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1.  In Vitro–Reduced Susceptibility to Artemether in P. falciparum and Its Association With Polymorphisms on Transporter Genes 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2012;206(3):324-332.
Plasmodium falciparum with reduced sensitivity to artemisinin derivatives has been observed in endemic areas, but the molecular mechanisms for this reduced sensitivity remain unclear. We evaluated the association between in vitro susceptibility of P. falciparum isolates obtained from southwest Nigeria and polymorphisms in selected putative transporter genes (PFE0775C, PF13_0271, pfmrp1, pfcrt, and pfmdr1). Modified schizont inhibition assay was used to determine the in vitro parasite susceptibility to artemether (ATH). Polymorphisms in selected genes were detected by polymerase chain reaction followed by direct DNA sequencing. The half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) geometric mean (GM) for all P. falciparum isolates was 1.78 nM (range, 0.03–10.43 nM). Polymorphisms at codons 241, 86, and 76 of PFE0775C, pfmdr1, and pfcrt genes, respectively, were associated with reduced susceptibility to ATH. A new S263P single-nucleotide polymorphism on the PFE0775C gene was also detected in 27% of the isolates. Patient isolates harboring V241L or S263P polymorphisms on the PFE0775C gene showed increased IC50 (GM: 3.08 nM and 1.79 nM, respectively). Plasmodium falciparum isolates harboring mutant Y86 pfmdr1 and P263 PFE0775C alleles showed a 2.5–5.5-fold increase in ATH IC50. This study shows that polymorphisms on the PFE0775C and pfmdr1 genes are associated with reduced sensitivity to ATH in fresh isolates of P. falciparum from Nigeria.
PMCID: PMC3490696  PMID: 22615315
2.  Differential In Vitro Kinetics of Drug Resistance Mutation Acquisition in HIV-1 RT of Subtypes B and C 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e46622.
HIV-1 subtype B is the most prevalent in developed countries and, consequently, it has been extensively studied. On the other hand, subtype C is the most prevalent worldwide and therefore is a reasonable target for future studies. Here we evaluate the acquisition of resistance and the viability of HIV-1 subtype B and C RT clones from different isolates that were subjected to in vitro selection pressure with zidovudine (ZDV) and lamivudine (3TC).
Methods/Principal Findings
MT4 cells were infected with chimeric virus pseudotyped with RT from subtype B and C clones, which were previously subjected to serial passage with increasing concentrations of ZDV and 3TC. The samples collected after each passage were analyzed for the presence of resistance mutations and VL. No differences were found between subtypes B and C in viral load and resistance mutations when these viruses were selected with 3TC. However, the route of mutations and the time to rebound of subtype B and C virus were different when subjected to ZDV treatment. In order to confirm the role of the mutations detected, other clones were generated and subjected to in vitro selection. RT subtype B virus isolates tended to acquire different ZDV resistance mutations (Q151M and D67N or T215Y, D67D/N and F214L) compared to subtype C (D67N, K70R, T215I or T215F).
This study suggests that different subtypes have a tendency to react differently to antiretroviral drug selection in vitro. Consequently, the acquisition of resistance in patients undergoing antiretroviral therapy can be dependent on the subtypes composing the viral population.
PMCID: PMC3463560  PMID: 23056372
3.  The Brazilian Network for HIV-1 Genotyping External Quality Control Assurance Programme 
The Brazilian network for genotyping is composed of 21 laboratories that perform and analyze genotyping tests for all HIV-infected patients within the public system, performing approximately 25,000 tests per year. We assessed the interlaboratory and intralaboratory reproducibility of genotyping systems by creating and implementing a local external quality control evaluation. Plasma samples from HIV-1-infected individuals (with low and intermediate viral loads) or RNA viral constructs with specific mutations were used. This evaluation included analyses of sensitivity and specificity of the tests based on qualitative and quantitative criteria, which scored laboratory performance on a 100-point system. Five evaluations were performed from 2003 to 2008, with 64% of laboratories scoring over 80 points in 2003, 81% doing so in 2005, 56% in 2006, 91% in 2007, and 90% in 2008 (Kruskal-Wallis, p = 0.003). Increased performance was aided by retraining laboratories that had specific deficiencies. The results emphasize the importance of investing in laboratory training and interpretation of DNA sequencing results, especially in developing countries where public (or scarce) resources are used to manage the AIDS epidemic.
PMCID: PMC3192700  PMID: 21936945
4.  Distinct resistance mutation and polymorphism acquisition in HIV-1 protease of subtypes B and F1 from children and adult patients under virological failure 
The goal of this work was to compare the differences between human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) of B and F1 subtypes in the acquisition of major and minor protease inhibitor (PI)-associated resistance mutations and of other polymorphisms at the protease (PR) gene, through a cross sectional study. PR sequences from subtypes B and F1 isolates matched according to PI exposure time from Brazilian patients were included in this study. Sequences were separated in four groups: 24 and 90 from children and 141 and 99 from adults infected with isolates of subtypes F1 and B, respectively. For comparison, 211 subtype B and 79 subtype F1 PR sequences from drug-naïve individuals were included. Demographic and clinical data were similar among B- and F1-infected patients. In untreated patients, mutations L10V, K20R, and M36I were more frequent in subtype F1, while L63P, A71T, and V77I were more prevalent in subtype B. In treated patients, K20M, D30N, G73S, I84V, and L90M, were more prevalent in subtype B, and K20T and N88S were more prevalent in subtype F1. A higher proportion of subtype F1 than of subtype B strains containing other polymorphisms was observed. V82L mutation was present with increased frequency in isolates from children compared to isolates from adults infected with both subtypes. We could observe a faster resistance emergence in children than in adults, during treatment with protease inhibitors. This data provided evidence that, although rates of overall drug resistance do not differ between subtypes B and F1, the former accumulates resistance at higher proportion in specific amino acid positions of protease when compared to the latter.
PMCID: PMC2853895  PMID: 18992847
Brazil; HIV-1; Subtype B; Subtype F1; Drug resistance mutations; Protease; Pediatric infection
5.  Phylogenetic and Genetic Analysis of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus gag, pol, and env Genes from Domestic Cats Undergoing Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor Treatment or Treatment-Naïve Cats in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil▿ † 
Journal of Virology  2008;82(16):7863-7874.
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is the Lentivirus responsible for an immunodeficiency-like disease in domestic cats (Felis catus). FIV is divided into five phylogenetic subtypes (A, B, C, D, and E), based on genetic diversity. Knowledge of the geographical distribution of subtypes is relevant for understanding different disease progressions and for vaccine development. In this study, viral sequences of 26 infected cats from Rio de Janeiro, 8 undergoing treatment with zidovudine (AZT) for at least 5 years, were successfully amplified from blood specimens. gag capsid (CA), pol reverse transcriptase (RT), and env gp120 (V3-V4) regions were analyzed to determine subtypes and to evaluate potential mutations related to antiretroviral drug resistance among treated cats. Subtyping based on phylogenetic analysis was performed by the neighbor-joining and maximum likelihood methods. All of the sequences clustered with subtype B in the three regions, exhibiting low genetic variability. Additionally, we found evidence that the same virus is circulating in animals in close contact. The analysis of FIV RT sequences identified two new putative mutations related to drug resistance located in the RT “finger” domain, which has 60% identity to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) sequence. Amino acid change K→R at codons 64 and 69 was found in 25% and 37.5% of the treated animals, respectively. These signatures were comparable to K65R and K70R thymidine-associated mutations found in the HIV-1 HXB2 counterpart. This finding strongly suggests a position correlation between the mutations found in FIV and the K65R and K70R substitutions from drug-resistant HIV-1 strains.
PMCID: PMC2519550  PMID: 18550661
6.  Development of a New Methodology for Screening of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Microbicides Based on Real-Time PCR Quantification▿  
Potential topical retrovirucides or vaginal microbicides against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) include nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). To be successful, such agents have to be highly active against cell-free virions. In the present study, we developed a new real-time PCR-based assay to measure the natural endogenous reverse transcription (NERT) activity directly on intact HIV-1 particles in the presence of reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitors. We further evaluated the permeability to nevirapine (NVP) and efavirenz (EFV) and their retention within nascent viral particles. We also demonstrated the NVP and EFV inhibitory effects on NERT activity and the impact of resistance mutations measured directly by this new strategy. Furthermore, the results showed a clear correlation between NERT activity and classical infectivity assays. The 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) of NVP and EFV were demonstrated to be up to 100-fold higher for cell-free than for cell-associated virions, suggesting that cell-free virions are less permeable to these drugs. Our results suggest that NVP and EFV penetrate both the envelope and the capsid of HIV-1 particles and readily inactivate cell-free virions. However, the characteristics of these NNRTIs, such as lower permeability and lower retention during washing procedures, in cell-free virions reduce their efficacies as microbicides. Here, we demonstrate the usefulness of the NERT real-time PCR as an assay for screening novel antiretroviral compounds with unique mechanisms of action.
PMCID: PMC1797782  PMID: 17116672
7.  Impact of Nelfinavir Resistance Mutations on In Vitro Phenotype, Fitness, and Replication Capacity of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 with Subtype B and C Proteases 
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 subtype B and C proteases were manipulated to contain 90M, 88D, or 89L, and their in vitro biological properties were studied. We showed that D30N has significantly more impact in subtype C than in subtype B counterparts, accounting for the reported low prevalence of this mutation in patients failing nelfinavir-based regimens.
PMCID: PMC514783  PMID: 15328124
8.  Prevalence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Drug Resistance Mutations and Subtypes in Drug-Naive, Infected Individuals in the Army Health Service of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2004;42(1):426-430.
The prevalence of mutations that confer resistance to antiretroviral drugs was examined in 56 drug-naive, human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected individuals from the Army Health Service in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. No primary protease inhibitor mutations were found, but secondary mutations were observed in 51.2% of the samples. Fourteen percent of the viruses had reverse transcriptase inhibitor-associated mutations. Comparative analysis of protease secondary mutations from four different time periods in drug-naive patients in the city of Rio de Janeiro has indicated constant rates for particular mutations. Changes in CD4 cell counts and HIV viral load over time in subtype B- and non-B-infected drug-naive patients were not significantly different.
PMCID: PMC321664  PMID: 14715797
9.  In Vitro Hypersusceptibility of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Subtype C Protease to Lopinavir 
In order to characterize the impact of genetic polymorphisms on the susceptibility of subtype C strains of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 to protease inhibitors (PIs), a subtype B protease that originated from an infectious clone was modified through site-directed mutagenesis to include the amino acid residue signatures of subtype C viruses (I15V, M36I, R41K, H69K, L89 M) with (clone C6) or without (clone C5) an I93L polymorphism present as a molecular signature of the worldwide subtype C protease. Their susceptibilities to commercially available PIs were measured by a recombinant virus phenotyping assay. We could not detect any differences in the 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50s) of amprenavir, indinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, and nelfinavir for the clones analyzed. However, we did observe hypersusceptibility to lopinavir solely in clone C6, which includes the I93L substitution (a 2.6-fold decrease in the IC50 compared to that for the subtype B reference strain). The same phenotypic behavior was observed for 11 Brazilian and South African clinical isolates tested, in which only subtype C isolates carrying the I93L mutation presented significant hypersusceptibility to lopinavir.
PMCID: PMC182615  PMID: 12936979
10.  Testing Genotypic and Phenotypic Resistance in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Isolates of Clade B and Other Clades from Children Failing Antiretroviral Therapy 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2002;40(12):4512-4519.
The emergence of resistance to antiretroviral drugs is a major obstacle to the successful treatment of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected patients. In this work, we correlate clinical and virological trends such as viral load (VL) and CD4 counts to genotypic and phenotypic antiretroviral (ARV) resistance profiles of HIV-1 isolates from the B and non-B subtypes found in vertically infected children failing ARV therapy. Plasma samples were collected from 52 vertically HIV-1-infected children failing different ARV therapies. Samples underwent HIV-1 pol sequencing and phenotyping and were clustered into subtypes by phylogenetic analysis. Clinical data from each patient were analyzed together with the resistance (genotypic and phenotypic) data obtained. Thirty-five samples were from subtype B, 10 samples were non-B (subtypes A, C, and F), and 7 were mosaic samples. There was no significant difference concerning treatment data between B and non-B clades. Prevalence of known drug resistance mutations revealed slightly significant differences among B and non-B subtypes: L10I, 21 and 64%, K20R, 13 and 43%, M36I, 34 and 100%, L63P, 76 and 36%, A71V/T, 24 and 0%, and V77I, 32 and 0%, respectively, in the protease (0.0001 ≤ P ≤ 0.0886), and D67N, 38 and 8%, K70R, 33 and 0%, R211K, 49 and 85%, and K219Q/E, 31 and 0%, respectively, in the reverse transcriptase (0.0256 ≤ P ≤ 0.0704). Significant differences were found only in secondary resistance mutations and did not reflect significant phenotypic variation between clade B and non-B.
PMCID: PMC154623  PMID: 12454144

Results 1-10 (10)