% (18/20) were concordant HIV-1 subtypes: 12 were subtype A1; 2, A2; 3, D and 1, C. Two samples (10%) were discordant showing different subtypes in the three regions. Of 19 samples checked for co-receptor usage, 14 (73.7%) were chemokine co-receptor 5 (CCR5) variants while three (15.8%) were CXCR4 variants. Two had dual/mixed co-receptor use with X4 variants being minor population.
HIV-1 subtype A accounted for majority of the infections. Though perceived to be a high risk population, the prevalence of recombination in this sample was low with no dual infections detected. Genotypic co-receptor analysis showed that most patients harbored viruses that are predicted to use CCR5.
Neutralizing antibodies (NAb) able to react to heterologous viruses are generated during natural HIV-1 infection in some individuals. Further knowledge is required in order to understand the factors contributing to induction of cross-reactive NAb responses. Here a well-established model of experimental pathogenic infection in cynomolgus macaques, which reproduces long-lasting HIV-1 infection, was used to study the NAb response as well as the viral evolution of the highly neutralization-resistant SIVmac239. Twelve animals were infected intravenously with SIVmac239. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) was initiated ten days post-inoculation and administered daily for four months. Viral load, CD4+ T-cell counts, total IgG levels, and breadth as well as strength of NAb in plasma were compared simultaneously over 14 months. In addition, envs from plasma samples were sequenced at three time points in all animals in order to assess viral evolution. We report here that seven of the 12 animals controlled viremia to below 104 copies/ml of plasma after discontinuation of ART and that this control was associated with a low level of evolutionary divergence. Macaques that controlled viral load developed broader NAb responses early on. Furthermore, escape mutations, such as V67M and R751G, were identified in virus sequenced from all animals with uncontrolled viremia. Bayesian estimation of ancestral population genetic diversity (PGD) showed an increase in this value in non-controlling or transient-controlling animals during the first 5.5 months of infection, in contrast to virus-controlling animals. Similarly, non- or transient controllers displayed more positively-selected amino-acid substitutions. An early increase in PGD, resulting in the generation of positively-selected amino-acid substitutions, greater divergence and relative high viral load after ART withdrawal, may have contributed to the generation of potent NAb in several animals after SIVmac239 infection. However, early broad NAb responses correlated with relatively preserved CD4+ T-cell numbers, low viral load and limited viral divergence.
In a longitudinal study of clinical and evolutionary responses to transient treatment in 12 experimentally-infected macaques, subjects show clear stratification into two groups based on viral load, immunological response, and evolutionary factors. Subjects that controlled viremia following withdrawal of treatment developed broadly neutralizing antibody responses earlier than subjects with no or transient control of viremia. Moreover, this latter group of macaques with higher viral loads showed greater divergence of SIV sequences, greater numbers of positively-selected amino-acid substitutions and a stronger neutralizing antibody response. The increase in viral genetic diversity started at an early stage of infection. The authors propose that this early phase of evolution is principally responsible for the later failure to control viremia and resulted in the development of potent neutralizing capacity.
To evaluate the evolution of HIV-1 coreceptor tropism in proviral DNA of patients during maraviroc-based therapy.
Fourteen heavily high active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)-treated patients with a CCR5 Trofile profile were monitored over a 24 month period from the start of maraviroc therapy. Whole-blood samples were obtained at different timepoints, and coreceptor tropism was determined for proviral DNA from the V3-loop region sequence using the Geno2Pheno algorithm [false positive rate (FPR): 20%].
At the start of maraviroc treatment, 13/14 patients were viraemic (median: 4.33 log copies/mL). Concordance in R5 tropism (R5/R5) was observed between circulating HIV-RNA (Trofile) and HIV-DNA provirus in 10/14 patients (median FPR = 54.0%), while 4 patients showed a CXCR4-tropic R5/X4 variant in their provirus (FPR: 5.8%, 5.7%, 16.6% and 1.1%, respectively). All R5/R5 patients showed a stable HIV-1 DNA coreceptor usage. Two out of four R5/X4 patients showed a tropism shift in their archived provirus and, after 6 months a prevalence of R5-tropic virus was detected in DNA. The other two R5/X4 patients harboured the 11/25 genotype, and maintained X4 tropism in provirus during the study. Virological response did not reveal differences in RNA decay and CD4+ cell recovery in patients with discordant tropism.
A relatively good correlation between RNA and DNA tropism was observed at baseline. Proviral DNA tropism remained stable over 24 months of maraviroc-based therapy, indicating that determination of proviral DNA V3 sequence could be used in tropism prediction in clinical practice. The data also confirm the importance of the 11/25 rule in predicting viral tropism.
HIV-1 coreceptor; CCR5 inhibitors; V3 genotype; highly active antiretroviral therapy
Assessing the prevalence of HIV-1 drug-resistance and the mutation patterns associated with resistance in the geographical regions implementing free antiretroviral therapy (ART) in China is necessary for preventing the spread of resistant strains and designing the regimens for the subsequent therapies with limited resources.
Plasma samples in different cities/prefectures were collected at Yunnan Provincial Hospital of Infectious Disease from January 2010 to December 2011. Genotyping of drug-resistant individuals was conducted using an in-house assay on plasma samples. Viral load, CD4 T cell counts and demographic data were obtained from medical records and an administered questionnaire.
A total of 609 pol sequences (515 ART-failure and 94 therapy-naïve individuals) derived from 664 samples were obtained. The prevalence of drug-resistance was 45.1% in the ART-failure individuals. Of these, 26.8% harbored HIV strains dually resistant to nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors and non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, and 14.8% harbored HIV strains resistant to only one drug category. Mutations such as M184V/I, K103N, V106A, Y181C and G190A were common among the ART-failure individuals, and the frequencies of M184V/I, K103N and V106A were 28.2%, 19.2%, and 22.1%, respectively. The percentages of individuals exhibiting intermediate or high-level resistance to 3TC, FTC, EFV and NVP drugs were 28.4%, 28.2%, 37.3%, and 37.5%, respectively. Factors such as ethnicity, transmission route, CD4 counts, viral load and the duration of ART were significantly correlated with development of drug resistance in the ART-failure individuals.
The high prevalence of HIV drug-resistance observed among the ART-failure individuals from 2010 to 2011 in Yunnan province should be of increasing concern in regions where the implementation of ART is widespread. Education about the risk factors associated with HIV drug resistance is important for preventing and controlling the spread of HIV drug-resistant strains.
The third variable region (V3) of HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein gp120 plays a key role in determination of viral coreceptor usage (tropism). However, which combinations of mutations in V3 confer a tropism shift is still unclear. A unique pattern of mutations in antiretroviral therapy-naive HIV-1 patient was observed associated with the HIV-1 tropism shift CCR5 to CXCR4. The insertion of arginine at position 11 and the loss of the N-linked glycosylation site were indispensable for acquiring pure CXCR4-tropism, which were confirmed by cell-cell fusion assay and phenotype analysis of recombinant HIV-1 variants. The same pattern of mutations in V3 and the associated tropism shift were identified in two of 53 other patients (3.8%) with CD4+ cell count <200/mm3. The combination of arginine insertion and loss of N-linked glycosylation site usually confers CXCR4-tropism. Awareness of this rule will help to confirm the tropism prediction from V3 sequences by conventional rules.
Understanding how HIV-1 persists during effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) should inform strategies to cure HIV-1 infection. We hypothesize that proliferation of HIV-1-infected cells contributes to persistence of HIV-1 infection during suppressive ART. This predicts that identical or monotypic HIV-1 DNA sequences will increase over time during ART. We analyzed 1,656 env and pol sequences generated following single-genome amplification from the blood and sputum of six individuals during long-term suppressive ART. The median proportion of monotypic sequences increased from 25.0% prior to ART to 43.2% after a median of 9.8 years of suppressive ART. The proportion of monotypic sequences was estimated to increase 3.3% per year (95% confidence interval, 2.3 to 4.4%; P < 0.001). Drug resistance mutations were not more common in the monotypic sequences, arguing against viral replication during times with lower antiretroviral concentrations. Bioinformatic analysis found equivalent genetic distances of monotypic and nonmonotypic sequences from the predicted founder virus sequence, suggesting that the relative increase in monotypic variants over time is not due to selective survival of cells with viruses from the time of acute infection or from just prior to ART initiation. Furthermore, while the total HIV-1 DNA load decreased during ART, the calculated concentration of monotypic sequences was stable in children, despite growth over nearly a decade of observation, consistent with proliferation of infected CD4+ T cells and slower decay of monotypic sequences. Our findings suggest that proliferation of cells with proviruses is a likely mechanism of HIV-1 DNA persistence, which should be considered when designing strategies to eradicate HIV-1 infection.
CCR5 antagonists are a new class of antiretroviral drugs that block viral entry by disrupting interactions between the viral envelope (Env) glycoprotein and coreceptor. During the CCR100136 (EPIC) Phase IIb study of the CCR5 antagonist aplaviroc (APL) in treatment-naive individuals, a patient was identified who harbored virus strains that exhibited partial resistance to APL at the time of virologic failure. Retrospectively, it was found that APL resistance was present at baseline as well. To investigate the mechanism of APL resistance in this patient, we cloned HIV-1 env genes from plasma obtained at baseline and after virologic failure. Approximately 85% of cloned Envs were functional, and all exhibited partial resistance to APL. All Envs were R5-tropic, were partially resistant to other CCR5 antagonists including maraviroc on cells with high CCR5 expression, but remained sensitive to the fusion inhibitor enfuvirtide. Competition studies with natural CCR5 ligands revealed that the mechanism of drug resistance entailed the use of the drug-bound conformation of CCR5 by the Env proteins obtained from this individual. The degree of drug resistance varied between Env clones, and also varied depending on the cell line used or the donor from whom the primary T cells were obtained. Thus, both virus and host factors contribute to CCR5 antagonist resistance. This study shows that R5 HIV-1 strains resistant to CCR5 inhibitors can arise in patients, confirming a mechanism of resistance previously characterized in vitro. In addition, some patients can harbor CCR5 antagonist-resistant viruses prior to treatment, which may have implications for the clinical use of this new class of antiretrovirals.
Entry of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) into the host cell involves interactions between the viral envelope glycoproteins (Env) and the cellular receptor CD4 as well as a coreceptor molecule (most importantly CCR5 or CXCR4). Viral preference for a specific coreceptor (tropism) is in particular determined by the third variable loop (V3) of the Env glycoprotein gp120. The approval and use of a coreceptor antagonist for antiretroviral therapy make detailed understanding of tropism and its accurate prediction from patient derived virus isolates essential. The aim of the present study is the development of an extended description of the HIV entry phenotype reflecting its co-dependence on several key determinants as the basis for a more accurate prediction of HIV-1 entry phenotype from genotypic data.
Here, we established a new protocol of quantitation and computational analysis of the dependence of HIV entry efficiency on receptor and coreceptor cell surface levels as well as viral V3 loop sequence and the presence of two prototypic coreceptor antagonists in varying concentrations. Based on data collected at the single-cell level, we constructed regression models of the HIV-1 entry phenotype integrating the measured determinants. We developed a multivariate phenotype descriptor, termed phenotype vector, which facilitates a more detailed characterization of HIV entry phenotypes than currently used binary tropism classifications. For some of the tested virus variants, the multivariant phenotype vector revealed substantial divergences from existing tropism predictions. We also developed methods for computational prediction of the entry phenotypes based on the V3 sequence and performed an extrapolating calculation of the effectiveness of this computational procedure.
Our study of the HIV cell entry phenotype and the novel multivariate representation developed here contributes to a more detailed understanding of this phenotype and offers potential for future application in the effective administration of entry inhibitors in antiretroviral therapies.
The envelope (env) glycoprotein of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) determines several viral properties (e.g., coreceptor usage, cell tropism, and cytopathicity) and is a major target of antiviral immune responses. Most investigations on env have been conducted on subtype-B viral strains, prevalent in North America and Europe. Our study aimed to analyze env genes of subtype-E viral strains, prevalent in Asia and Africa, with a nonhuman primate model for lentivirus infection and AIDS. To this end, we constructed a simian immunodeficiency virus/HIV-1 subtype-E (SHIV) recombinant clone by replacing the env ectodomain of the SHIV-33 clone with the env ectodomain from the subtype-E strain HIV-1CAR402, which was isolated from an individual in the Central African Republic. Virus from this recombinant clone, designated SHIV-E-CAR, replicated efficiently in macaque peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Accordingly, juvenile macaques were inoculated with cell-free SHIV-E-CAR by the intravenous or intravaginal route; virus replicated in these animals but did not produce hematological abnormalities. In an attempt to elicit the pathogenic potential of the recombinant clone, we serially passaged this viral clone via transfusion of blood and bone marrow through juvenile macaques to produce SHIV-E-P4 (fourth-passage virus). The serially passaged virus established productive infection and CD4+ T-cell depletion in juvenile macaques inoculated by either the intravenous or the intravaginal route. Determination of the coreceptor usage of SHIV-E-CAR and serially passaged SHIV-E-P4 indicated that both of these viruses utilized CXCR4 as a coreceptor. In summary, the serially passaged SHIV subtype-E chimeric virus will be important for studies aimed at developing a nonhuman primate model for analyzing the functions of subtype-E env genes in viral transmission and pathogenesis and for vaccine challenge experiments with macaques immunized with HIV-1 env antigens.
The clinical use of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) fusion inhibitor enfuvirtide (ENF) can select for drug-resistant HIV-1 strains bearing mutations in the HR1 region of the viral envelope (Env) protein. We analyzed the properties of multiple Env proteins isolated from five patients who experienced an initial decline in viral load after ENF therapy followed by subsequent rebound due to emergence of ENF-resistant HIV-1. Prior to ENF therapy, each patient harbored genetically and phenotypically diverse Env proteins that used CCR5 and/or CXCR4 to elicit membrane fusion. Coreceptor usage patterns of the Envs isolated from two patients underwent homogenization following ENF therapy, whereas in the other three patients, recombination appeared to allow the introduction of a single HR1 sequence with ENF resistance mutations into phenotypically distinct Env proteins. Analysis of individual Env clones also revealed that prior to ENF therapy, there was sometimes marked heterogeneity in the susceptibility of individual Env proteins to coreceptor inhibitors. After virologic failure, all Envs acquired resistance to ENF but exhibited no consistent change in their sensitivity to the fusion inhibitor T-1249 or to coreceptor inhibitors. In summary, using patient-derived Env proteins, we found that ENF failure was associated with emergence of high-level resistance to ENF due largely to mutations in HR1 but that susceptibility to other entry inhibitors was unaffected, that in these late-stage patients there was greater clonal variability to coreceptor than to fusion inhibitors, and that recombination events in vivo could sometimes restore Env genotypic and phenotypic heterogeneity by introducing drug-resistant gp41 sequences into heterologous gp120 backgrounds.
Background. The HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 052 trial demonstrated that early initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) reduces human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission from HIV-infected adults (index participants) to their HIV-uninfected sexual partners. We analyzed HIV from 38 index-partner pairs and 80 unrelated index participants (controls) to assess the linkage of seroconversion events.
Methods. Linkage was assessed using phylogenetic analysis of HIV pol sequences and Bayesian analysis of genetic distances between pol sequences from index-partner pairs and controls. Selected samples were also analyzed using next-generation sequencing (env region).
Results. In 29 of the 38 (76.3%) cases analyzed, the index was the likely source of the partner’s HIV infection (linked). In 7 cases (18.4%), the partner was most likely infected from a source other than the index participant (unlinked). In 2 cases (5.3%), linkage status could not be definitively established.
Conclusions. Nearly one-fifth of the seroconversion events in HPTN 052 were unlinked. The association of early ART and reduced HIV transmission was stronger when the analysis included only linked events. This underscores the importance of assessing the genetic linkage of HIV seroconversion events in HIV prevention studies involving serodiscordant couples.
Drug resistance poses a significant challenge for the successful application of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) globally. Furthermore, emergence of HIV-1 isolates that preferentially utilize CXCR4 as a coreceptor for cell entry, either as a consequence of natural viral evolution or HAART use may compromise the efficacy of CCR5 antagonists as alternative antiviral therapy.
We sequenced the pol gene of viruses from 45 individuals failing at least six months of HAART in Durban, South Africa to determine the prevalence and patterns of drug resistance mutations. Coreceptor usage profiles of these viruses and those from 45 HAART-naive individuals were analyzed using phenotypic and genotypic approaches.
Ninety-five percent of HAART-failing patients had at least one drug resistance mutation. Thymidine analog mutations (TAMs) were present in 55% of patients with 9% of individuals possessing mutations indicative of the TAM1 pathway, 44% had TAM2 while 7% had mutations common to both pathways. Sixty percent of HAART-failing subjects had X4/dual//mixed-tropic viruses compared to 30% of HAART-naïve subjects (p<0.02). Genetic coreceptor usage prediction algorithms correlated with phenotypic results with 60% of samples from HAART-failing subjects predicted to possess CXCR4-using (X4/dual/mixed viruses) versus 15% of HAART-naïve patients.
The high proportion of TAMs and X4/dual/mixed HIV-1 viruses among patients failing therapy highlight the need for intensified monitoring of patients taking HAART and the problem of diminished drug options (including CCR5 antagonists) for patients failing therapy in resource-poor settings.
Coreceptor usage; viral tropism; antiretroviral drug resistance; HAART-failing patients; HAART-naïve patients
This study aimed at describing the genetic subtype distribution of HIV-1 strains circulating in Kigali and their epidemiological link with the HIV-1 strains from the five countries surrounding Rwanda. One hundred and thirty eight pol (RT and PR) sequences from 116 chronically- and 22 recently-infected antiretroviral therapy (ART)-naïve patients from Kigali were generated and subjected to HIV drug resistance (HIV-DR), phylogenetic and recombinant analyses in connection with 366 reference pol sequences from Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Uganda (Los Alamos database). Among the Rwandan samples, subtype A1 predominated (71.7%), followed by A1/C recombinants (18.1%), subtype C (5.8%), subtype D (2.9%), one A1/D recombinant (0.7%) and one unknown subtype (0.7%). Thirteen unique and three multiple A1/C recombinant forms were identified. No evidence for direct transmission events was found within the Rwandan strains. Molecular characteristics of HIV-1 were similar between chronically and recently-infected individuals and were not significantly associated with demographic or social factors. Our report suggests that the HIV-1 epidemic in Kigali is characterized by the emergence of A1/C recombinants and is not phylogenetically connected with the HIV-1 epidemic in the five neighboring countries. The relatively low level of transmitted HIV-DR mutations (2.9%) reported here indicates the good performance of the ART programme in Rwanda. However, the importance of promoting couples' counseling, testing and disclosure during HIV prevention strategies is highlighted.
HIV-1 subtype C (C-HIV) is responsible for most HIV-1 cases worldwide. Although the pathogenesis of C-HIV is thought to predominantly involve CCR5-restricted (R5) strains, we do not have a firm understanding of how frequently CXCR4-using (X4 and R5X4) variants emerge in subjects with progressive C-HIV infection. Nor do we completely understand the molecular determinants of coreceptor switching by C-HIV variants. Here, we characterized a panel of HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins (Envs) (n = 300) cloned sequentially from plasma of 21 antiretroviral therapy (ART)-naïve subjects who experienced progression from chronic to advanced stages of C-HIV infection, and show that CXCR4-using C-HIV variants emerged in only one individual. Mutagenesis studies and structural models suggest that the evolution of R5 to X4 variants in this subject principally involved acquisition of an “Ile-Gly” insertion in the gp120 V3 loop and replacement of the V3 “Gly-Pro-Gly” crown with a “Gly-Arg-Gly” motif, but that the accumulation of additional gp120 “scaffold” mutations was required for these V3 loop changes to confer functional effects. In this context, either of the V3 loop changes could confer possible transitional R5X4 phenotypes, but when present together they completely abolished CCR5 usage and conferred the X4 phenotype. Our results show that the emergence of CXCR4-using strains is rare in this cohort of untreated individuals with advanced C-HIV infection. In the subject where X4 variants did emerge, alterations in the gp120 V3 loop were necessary but not sufficient to confer CXCR4 usage.
Limited HIV-1 drug-resistance surveillance has been carried out in Ghana since the implementation of antiretroviral therapy (ART). This study sought to provide data on the profile of HIV-1 drug resistance in ART-experienced and newly diagnosed individuals in Ghana.
Samples were collected from 101 HIV-1-infected patients (32 ART-experienced cases with virological failure and 69 newly diagnosed ART-naïve cases, including 11 children), in Koforidua, Eastern region of Ghana, from February 2009 to January 2010. The pol gene sequences were analyzed by in-house HIV-1 drug-resistance testing.
The most prevalent HIV-1 subtype was CRF02_AG (66.3%, 67/101) followed by unique recombinant forms (25.7%, 26/101). Among 31 ART-experienced adults, 22 (71.0%) possessed at least one drug-resistance mutation, and 14 (45.2%) had two-class-resistance to nucleoside and non-nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitors used in their first ART regimen. Importantly, the number of accumulated mutations clearly correlated with the duration of ART. The most prevalent mutation was lamivudine-resistance M184V (n = 12, 38.7%) followed by efavirenz/nevirapine-resistance K103N (n = 9, 29.0%), and zidovudine/stavudine-resistance T215Y/F (n = 6, 19.4%). Within the viral protease, the major nelfinavir-resistance mutation L90M was found in one case. No transmitted HIV-1 drug-resistance mutation was found in 59 ART-naïve adults, but K103N and G190S mutations were observed in one ART-naïve child.
Despite expanding accessibility to ART in Eastern Ghana, the prevalence of transmitted HIV-1 drug resistance presently appears to be low. As ART provision with limited options is scaled up nationwide in Ghana, careful monitoring of transmitted HIV-1 drug resistance is necessary.
The clinical significance and cellular sources of residual human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) production despite suppressive combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) remain unclear and the effect of low-level viremia on T-cell homeostasis is still debated.
We characterized the recently produced residual viruses in the plasma and short-lived blood monocytes of 23 patients with various immunological responses to sustained suppressive cART. We quantified the residual HIV-1 in the plasma below 50 copies/ml, and in the CD14high CD16− and CD16+ monocyte subsets sorted by flow cytometry, and predicted coreceptor usage by genotyping V3 env sequences.
We detected residual viremia in the plasma of 8 of 10 patients with poor CD4+ T-cell reconstitution in response to cART and in only 5 of 13 patients with good CD4+ T-cell reconstitution. CXCR4-using viruses were frequent among the recently produced viruses in the plasma and in the main CD14high CD16− monocyte subset. Finally, the residual viremia was correlated with persistent CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell activation in patients with poor immune reconstitution.
Low-level viremia could result from the release of archived viruses from cellular reservoirs and/or from ongoing virus replication in some patients. The compartmentalization of the viruses between the plasma and the blood monocytes suggests at least two origins of residual virus production during effective cART. CXCR4-using viruses might be produced preferentially in patients on cART. Our results also suggest that low-level HIV-1 production in some patients may contribute to persistent immune dysfunction despite cART.
To evaluate human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication and selection of drug-resistant viruses during seemingly effective highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), multiple HIV-1 env and pol sequences were analyzed and viral DNA levels were quantified from nucleoside analog-experienced children prior to and during a median of 5.1 (range, 1.8 to 6.4) years of HAART. Viral replication was detected at different rates, with apparently increasing sensitivity: 1 of 10 by phylogenetic analysis; 2 of 10 by viral evolution with increasing genetic distances from the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of infection; 3 of 10 by selection of drug-resistant mutants; and 6 of 10 by maintenance of genetic distances from the MRCA. When four- or five-drug antiretroviral regimens were given to these children, persistent plasma viral rebound did not occur despite the accumulation of highly drug-resistant genotypes. Among the four children without genetic evidence of viral replication, a statistically significant decrease in the genetic distance to the MRCA was detected in three, indicating the persistence of a greater number of early compared to recent viruses, and their HIV-1 DNA decreased by ≥0.9 log10, resulting in lower absolute DNA levels (P = 0.007). This study demonstrates the variable rates of viral replication when HAART has suppressed plasma HIV-1 RNA for years to a median of <50 copies/ml and that combinations of four or five antiretroviral drugs suppress viral replication even after short-term virologic failure of three-drug HAART and despite ongoing accumulation of drug-resistant mutants. Furthermore, the decrease of cellular HIV-1 DNA to low absolute levels in those without genetic evidence of viral replication suggests that monitoring viral DNA during HAART may gauge low-level replication.
Drug resistant HIV-1 variants were emergent more and more in AIDS individuals with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) treatment. Understanding the replication and drug resistant mutation of HIV-1 variants isolated from HAART treatment individuals of China could help to design appropriate therapeutic strategies for these individuals.
Use GHOST cell lines to analysis the coreceptor usage of HIV-1 variants. Coculture with PBMCs to analysis the replication capacity. Use RT-PCR to analysis the drug resistant mutation of pol gene.
13 HIV-1 variants experienced HAART were included in this study. 5 HIV-1 variants used CCR5 coreceptor (R5), while 8 use both CCR5 and CXCR4 coreceptor (R5X4). The replication capacity of R5X4 variants was no difference with R5 variants in vitro without antiretroviral drugs. Compare the drug resistant mutation between first HIV-1 variants and fourth variants; there were 37 drug resistant mutations in first variants and 32 drug resistant mutations in fourth variants. Only 7 drug resistance mutations were lost after coculture for 4 weeks, and 2 drug resistance mutations were emerged.
These data suggested that the drug resistant level could not reduce in vitro in absence of antiretroviral drugs in few weeks. And maybe helpful for these HAART experienced individuals when change antiretroviral drugs.
Reports of a high frequency of the transmission of minority viral populations with drug-resistant mutations (DRM) are inconsistent with evidence that HIV-1 infections usually arise from mono- or oligoclonal transmission. We performed ultradeep sequencing (UDS) of partial HIV-1 gag, pol, and env genes from 32 recently infected individuals. We then evaluated overall and per-site diversity levels, selective pressure, sequence reproducibility, and presence of DRM and accessory mutations (AM). To differentiate biologically meaningful mutations from those caused by methodological errors, we obtained multinomial confidence intervals (CI) for the proportion of DRM at each site and fitted a binomial mixture model to determine background error rates for each sample. We then examined the association between detected minority DRM and the virologic failure of first-line antiretroviral therapy (ART). Similar to other studies, we observed increased detection of DRM at low frequencies (average, 0.56%; 95% CI, 0.43 to 0.69; expected UDS error, 0.21 ± 0.08% mutations/site). For 8 duplicate runs, there was variability in the proportions of minority DRM. There was no indication of increased diversity or selection at DRM sites compared to other sites and no association between minority DRM and AM. There was no correlation between detected minority DRM and clinical failure of first-line ART. It is unlikely that minority viral variants harboring DRM are transmitted and maintained in the recipient host. The majority of low-frequency DRM detected using UDS are likely errors inherent to UDS methodology or a consequence of error-prone HIV-1 replication.
Analysis of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 pol gene sequences from 107 patients receiving second-line antiretroviral therapy (ART) revealed that a high prevalence of resistance mutations among second-line ART-experienced patients limits the ART-sequencing options, suggesting darunavir as the third-line drug in India.
Background. A cross-sectional study among individuals receiving second-line antiretroviral treatment was conducted to report on the level of detectable viremia and the types of drug resistance mutations among those with detectable human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 plasma viral loads (PVLs).
Methods. PVLs were measured using Abbott m2000rt real-time polymerase chain reaction, and genotyping was performed with the ViroSeq genotyping system, version 2.0, and ViroSeq analysis software, version 2.8.
Results. Of 107 patient plasma specimens consecutively analyzed, 30 (28%) had undetectable PVLs (<150 copies/mL), and 77 (72%) were viremic with a median PVL of 5450 copies/mL (interquartile range, 169–1 997 967). Sequencing was done for 107 samples with PVLs >2000 copies/mL: 33 patients (73%) had 1 of the protease (PR) inhibitor mutations; 41 (91%) had nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) mutations; 33 (73%) had non-NRTI (NNRTI) mutations; and 30 (66.7%) had both NRTI and NNRTI mutations. Triple-class resistance to NRTIs, NNRTIs, and PR inhibitors was observed in 24 (53%) patients. Based on the mutational profiles observed, all 45 sequences were susceptible to darunavir and tipranavir, whereas 47% showed resistance to lopinavir, 58% showed resistance to atazanavir, and >60% showed resistance to saquinavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, and fosamprenavir.
Conclusions. The results of the study showed that the majority of patients receiving second-line antiretroviral therapy started to accumulate PR resistance mutations, and the mutation profiles suggest that darunavir might be the drug of choice for third-line regimens in India.
Viral compartmentalization between naïve and memory CD4+ T cell subsets has been described, but only for individuals who were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART). We present here an extensive analysis of the viral quasispecies residing in the naïve, central and effector memory CD4+ T cell subsets in a number of therapy naïve individuals and representing an array of HIV-1 subtypes. We longitudinally analyzed subset-specific infection and evolution in a subtype B infected individual who switches from CCR5 to dual CCR5/CXCR4 coreceptor usage. We show that the central memory subset, the predominantly infected subset, harbors a more diverse viral population compared to the others. Through sequence analysis of the env C2V3 region we demonstrate a lack of viral compartmentalization among all subsets. Upon coreceptor switch we observe a pronounced increase in the infection level of the naive population. Our findings emphasize the importance of all CD4+ T cell subsets to viral evolution.
HIV-1; CD4 subsets; compartmentalization