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1.  Increased Carotid Intima-Media Thickness Associated with Antibody Responses to Varicella-Zoster Virus and Cytomegalovirus in HIV-Infected Patients 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e64327.
Objective
We investigated the relationship of the Herpesviridiae with inflammation and subclinical atherosclerosis in HIV-infected patients.
Methods
Prospective study including virologically suppressed HIV-infected patients. IgG antibodies against herpesviruses, carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT), endothelial function through flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) of the brachial artery, and blood atherosclerosis biomarkers (hsCRP, TNF-α, IL-6, MCP-1, MDA, sCD14, sCD163, VCAM-1, ICAM-1, D-dimer, and PAI-1) were measured.
Results
136 patients with HIV viral load <200 copies/ml were included. 93.4% patients were infected with herpes simplex virus type-1, 55.9% with herpes simplex virus type-2, 97.1% with varicella-zoster virus, 65.4% with human herpesvirus-6, 91.2% with cytomegalovirus, and 99.3% with Epstein-Barr virus. Previous AIDS diagnosis was associated with higher cytomegalovirus IgG titers (23,000 vs 17,000 AU, P = 0.011) and higher varicella-zoster virus IgG titers (3.19 vs 2.88 AU, P = 0.047), and there was a positive correlation of the Framingham risk score with IgG levels against cytomegalovirus (Spearman's Rho 0.216, P = 0.016) and Herpes simplex virus-2 (Spearman's Rho 0.293, P = 0.001). IgG antibodies against cytomegalovirus correlated in adjusted analysis with the cIMT (P = 0.030). High seropositivity for varicella-zoster virus (OR 2.91, 95% CI 1.05–8.01, P = 0.039), and for cytomegalovirus (OR 3.79, 95% CI 1.20–11.97, P = 0.023) were predictors for the highest quartile of the cIMT in adjusted analyses. PAI-1 levels were independently associated with cytomegalovirus IgG titers (P = 0.041), IL-6 and ICAM-1 levels with varicella-zoster virus IgG (P = 0.046 and P = 0.035 respectively), and hsCRP levels with Herpes simplex virus-2 IgG (P = 0.035).
Conclusion
In virologically suppressed HIV-infected patients, antibody responses against herpesviruses are associated with subclinical atherosclerosis, and with increased inflammation and coagulation biomarkers.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0064327
PMCID: PMC3662719  PMID: 23717597
2.  TRENDS FOR GENETIC VARIATION OF HEPATITIS C VIRUS QUASISPECIES IN HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS-1 COINFECTED PATIENTS 
Virus research  2007;130(1-2):285-291.
Chronic infection by Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes liver fibrosis, which is accelerated by unknown mechanisms in patients with HIV-1 coinfection. The evolution of HCV quasispecies in this setting of coinfection is not fully understood. To compare HCV quasispecies between HIV-HCV coinfection and HCV monoinfection, we sequenced 340 HCV clones from the HVR-1 and NS3 regions at two different time points in two groups of treatment-naïve patients with HCV-1a infection: (1) HIV-HCV positive (n=6); and (2) HIV negative-HCV positive (n=3). In HCV/HIV coinfection, we found a trend for reduced HCV genetic complexity and diversity, and a trend towards reduced dN/dS ratios in the HVR-1 region, especially in those patients with CD4<200 cells/mm3, who lost positive selective immune pressure in the HVR-1 region. Differences in immune regulation of HCV quasispecies in HIV coinfected individuals deserve further exploration to clarify the different outcomes of chronic hepatitis C noted between the immunocompromised and the immunocompetent host.
doi:10.1016/j.virusres.2007.05.016
PMCID: PMC2919681  PMID: 17601623
Immune pressure; coinfection; AIDS; envelope; NS3; CD4 counts
3.  Carotid Intima-Media Thickness and Plasma Asymmetric Dimethylarginine in Mexican Children Exposed to Inorganic Arsenic 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2013;121(9):1090-1096.
Background: Arsenic exposure is a risk factor for atherosclerosis in adults, but there is little information on arsenic and early risk biomarkers for atherosclerosis in children. Carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) is an indicator of subclinical atherosclerotic burden that has been associated with plasma asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), a predictor of cardiovascular disease risk.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate associations of arsenic exposure with cIMT, ADMA, and endothelial adhesion molecules [soluble intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1); soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1)] in children who had been exposed to environmental inorganic arsenic (iAs).
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study in 199 children 3–14 years of age who were residents of Zimapan, México. We evaluated cIMT using ultrasonography, and plasma lipid profiles by standard methods. We analyzed ADMA, sICAM-1, and sVCAM-1 by ELISA, and measured the concentrations of total speciated arsenic (tAs) in urine using hydride generation cryotrapping atomic absorption spectrometry.
Results: In the multiple linear regression model for cIMT, tAs categories were positively associated with cIMT increase. The estimated cIMT diameter was greater in 35- to 70-ng/mL and > 70-ng/mL groups (0.035 mm and 0.058 mm per 1-ng/mL increase in urinary tAs, respectively), compared with the < 35-ng/mL group. In addition to tAs level, plasma ADMA was a significant predictor of cIMT. In the adjusted regression model, cIMT, percent iAs, and plasma sVCAM-1 were significant predictors of ADMA levels (e.g., 0.419-μmol/L increase in ADMA per 1-mm increase in cIMT).
Conclusions: Arsenic exposure and plasma ADMA levels were positively associated with cIMT in a population of Mexican children with environmental arsenic exposure through drinking water.
Citation: Osorio-Yáñez C, Ayllon-Vergara JC, Aguilar-Madrid G, Arreola-Mendoza L, Hernández-Castellanos E, Barrera-Hernández A, De Vizcaya-Ruíz A, Del Razo LM. 2013. Carotid intima-media thickness and plasma asymmetric dimethylarginine in Mexican children exposed to inorganic arsenic. Environ Health Perspect 121:1090–1096; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1205994
doi:10.1289/ehp.1205994
PMCID: PMC3764073  PMID: 23757599
4.  A Comparison of Treatment Eligibility for Hepatitis C Virus in HCV-Monoinfected Versus HCV/HIV-Coinfected Persons in Electronically Retrieved Cohort of HCV-Infected Veterans 
Abstract
Treatment rates for hepatitis C virus (HCV) are low in actual clinical settings. However, the proportion of patients eligible for treatment, especially among those coinfected with HIV, is not well known. Our aim was to determine and compare the rates for HCV treatment eligibility among HCV and HCV-HIV-coinfected persons. We assembled a national cohort of HCV-infected veterans in care from 1998–2003, using the VA National Patient Care Database for demographic/clinical information, the Pharmacy Benefits Management database for pharmacy records, and the Decision Support Systems database for laboratory data. We compared the HCV-monoinfected and HCV-HIV-coinfected subjects for treatment indications and eligibility using current treatment guidelines. Of the 27,452 subjects with HCV and 1225 with HCV-HIV coinfection, 74.0% and 84.6% had indications for therapy and among these, 43.9% of HCV-monoinfected and 28.4% of HCV-HIV-coinfected subjects were eligible for treatment. Anemia, decompensated liver disease (DLD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), recent alcohol abuse, and coronary artery disease were the most common contraindications in the HCV, and anemia, DLD, renal failure, recent drug abuse, and COPD in the HCV-HIV-coinfected group. Among those eligible for treatment, only 23% of the HCV-monoinfected and 15% of the HCV-HIV-coinfected subjects received any treatment for HCV. Most veterans with HCV are not eligible for treatment according to the current guidelines. Even for those who are eligible for treatment, only a minority is prescribed treatment. Several contraindications are modifiable and aggressive management of those may improve treatment prescription rates.
doi:10.1089/aid.2011.0004
PMCID: PMC3719436  PMID: 21338329
5.  Diminished frequency of hepatitis C virus specific interferon γ secreting CD4+ T cells in human immunodeficiency virus/hepatitis C virus coinfected patients 
Gut  2006;55(10):1484-1487.
Background
Human immunodeficiency virus/hepatitis C virus (HIV/HCV) coinfection is a common and complex clinical problem in which loss of immunological control of HCV occurs, with increased HCV viral load and more aggressive liver disease. Cellular immune responses, particularly secretion of interferon γ (IFN‐γ) appear to be important in the control of HCV, and a detectable HCV specific CD4 response is associated with clearance of the virus. HCV specific CD8+ T cell responses, weak in chronic HCV infection, have been shown to be further impaired in HIV coinfection and this CD8+ T cell deficiency is related to the decline in CD4 T cell count.
Aims
To compare the CD4 T cell response to HCV in HIV/HCV coinfected and HCV monoinfected individuals and to determine the relationship of responses with declining CD4 count.
Patients
The study subjects were a cohort of 68 HCV monoinfected and 67 HCV/HIV coinfected haemophiliac children and adolescents (the Hemophilia Growth and Development Study) who were followed for a seven year period.
Methods
We analysed IFN‐γ secreting CD4+ responses to HCV proteins and peptides and HIV p24 antigen using an ELISpot assay.
Results
We found a significant decrease in HCV specific responses among those who were HIV coinfected (10/67 v 36/68; p<0.0001) both in numbers of responders and frequency of specific cells. This did not appear to be closely related to CD4 count.
Conclusions
The reduction in HCV specific CD4 T cells in coinfection provide a cellular mechanism for the loss of control of HCV in coinfected individuals, even in those with relatively preserved CD4+ T cell counts and CD4+ T cell responses to HIV.
doi:10.1136/gut.2005.083758
PMCID: PMC1629042  PMID: 16543291
hepatitis C virus; human immunodeficiency virus; CD4+ T cells; coinfection
6.  Risk of Hip Fracture Associated with Hepatitis C Virus Infection and Hepatitis C/HIV Coinfection 
Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.)  2012;56(5):1688-1698.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been associated with reduced bone mineral density, but its association with fracture rates is unknown, particularly in the setting of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) coinfection. Our objectives were to determine whether persons with HCV infection alone are at increased risk for hip fracture compared to uninfected individuals and to examine if the risk of hip fracture is higher among HCV/HIV-coinfected persons compared to those with HCV alone, those with HIV alone, and those uninfected with either virus. We conducted a cohort study in 36,950 HCV/HIV-coinfected, 276,901HCV-monoinfected, 95,827 HIV-monoinfected, and 3,110,904 HCV/HIV-uninfected persons within the U.S. Medicaid populations of California, Florida, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania (1999–2005). Incidence rates of hip fracture were lowest among uninfected persons (1.29 events/1000 person-years), increased with the presence of either HIV infection (1.95 events/1000 person-years) or HCV infection (2.69 events/1000 person-years), and were highest among HCV/HIV-coinfected individuals (3.06 events/1000 person-years). HCV/HIV coinfection was associated with an increased relative hazard (adjusted hazard ratio [95% confidence interval]) of hip fracture compared to HCV-monoinfected (1.38 [1.25–1.53]), HIV-monoinfected (females: 1.76 [1.44–2.16]; males: 1.36 [1.20–1.55]), and uninfected persons (females: 2.65 [2.21–3.17]; males: 2.20 [1.97–2.47]). HCV monoinfection was associated with an increased risk of hip fracture compared to uninfected individuals, and the relative increase was highest in the youngest age groups (females, 18–39 years: 3.56 [2.93–4.32]; males, 18–39 years: 2.40 [2.02–2.84]).
Conclusion
Among Medicaid enrollees, HCV/HIV coinfection was associated with increased rates of hip fracture compared to HCV-monoinfected, HIV-monoinfected, and HCV/HIV-uninfected persons. HCV-monoinfected patients had an increased risk of hip fracture compared to uninfected individuals.
doi:10.1002/hep.25866
PMCID: PMC3433632  PMID: 22619086
Hepatitis C virus; HCV; HIV; fracture; coinfection
7.  Impaired Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)–Specific Interferon-γ Responses in Individuals With HIV Who Acquire HCV Infection: Correlation With CD4+ T-Cell Counts 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2012;206(10):1568-1576.
Studies examining the effect of coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) on the HCV-specific immune response in acute HCV infection are limited. This study directly compared acute HCV-specific T-cell responses and cytokine profiles between 20 HIV/HCV-coinfected and 20 HCV-monoinfected subjects, enrolled in the Australian Trial in Acute Hepatitis C (ATAHC), using HCV peptide enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) and multiplex in vitro cytokine production assays. HIV/HCV coinfection had a detrimental effect on the HCV-specific cytokine production in acute HCV infection, particularly on HCV-specific interferon γ (IFN-γ) production (magnitude P = .004; breadth P = .046), which correlated with peripheral CD4+ T-cell counts (ρ = 0.605; P = .005) but not with detectable HIV viremia (ρ = 0.152; P = .534).
doi:10.1093/infdis/jis544
PMCID: PMC3475632  PMID: 22949308
8.  Lower ribavirin biodisponibility in patients with HIV-HCV coinfection in comparison with HCV monoinfected patients 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2014;14:150.
Background
In HIV infected patients, the impact of ribavirin (RBV) pharmacology on sustained virologic response (SVR) to hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment has not been fully investigated. The objective of this study was to compare the early RBV plasma exposure between a population of HIV-HCV coinfected patients and an HCV monoinfected group.
Methods
Early RBV plasma exposure (expressed as Area Under the Curve (AUC) from 0 to 4 h) after a 600 mg first dose of RBV was measured in a population of HIV-HCV coinfected patients in comparison with an HCV monoinfected group. Peripheral blood samples were collected before the 600 mg RBV first dose (T0) to ensure no detectable baseline plasma RBV, and then 30 mn, 1, 2 and 4 hours after RBV intake (T0.5, T1, T2 and T4).
Results
Eighty-six patients with chronic hepatitis C entered the study among whom 23 (27%) were HIV-HCV coinfected. Coinfected patients had a significantly lower RBV-AUC 0-4h (median: 1469 μg*h/L [range 936–3677]) compared with monoinfected patients (2030 μg*h/L [851–7700]; p = 0.018). This RBV under exposure in coinfected patients persisted after normalization of AUC to RBV dose per kilogram of body weight (182 μg*h/L [110–425] versus 271 μg*h/L [82–1091], p = 0.001).
Conclusions
These results suggest that lower early bioavailability of RBV could be one of the reasons for lower SVR in HIV-HCV coinfected patients treated with pegylated interferon/RBV combination therapy. RBV plasma underexposure seems to be associated with the immunological status of the patients with lower AUC0-4h values observed in the more immunosuppressed coinfected patients.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-150
PMCID: PMC3994577  PMID: 24650094
Hepatitis C; Human immunodeficiency virus; Ribavirin exposure; Treatment; Coinfection
9.  Chronic immune activation is a distinguishing feature of liver and PBMC gene signatures from HCV/HIV coinfected patients and may contribute to hepatic fibrogenesis 
Virology  2012;430(1):43-52.
Hepatitis C virus/human immunodeficiency virus (HCV/HIV) coinfected patients demonstrate accelerated progression to severe liver injury in comparison to HCV monoinfected patients, although the underlying mechanisms are unclear owing to infection of separate tissue compartments with two distinct viral pathogens. Microarray analysis of paired liver biopsy and peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) specimens from HCV/HIV coinfected and HCV monoinfected patients identified a gene expression signature associated with increased inflammation and immune activation that was present only in liver and PBMC samples from coinfected patients. We also identified in these samples liver- and PBMC-specific signatures enriched with fibrogenic/hepatic stellate activation and proinflammatory genes, respectively. Finally, Bayesian networks were constructed by assimilating these data with existing data from liver and PBMC samples from other cohorts, augmenting enrichment of biologically important pathways and further indicating that chronic immune activation in HCV/HIV coinfection may exacerbate liver disease progression in coinfected patients.
doi:10.1016/j.virol.2012.04.011
PMCID: PMC3371131  PMID: 22608059
hepatitis C virus; human immunodeficiency virus; HCV/HIV coinfection; liver; peripheral blood; hepatic fibrosis; systems biology; gene expression; pathogenesis
10.  Polymorphism in tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand receptor 1 is associated with poor viral response to interferon-based hepatitis C virus therapy in HIV/hepatitis C virus-coinfected individuals 
AIDS (London, England)  2010;24(17):2639-2644.
Objective(s)
HIV/hepatitis C virus (HCV) coinfection causes accelerated liver disease compared to HCV monoinfection, and only 30–60% of HIV/HCV-coinfected individuals respond to HCV therapy with pegylated interferon and ribavirin. There are currently no biomarkers that predict treatment response in these coinfected patients.
Design
We investigated whether there is an association between HCV treatment response and SNPs of apoptosis-related genes during HIV/HCV coinfection.
Method
Genomic DNA from 53 HIV/HCV-coinfected individuals was analyzed for 82 SNPs of 10 apoptosis-related genes.
Results
We found that the presence of the rs4242392 SNP in tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, member 10a (TNFRSF10A), which encodes for tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand receptor 1, predicts poor outcome to HCV therapy, in HIV/HCV-co-infected patients [odds ratio 5.91 (95% confidence interval 1.63–21.38, P = 0.007)].
Conclusion
The rs4242392 SNP of the tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand receptor 1 gene predicted poor interferon-based HCV treatment response in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e32833eacfd
PMCID: PMC3149798  PMID: 20802294
apoptosis; hepatitis C virus; HIV/hepatitis C virus; polymorphism; tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand receptor 1; treatment response
11.  Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)-Specific CD8+ Cells Produce Transforming Growth Factor β That Can Suppress HCV-Specific T-Cell Responses▿  
Journal of Virology  2007;81(11):5882-5892.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-specific T-cell responses are rarely detected in peripheral blood, especially in the presence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) coinfection. Based on recent evidence that T-regulatory cells may be increased in chronic HCV, we hypothesized that functional blockade of regulatory cells could raise HCV-specific responses and might be differentially regulated in the setting of HIV coinfection. Three groups of subjects were studied: HCV monoinfected, HCV-HIV coinfected, and healthy controls. Frequencies of peripheral T cells specific for peptides derived from HCV core, HIV type 1 p24, and recall antigens were analyzed by gamma interferon (IFN-γ) enzyme-linked immunospot assay. HCV-specific T-cell responses were very weak in groups with HCV and HCV-HIV infections. Addition of blocking antibodies against transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1), -2, and -3 and interleukin-10 specifically increased the HCV-specific T-cell responses in both infected groups; however, this increase was attenuated in the group with HCV-HIV coinfection compared to HCV infection alone. No increase in recall antigen- or HIV-specific responses was observed. Flow cytometric sorter analysis demonstrated that regulatory-associated cytokines were produced by HCV-specific CD3+CD8+CD25− cells. Enhancement of the IFN-γ effect was observed for both CD4 and CD8 T cells and was mediated primarily by TGF-β1, -2, and -3 neutralization. In conclusion, blockade of TGF-β secretion could enhance peripheral HCV-specific T-cell responses even in the presence of HIV coinfection.
doi:10.1128/JVI.02202-06
PMCID: PMC1900307  PMID: 17376924
12.  Predictors of Mortality among United States Veterans with Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Hepatitis C Virus Coinfection 
ISRN Gastroenterology  2014;2014:764540.
Background. Understanding the predictors of mortality in individuals with human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis C virus (HIV/HCV) coinfection can be useful in management of these patients. Methods. We used the Electronically Retrieved Cohort of HCV Infected Veterans (ERCHIVES) for these analyses. Multivariate Cox-regression models were used to determine predictors of mortality. Results. Among 8,039 HIV infected veterans, 5251 (65.3%) had HCV coinfection. The all-cause mortality rate was 74.1 (70.4–77.9) per 1000 person-years (PY) among veterans with HIV/HCV coinfection and 39.8 (36.3–43.6) per 1000 PY for veterans with HIV monoinfection. The multivariable adjusted hazard ratio (95% confidence interval) of all-cause mortality for HCV infection was 1.58 (1.36–1.84). Positive predictors of mortality included decompensated liver disease (2.33 (1.98–2.74)), coronary artery disease (1.74 (1.32–2.28)), chronic kidney disease (1.62 (1.36–1.92)), and anemia (1.58 (1.31–1.89)). Factors associated with reduced mortality included HCV treatment (0.41 (0.27–0.63)) and higher CD4 count (0.90 (0.87–0.93) per 100 cells/μL higher count). Data were insufficient to make informative analyses of the role of HCV virologic response. Conclusion. HCV coinfection was associated with substantial increased risk of mortality among HIV infected veterans. HCV treatment was associated with significantly lower risk of mortality.
doi:10.1155/2014/764540
PMCID: PMC4004106
13.  Outcomes of Liver Transplantation in HCV-HIV Coinfected Recipients 
Liver Transplantation  2012;18(6):716-726.
BACKGROUND
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a controversial indication for liver transplantation (LT) in HIV-infected patients due to reportedly poor outcomes.
METHODS
This prospective U.S. multicenter cohort study compared patient and graft survival in 89 HCV-HIV coinfected versus 2 different controls groups: 235 HCV monoinfected LT controls and all U.S. transplant recipients ≥65 years.
RESULTS
The 3-year patient and graft survival rates (95% CI) were 60% (47–71%) and 53% (40–64%) in HCV-HIV versus 79% (72–84%) and 74% (66–79%) in HCV recipients (both p<0.001) and HIV infection was the only factor significantly associated with reduced patient and graft survival. Among HCV-HIV patients, older donor age (HR=1.3 per decade), combined kidney-LT (HR=3.8), HCV-positive donor (HR=2.5), and body mass index (BMI) less than 21 kg/m2 (HR=3.2) were independent predictors of graft loss. In patients without these latter 3 factors, patient and graft survival were similar to those in U.S. LT recipients. The 3-year incidence of treated acute rejection was 1.6-fold higher in HCV-HIV versus HCV (log rank p=0.02) but cumulative incidence of severe HCV disease (29% versus 23% at 3 years, respectively) were not significantly different (p=0.21).
CONCLUSIONS
Patient and graft survival are lower in HCV-HIV compared to HCV alone LT patients. Importantly, rates of treated acute rejection but not HCV disease severity are significantly higher in HCV-HIV compared to HCV recipients. Our results indicate that HCV per se is not a contraindication to LT in HIV patients but recipient and donor selection as well as management of acute rejection strongly influence outcomes.
doi:10.1002/lt.23411
PMCID: PMC3358510  PMID: 22328294
cirrhosis; acute rejection; body mass index; donor age; recurrent hepatitis
14.  Health Care Utilization in HIV-Infected Patients: Assessing the Burden of Hepatitis C Virus Coinfection 
AIDS Patient Care and STDs  2012;26(9):541-545.
Abstract
Health care utilization for HIV-1–infected patients appears to be declining in the United States as a result of highly active antiviral therapy (HAART); yet the opposite appears true in the HIV/hepatitis C virus (HCV) coinfected population. The reasons for this difference are not well understood. We examined the rates and reasons for emergency department visits and hospital admissions at an academic tertiary care medical center for HIV/HCV coinfected patients as compared to HIV-1 monoinfected patients, using a retrospective matched cohort study design. HIV/HCV coinfected patients had higher rates of health care utilization (emergency department visits 43.9 versus 7.1 per 100 person-years; hospital admissions 18.2 versus 6.7 per 100 person-years, for HIV coinfected and monoinfected, respectively). This increase was not solely due to liver related events. Instead, comorbidities such as diabetes, renal disease, and psychiatric/substance abuse played a larger role in the health-care utilization in the HIV/HCV coinfected population.
doi:10.1089/apc.2012.0170
PMCID: PMC3426196  PMID: 22860997
15.  Association of HIV Infection and HIV/HCV Coinfection With C-Reactive Protein Levels 
Objective
Inflammation is a potential mechanism to explain the accelerated atherosclerosis observed in HIV- and hepatitis C virus (HCV)–infected persons. We evaluated C-reactive protein (CRP) in HIV-infected and HIV/HCV-coinfected individuals in the era of effective antiretroviral (ARV) therapy.
Design
Cross-sectional study of Fat Redistribution and Metabolic Change in HIV Infection (FRAM) cohort and controls from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study.
Methods
CRP levels were measured in 1135 HIV-infected participants from the FRAM cohort and 281 controls from the CARDIA study. The associations of HIV and HIV/HCV infection with CRP levels were estimated by multivariable linear regression.
Results
Compared with controls, HIV monoinfection was associated with an 88% higher CRP level in men (P < 0.0001) but with no difference in women (5%; P = 0.80) in multivariate analysis. CRP levels were not associated with ARV therapy, HIV RNA level, or CD4 cell count. Compared with controls, HIV/HCV coinfection was associated with a 41% lower CRP level in women (P = 0.012) but with no difference in men (+4%; P = 0.90). Among HIV-infected participants, HCV coinfection was associated with 50% lower CRP levels after multivariable analysis (P < 0.0001) in men and women. Greater visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) were strongly associated with CRP levels. Among HIV- infected participants, CRP levels were 17% (P < 0.001) and 21% (P = 0.002) higher per doubling of VAT and SAT; among controls, CRP levels were 34% (P < 0.001) and 61% (P = 0.009) higher, respectively.
Conclusions
In the absence of HCV coinfection, HIV infection is associated with higher CRP levels in men. HCV coinfection is associated with lower CRP levels in men and women.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181685727
PMCID: PMC2561207  PMID: 18344877
cardiovascular disease; C-reactive protein; hepatitis C virus; HIV; inflammation
16.  Association Between Hepatitis C Virus Coinfection and Regional Adipose Tissue Volume in HIV-Infected Men and Women 
Objective
Coinfection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is reported to be associated with a higher prevalence of lipodystrophy than HIV infection alone. We examine the association between HCV and adipose tissue volume in HIV-infected men and women.
Methods
Cross-sectional analysis of HIV-infected subjects from the study of Fat Redistribution and Metabolic Change in HIV Infection. MRI measured regional adipose tissue volume. Detectable HCV RNA defined HCV infection.
Results
Twenty percent of 792 men and 26% of 329 women were HIV/HCV-coinfected. HIV/HCV-coinfected and HIV-monoinfected women had similar amounts of subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) in the leg, lower trunk, upper trunk, and arm and similar amounts of visceral adipose tissue (VAT). Similar findings were seen in men, except in the leg and VAT. After adjustment, HCV infection remained associated with more leg fat in men (12.2%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.3 to 25.3; P = 0.043). Among those on stavudine, HIV-monoinfected men had less leg fat (−7% effect per year of stavudine use, 95% CI: −9 to −5; P < 0.001); a weaker association was seen in HIV/HCV-coinfected men (−2% effect, 95% CI: −7 to 3; P = 0.45). Indinavir was associated with less leg fat (−4% in HIV-monoinfected men, 95% CI: −6 to −1; P = 0.002; −5% in HIV/HCV-coinfected men, 95% CI: −11 to 2; P = 0.14).
Conclusions
Our findings suggest that HIV/HCV coinfection is not associated with less SAT in men and women. HCV infection seems to mitigate the loss of leg fat seen in HIV-infected men on stavudine.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e3180423a95
PMCID: PMC3164885  PMID: 17356466
adipose tissue volume; fat distribution; hepatitis C virus; HIV; lipodystrophy
17.  Effect of Hepatitis C Infection on HIV-Induced Apoptosis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e75921.
Background
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) coinfection was reported to negatively affect HIV disease and HIV infection has a deleterious effect on HCV-related liver disease. However, despite common occurrence of HCV/HIV coinfection little is known about the mechanisms of interactions between the two viruses.
Methods
We studied CD4+ and CD8+ T cell and CD19+ B cell apoptosis in 104 HIV-positive patients (56 were also HCV-positive) and in 22 HCV/HIV-coinfected patients treated for chronic hepatitis C with pegylated interferon and ribavirin. We also analyzed HCV/HIV coinfection in a Daudi B-cell line expressing CD4 and susceptible to both HCV and HIV infection. Apoptosis was measured by AnnexinV staining.
Results
HCV/HIV coinfected patients had lower CD4+ and CD8+ T cell apoptosis and higher CD19+ B cell apoptosis than those with HIV monoinfection. Furthermore, anti-HCV treatment of HCV/HIV coinfected patients was followed by an increase of CD4+ and CD8+ T cell apoptosis and a decrease of CD19+ B cell apoptosis. In the Daudi CD4+ cell line, presence of HCV infection facilitated HIV replication, however, decreased the rate of HIV-related cell death.
Conclusion
In HCV/HIV coinfected patients T-cells were found to be destroyed at a slower rate than in HIV monoinfected patients. These results suggest that HCV is a molecular-level determinant in HIV disease.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0075921
PMCID: PMC3788068  PMID: 24098405
18.  Neuropsychological Aspects of Coinfection with HIV and Hepatitis C Virus 
Infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is commonly seen in persons with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, because the viruses share risk factors for transmission; coinfection is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among HIV-infected persons. Neuropsychological consequences of HIV infection are well established, and studies of HCV-infected persons have revealed neuropsychiatric dysfunction in this population as well. Investigators now are focusing on neuropsychological sequelae of coinfection with HIV and HCV, and preliminary results suggest that coinfection has a possible deleterious effect on global cognitive functioning consistent with frontal-subcortical dysfunction. Data on neuropsychiatric symptoms in coinfected persons are inconclusive at this time and are complicated by important differences in study populations (e.g., injection drug use and disease severity). This review summarizes what is known about neuropsychological aspects of monoinfection with HIV and HCV, as well as coinfection, discusses implications of these findings, and suggests future directions for this research area.
doi:10.1086/429494
PMCID: PMC2879257  PMID: 16265612
19.  Complementary Role of HCV and HIV in T-Cell Activation and Exhaustion in HIV/HCV Coinfection 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e59302.
Objectives
To investigate whether T-cell activation and exhaustion is linked to HCV- and HIV disease parameters in HIV/HCV infected individuals, we studied T-cell characteristics in HIV/HCV coinfected patients and controls.
Methods
14 HIV/HCV coinfected, 19 HCV monoinfected, 10 HIV monoinfected patients and 15 healthy controls were included in this cross-sectional study. Differences in expression of activation and exhaustion markers (HLA-DR, CD38, PD-1, Tim-3 and Fas) and phenotypic markers on CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells were analysed by flow cytometry and were related to HCV disease parameters (HCV-viremia, ALT and liver fibrosis).
Results
Frequencies of activated CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells were higher in HIV/HCV-coinfected compared to healthy controls and HCV or HIV mono-infected individuals. Coinfected patients also showed high expression of the exhaustion marker PD-1 and death receptor Fas. In contrast, the exhaustion marker Tim-3 was only elevated in HIV-monoinfected patients. T-cell activation and exhaustion were correlated with HCV-RNA, suggesting that viral antigen influences T-cell activation and exhaustion. Interestingly, increased percentages of effector CD8+ T-cells were found in patients with severe (F3–F4) liver fibrosis compared to those with no to minimal fibrosis (F0–F2).
Conclusions
HIV/HCV coinfected patients display a high level of T-cell activation and exhaustion in the peripheral blood. Our data suggest that T-cell activation and exhaustion are influenced by the level of HCV viremia. Furthermore, high percentages of cytotoxic/effector CD8+ T-cells are associated with liver fibrosis in both HCV monoinfected and HIV/HCV coinfected patients.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0059302
PMCID: PMC3598709  PMID: 23555014
20.  Carotid Intima Media Thickness, Inflammatory Markers, and Endothelial Activation Markers in HIV Patients with Lipoatrophy Increased at 48 Weeks Regardless of Use of Rosiglitazone or Placebo 
Abstract
Rosiglitazone may be useful for the treatment of antiretroviral therapy-associated lipoatrophy, but an association with cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been questioned in diabetics. We evaluated rosiglitazone's effect on surrogate markers of CVD in HIV-infected individuals with lipoatrophy. HIV+ patients with lipoatrophy on thymidine-sparing regimens were randomized to rosiglitazone vs. placebo for 48 weeks. We serially assessed carotid IMT, fasting metabolic profiles, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, soluble receptors (sTNFRI and II), interleukin (IL)-6, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), myeloperoxidase (MPO), and endothelial activation markers [von Willebrand factor (vWF), soluble intercellular cell adhesion molecules-1 (sICAM-1), and vascular cell adhesion molecules-1 (sVCAM-1)]. Seventy-one subjects enrolled: 17% were female and 51%were white. Baseline characteristics were similar between groups except for higher total cholesterol in the placebo group (p = 0.04). At 48 weeks, common carotid artery (CCA) IMT changed significantly (p ≤ 0.05) within but not between the groups (p = 0.36): the median (IQR) increase was 0.10 (0.05, 0.25) mm and 0.15 (0, 0.25) mm in the rosiglitazone and placebo groups, respectively. hsCRP, sTNFRI and II, sVCAM-1, and vWF changed significantly (p ≤ 0.02) within but not between groups. Total cholesterol increased significantly in the rosiglitazone group (p = 0.008). In our study of virologically controlled subjects with lipoatrophy, rosiglitazone did not independently increase carotid IMT, endothelial activation, and inflammatory cytokines.
doi:10.1089/aid.2010.0187
PMCID: PMC3064528  PMID: 20969457
21.  Therapeutic issues in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients 
Journal of Viral Hepatitis  2007;14(6):371-386.
The importance of treating hepatitis C virus (HCV)-associated morbidities in a growing population of patients coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has increased since the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy. As a result, investigative attention is turning to HCV-related liver disease and treatment-associated issues in coinfection. HIV/HCV-coinfected patients have higher HCV RNA loads and show more rapid progression of fibrosis than do monoinfected patients. Combination therapy with pegylated interferon plus ribavirin (RBV) is the standard of care for HCV in coinfected patients. Therapy slows fibrosis progression, but toxicity prevents identification of the most effective RBV dose. Coinfected patients have about a threefold greater risk of antiretroviral therapy-associated hepatotoxicity than patients with HIV only. Other challenges include anaemia, mitochondrial toxicity, drug–drug interactions and leucopenia. Thus, chronic hepatitis C should be treated in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients, but steps must be taken to prevent and treat potential toxicities. The first European Consensus Conference on the Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis B and C in HIV Co-infected Patients was held March 2005 in Paris to address these issues. This article reviews the peer-reviewed literature and expert opinion published from 1990 to 2005, and compares results with presentations and recommendations from the Consensus Conference to best present current issues in coinfection.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-2893.2006.00816.x
PMCID: PMC1974798  PMID: 17501757
coinfection; hepatitis C; human immunodeficiency virus; treatment
22.  HIV Coinfection With Hepatitis C Virus: Evolving Epidemiology and Treatment Paradigms 
Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has become a major threat to the survival of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected persons in areas where antiretroviral therapy is available. In coinfection, viral eradication has been difficult to attain, and HCV therapy is underused. Novel therapies may be particularly beneficial for this population, yet studies lag behind those for HCV monoinfection. Increasingly, incident HCV among HIV-infected men who have sex with men is associated with sexual risk behavior further research should be performed to refine understanding of the causal mechanism of this association. The phenomenon of aggressive hepatic fibrogenesis when HIV infection precedes HCV acquisition requires longer-term observation to ensure optimal timing of HCV therapy. Medical management in coinfection will be improved by enhancing HCV detection, with annual serologic testing, screening with HCV RNA to detect acute infection, and HIV testing of HCV-infected individuals; by addressing HCV earlier in coinfected persons; and by universal consideration for HCV therapy. HCV drug trials in individuals coinfected with HIV should be expedited. HIV/HCV coinfection remains a growing and evolving epidemic; new developments in therapeutics and improved care models offer promise.
doi:10.1093/cid/cis367
PMCID: PMC3491862  PMID: 22715212
23.  Hepatitis C and the Risk of Kidney Disease and Mortality in Veterans With HIV 
Objectives
To examine the effect of hepatitis C virus (HCV) on the prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) among veterans with HIV and to evaluate independent associations of HCV and CKD with mortality.
Methods
We studied a national cohort of HIV-infected patients receiving care through the Veterans Healthcare Administration from 1998 to 2004. CKD was defined as an estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR (mL/min/1.73 m2)] < 60. Poisson regression was used to assess relationships between CKD, HCV, and mortality.
Results
Among 23,155 HIV-infected veterans, 12% had CKD. Forty percent of the cohort was coinfected with HCV, and a higher proportion of coinfected subjects had CKD compared with monoinfected subjects (14% vs 11%, P < 0.001). During the median follow-up of 7.6 years, 37% of subjects died and a graduated increase in adjusted mortality rates occurred with lower levels of eGFR (P < 0.001). Adjusted mortality rates were consistently higher in HCV-coinfected subjects across all levels of eGFR (P < 0.001). HCV was independently associated with increased mortality (incidence rate ratio 1.23, 95% confidence interval 1.17–1.29).
Conclusions
CKD is prevalent in HIV-infected veterans and associated with substantially higher mortality. Compared with their monoinfected counterparts, veterans coinfected with HCV have significantly higher rates of CKD and mortality.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181b980d4
PMCID: PMC3032564  PMID: 20104121
death; HIV; hepatitis C; kidney failure; veterans
24.  Impaired Hepatitis C Virus-Specific T Cell Responses and Recurrent Hepatitis C Virus in HIV Coinfection 
PLoS Medicine  2006;3(12):e492.
Background
Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-specific T cell responses are critical for spontaneous resolution of HCV viremia. Here we examined the effect of a lymphotropic virus, HIV-1, on the ability of coinfected patients to maintain spontaneous control of HCV infection.
Methods and Findings
We measured T cell responsiveness by lymphoproliferation and interferon-γ ELISPOT in a large cohort of HCV-infected individuals with and without HIV infection. Among 47 HCV/HIV-1-coinfected individuals, spontaneous control of HCV was associated with more frequent HCV-specific lymphoproliferative (LP) responses (35%) compared to coinfected persons who exhibited chronic HCV viremia (7%, p = 0.016), but less frequent compared to HCV controllers who were not HIV infected (86%, p = 0.003). Preservation of HCV-specific LP responses in coinfected individuals was associated with a higher nadir CD4 count (r2 = 0.45, p < 0.001) and the presence and magnitude of the HCV-specific CD8+ T cell interferon-γ response (p = 0.0014). During long-term follow-up, recurrence of HCV viremia occurred in six of 25 coinfected individuals with prior control of HCV, but in 0 of 16 HIV-1-negative HCV controllers (p = 0.03, log rank test). In these six individuals with recurrent HCV viremia, the magnitude of HCV viremia following recurrence inversely correlated with the CD4 count at time of breakthrough (r = −0.94, p = 0.017).
Conclusions
These results indicate that HIV infection impairs the immune response to HCV—including in persons who have cleared HCV infection—and that HIV-1-infected individuals with spontaneous control of HCV remain at significant risk for a second episode of HCV viremia. These findings highlight the need for repeat viral RNA testing of apparent controllers of HCV infection in the setting of HIV-1 coinfection and provide a possible explanation for the higher rate of HCV persistence observed in this population.
HIV infection impairs the immune response to HCV. Even individuals who have cleared HCV infection remain at significant risk for a second episode of HCV viremia.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Because of shared transmission routes (contaminated needles, contaminated blood products, and, to a lesser extent, unprotected sex), a large proportion of HIV-infected individuals (estimates range between 25% and 33%) are also infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). In most but not all individuals infected with HCV, the virus infection is chronic and causes liver disease that can eventually lead to liver failure. Disease progress is slow; it often takes decades until infected individuals develop serious liver disease. In people infected with both HCV and HIV, however, liver disease caused by HCV often appears sooner and progresses faster. As highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and prophylaxis of opportunistic infections increase the life span of persons living with HIV, HCV-related liver disease has become a major cause of hospital admissions and deaths among HIV-infected persons.
Why Was This Study Done?
A sizable minority of people who are infected with HCV manage to control the virus and never get liver disease, and scientists have found that these people somehow mounted a strong immune response against the hepatitis C virus. CD4+ T cells, the very immune cells that are infected and destroyed by HIV, play an important role in this immune response. The goal of the present study was to better understand how infection with HIV compromises the specific immune response to HCV and thereby the control of HCV disease progression.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers recruited four groups of patients, 94 in total, all of whom were infected with HCV. Two groups comprised patients who were infected with HIV as well as HCV, with either high or undetectable levels of HCV (30 patients in each group). The two other groups included patients not infected with HIV, either with high or undetectable levels of HCV (17 patients in each group). The researchers focused on the individuals who, despite coinfection with HIV, were able to control their HCV infection. They found that those individuals managed to maintain relatively high levels of CD4+ T cells that specifically recognize HCV. However, a quarter of these patients (six out of 25) failed to keep HCV levels down for the entire observation period of up to 2.5 years; their blood levels of HCV rose substantially, most likely due to recurrence of the previously suppressed virus (the researchers could not be certain that none of the patients had become infected again after a new exposure to HCV-contaminated blood, but there was no evidence that they had engaged in risky behavior). The rise of HCV levels in the blood of the relapsed patients coincided with a drop in overall CD4+ T cell numbers. Following relapse in these individuals, HCV did not return to undetectable levels during the study. During the same period none of the 16 HIV-uninfected people with controlled HCV infection experienced a recurrence of detectable HCV.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Despite the relatively small numbers of patients, these results suggest that recurrence of HCV after initial control of the virus is more likely in people who are coinfected with HIV, and that HCV control is lost when CD4+ T cell counts fall. This is one more reason to test all HIV-positive patients for HCV coinfection. Coinfected patients, even those who seem to be controlling HCV and would not automatically receive HCV treatment, should be regularly tested for a rise of HCV levels. In addition, maintaining CD4+ T cells at a high level might be particularly important for those patients, which means that doctors might consider starting HAART therapy earlier than is generally recommended for HIV-infected individuals. Additional studies are needed to support these recommendations, however, especially as this study did not follow the patients long enough to determine the consequences of the observed loss of control of HCV.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030492.
AIDS Treatment Data Network factsheet on HIV/HCV coinfection
US CDC factsheet on HIV/HCV coinfection
American Liver Foundation, information on HIV and HCV
MedlinePlus pages on HCV
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030492
PMCID: PMC1705826  PMID: 17194190
25.  Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Genotypes in the Caribbean Island of Martinique: Evidence for a Large Radiation of HCV-2 and for a Recent Introduction from Europe of HCV-4 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2004;42(2):784-791.
Molecular epidemiological studies of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the Caribbean may help to specify the origin and spread of HCV infection. Indeed, the Caribbean population is intermixed from European and African origins and geographically close to the American continent. We characterized HCV genotypes in the Caribbean island of Martinique. HCV genotypes were analyzed by sequencing or reverse hybridization in the 5′ noncoding region (5′NC) in 250 HCV-monoinfected and 85 HCV-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-coinfected patients. In addition, sequencing in the nonstructural 5B (NS5B) gene was required to determine the subtype or to perform phylogenetic analysis in selected samples. Genotypes 1 to 6 were found, respectively, in 84.4, 6.8, 5.2, 2.8, 0.4, and 0.4% of 250 HCV-monoinfected patients and in 71.7, 7.1, 15.3, 5.9, 0, and 0% of 85 HCV-HIV-coinfected patients. HCV-1b was found in 66.4% of the HCV-monoinfected patients and was associated with blood transfusion, whereas HCV-1a was detected in 41.2% of the HCV-HIV-coinfected patients and was associated with intravenous drug use (IVDU). The HCV-3 strains belonged to subtype 3a and were linked to IVDU. Phylogenetic analyses were focused on HCV-2 and HCV-4, which are common in Africa. Two opposite patterns were evidenced. NS5B sequences from 19 HCV-2 isolates were affiliated with many different subtypes described either in Europe or in West Africa, suggesting an ancient radiation. In contrast, seven of the nine HCV-4 NS5B sequences ranged within HCV-4a and HCV-4d clusters spreading in continental France by the IVDU route. Epidemiological data demonstrate the recent introduction of HCV-4a and -4d subtypes into the Caribbean.
doi:10.1128/JCM.42.2.784-791.2004
PMCID: PMC344442  PMID: 14766854

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