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1.  Outcomes by Sex Following Treatment Initiation With Atazanavir Plus Ritonavir or Efavirenz With Abacavir/Lamivudine or Tenofovir/Emtricitabine 
Smith, Kimberly Y. | Tierney, Camlin | Mollan, Katie | Venuto, Charles S. | Budhathoki, Chakra | Ma, Qing | Morse, Gene D. | Sax, Paul | Katzenstein, David | Godfrey, Catherine | Fischl, Margaret | Daar, Eric S. | Collier, Ann C. | Bolivar, Hector H. | Navarro, Sandra | Koletar, Susan L. | Gochnour, Diane | Seefried, Edward | Hoffman, Julie | Feinberg, Judith | Saemann, Michelle | Patterson, Kristine | Pittard, Donna | Currin, David | Upton, Kerry | Saag, Michael | Ray, Graham | Johnson, Steven | Santos, Bartolo | Funk, Connie A. | Morgan, Michael | Jackson, Brenda | Tebas, Pablo | Thomas, Aleshia | Kim, Ge-Youl | Klebert, Michael K. | Santana, Jorge L. | Marrero, Santiago | Norris, Jane | Valle, Sandra | Cox, Gary Matthew | Silberman, Martha | Shaik, Sadia | Lopez, Ruben | Vasquez, Margie | Daskalakis, Demetre | Megill, Christina | Shore, Jessica | Taiwo, Babafemi | Goldman, Mitchell | Boston, Molly | Lennox, Jeffrey | del Rio, Carlos | Lane, Timothy W. | Epperson, Kim | Luetkemeyer, Annie | Payne, Mary | Gripshover, Barbara | Antosh, Dawn | Reid, Jane | Adams, Mary | Storey, Sheryl S. | Dunaway, Shelia B. | Gallant, Joel | Wiggins, Ilene | Smith, Kimberly Y. | Swiatek, Joan A. | Timpone, Joseph | Kumar, Princy | Moe, Ardis | Palmer, Maria | Gothing, Jon | Delaney, Joanne | Whitely, Kim | Anderson, Ann Marie | Hammer, Scott M. | Yin, Michael T. | Jain, Mamta | Petersen, Tianna | Corales, Roberto | Hurley, Christine | Henry, Keith | Bordenave, Bette | Youmans, Amanda | Albrecht, Mary | Pollard, Richard B. | Olusanya, Abimbola | Skolnik, Paul R. | Adams, Betsy | Tashima, Karen T. | Patterson, Helen | Ukwu, Michelle | Rogers, Lauren | Balfour, Henry H. | Fox, Kathy A. | Swindells, Susan | Van Meter, Frances | Robbins, Gregory | Burgett-Yandow, Nicole | Davis, Charles E. | Boyce, Colleen | O'Brien, William A. | Casey, Gerianne | Morse, Gene D. | Hsaio, Chiu-Bin | Meier, Jeffrey L. | Stapleton, Jack T. | Mildvan, Donna | Revuelta, Manuel | Currin, David | El Sadr, Wafaa | Loquere, Avelino | El-Daher, Nyef | Johnson, Tina | Gross, Robert | Maffei, Kathyrn | Hughes, Valery | Sturge, Glenn | McMahon, Deborah | Rutecki, Barbara | Wulfsohn, Michael | Cheng, Andrew | Dix, Lynn | Liao, Qiming
This clinical trial identifies a significantly earlier time to virologic failure in women randomized to atazanavir/ritonavir compared to women randomized to efavirenz.
Background. We aimed to evaluate treatment responses to atazanavir plus ritonavir (ATV/r) or efavirenz (EFV) in initial antiretroviral regimens among women and men, and determine if treatment outcomes differ by sex.
Methods. We performed a randomized trial of open-label ATV/r or EFV combined with abacavir/lamivudine (ABC/3TC) or tenofovir/emtricitabine (TDF/FTC) in 1857 human immunodeficiency virus type 1–infected, treatment-naive persons enrolled between September 2005 and November 2007 at 59 sites in the United States and Puerto Rico. Associations of sex with 3 primary study endpoints of time to virologic failure, safety, and tolerability events were analyzed using Cox proportional hazards models. Model-based population pharmacokinetic analysis was performed using nonlinear mixed effects modeling (NONMEM version VII).
Results. Of 1857 participants, 322 were women. Women assigned to ATV/r had a higher risk of virologic failure with either nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor backbone than women assigned to EFV, or men assigned to ATV/r. The effects of ATV/r and EFV upon safety and tolerability risk did not differ significantly by sex. With ABC/3TC, women had a significantly higher (32%) safety risk compared to men; with TDF/FTC, the safety risk was 20% larger for women compared to men, but not statistically significant. Women had slower ATV clearance and higher predose levels of ATV compared to men. Self-reported adherence did not differ significantly by sex.
Conclusions. This is the first randomized clinical trial to identify a significantly earlier time to virologic failure in women randomized to ATV/r compared to women randomized to EFV. This finding has important clinical implications given that boosted protease inhibitors are often favored over EFV in women of childbearing potential.
Clinical Trials Registration NCT00118898.
doi:10.1093/cid/cit747
PMCID: PMC3905755  PMID: 24253247
sex; atazanavir; efavirenz; abacavir; tenofovir
2.  Association between Latent Proviral Characteristics and Immune Activation in Antiretrovirus-Treated Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1-Infected Adults 
Journal of Virology  2014;88(15):8629-8639.
ABSTRACT
Generalized immune activation during HIV infection is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, neurocognitive disease, osteoporosis, metabolic disorders, and physical frailty. The mechanisms driving this immune activation are poorly understood, particularly for individuals effectively treated with antiretroviral medications. We hypothesized that viral characteristics such as sequence diversity may play a role in driving HIV-associated immune activation. We therefore sequenced proviral DNA isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells from HIV-infected individuals on fully suppressive antiretroviral therapy. We performed phylogenetic analyses, calculated viral diversity and divergence in the env and pol genes, and determined coreceptor tropism and the frequency of drug resistance mutations. Comprehensive immune profiling included quantification of immune cell subsets, plasma cytokine levels, and intracellular signaling responses in T cells, B cells, and monocytes. These antiretroviral therapy-treated HIV-infected individuals exhibited a wide range of diversity and divergence in both env and pol genes. However, proviral diversity and divergence in env and pol, coreceptor tropism, and the level of drug resistance did not significantly correlate with markers of immune activation. A clinical history of virologic failure was also not significantly associated with levels of immune activation, indicating that a history of virologic failure does not inexorably lead to increased immune activation as long as suppressive antiretroviral medications are provided. Overall, this study demonstrates that latent viral diversity is unlikely to be a major driver of persistent HIV-associated immune activation.
IMPORTANCE Chronic immune activation, which is associated with cardiovascular disease, neurologic disease, and early aging, is likely to be a major driver of morbidity and mortality in HIV-infected individuals. Although treatment of HIV with antiretroviral medications decreases the level of immune activation, levels do not return to normal. The factors driving this persistent immune activation, particularly during effective treatment, are poorly understood. In this study, we investigated whether characteristics of the latent, integrated HIV provirus that persists during treatment are associated with immune activation. We found no relationship between latent viral characteristics and immune activation in treated individuals, indicating that qualities of the provirus are unlikely to be a major driver of persistent inflammation. We also found that individuals who had previously failed treatment but were currently effectively treated did not have significantly increased levels of immune activation, providing hope that past treatment failures do not have a lifelong “legacy” impact.
doi:10.1128/JVI.01257-14
PMCID: PMC4135944  PMID: 24850730
3.  HIV Drug Resistance Mutations in Proviral DNA from a Community Treatment Program 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(1):e0117430.
Background
Drug resistance mutations archived in resting memory CD4+ cells may persist despite suppression of HIV RNA to <50 copies/ml. We sequenced pol gene from proviral DNA among viremic and suppressed patients to identify drug resistance mutations.
Methods
The Peninsula AIDS Research Cohort study enrolled and followed over 2 years 120 HIV infected patients from San Mateo and San Francisco Counties. HIV-1 pol genotyping by bulk sequencing was performed on 38 DNA and RNA from viremic patients and DNA only among 82 suppressed patients at baseline. Antiretroviral susceptibility was predicted by HIVDB.stanford.edu.
Results
Among 120 subjects, 81% were on antiretroviral therapy and had been treated for a median time of 7 years. Thirty-two viremic patients showed concordant RNA and DNA genotypes (84%); the discordant profiles were mainly observed in patients with low-level viremia. Among suppressed patients, 21 had drug resistance mutations in proviral DNA (26%) with potential resistance to one, two or three ARV classes in 16, 4 and 1 samples respectively.
Conclusions
The high level of genotype concordance between DNA and RNA in viremic patients suggested that DNA genotyping might be used to assess drug resistance in resource-limited settings, and further investigation of extracted DNA from dried blood spots is needed. Drug resistance mutations in proviral DNA in 26% of subjects with less than 50 copies/ml pose a risk for the transmission of drug resistant virus with virologic failure, treatment interruption or decreased adherence.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0117430
PMCID: PMC4311981  PMID: 25635815
4.  HIV diversity and drug resistance from plasma and non-plasma analytes in a large treatment programme in western Kenya 
Introduction
Antiretroviral resistance leads to treatment failure and resistance transmission. Resistance data in western Kenya are limited. Collection of non-plasma analytes may provide additional resistance information.
Methods
We assessed HIV diversity using the REGA tool, transmitted resistance by the WHO mutation list and acquired resistance upon first-line failure by the IAS–USA mutation list, at the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH), a major treatment programme in western Kenya. Plasma and four non-plasma analytes, dried blood-spots (DBS), dried plasma-spots (DPS), ViveSTTM-plasma (STP) and ViveST-blood (STB), were compared to identify diversity and evaluate sequence concordance.
Results
Among 122 patients, 62 were treatment-naïve and 60 treatment-experienced; 61% were female, median age 35 years, median CD4 182 cells/µL, median viral-load 4.6 log10 copies/mL. One hundred and ninety-six sequences were available for 107/122 (88%) patients, 58/62 (94%) treatment-naïve and 49/60 (82%) treated; 100/122 (82%) plasma, 37/78 (47%) attempted DBS, 16/45 (36%) attempted DPS, 14/44 (32%) attempted STP from fresh plasma and 23/34 (68%) from frozen plasma, and 5/42 (12%) attempted STB. Plasma and DBS genotyping success increased at higher VL and shorter shipment-to-genotyping time. Main subtypes were A (62%), D (15%) and C (6%). Transmitted resistance was found in 1.8% of plasma sequences, and 7% combining analytes. Plasma resistance mutations were identified in 91% of treated patients, 76% NRTI, 91% NNRTI; 76% dual-class; 60% with intermediate-high predicted resistance to future treatment options; with novel mutation co-occurrence patterns. Nearly 88% of plasma mutations were identified in DBS, 89% in DPS and 94% in STP. Of 23 discordant mutations, 92% in plasma and 60% in non-plasma analytes were mixtures. Mean whole-sequence discordance from frozen plasma reference was 1.1% for plasma-DBS, 1.2% plasma-DPS, 2.0% plasma-STP and 2.3% plasma-STB. Of 23 plasma-STP discordances, one mutation was identified in plasma and 22 in STP (p<0.05). Discordance was inversely significantly related to VL for DBS.
Conclusions
In a large treatment programme in western Kenya, we report high HIV-1 subtype diversity; low plasma transmitted resistance, increasing when multiple analytes were combined; and high-acquired resistance with unique mutation patterns. Resistance surveillance may be augmented by using non-plasma analytes for lower-cost genotyping in resource-limited settings.
doi:10.7448/IAS.17.1.19262
PMCID: PMC4238965  PMID: 25413893
HIV; drug resistance; subtype; diversity; Kenya; analyte; AMPATH
5.  Early virologic response to abacavir/lamivudine and tenofovir/emtricitabine during ACTG A5202 
HIV clinical trials  2013;14(6):284-291.
Background
ACTG A5202 randomized treatment-naive individuals to tenofovir-emtricitabine (TDF/FTC) or abacavir-lamivudine (ABC/3TC) combined with efavirenz (EFV) or atazanavir/ritonavir (ATV/r). Individuals in the high screening viral load (VL) stratum (≥100,000 copies/mL) had increased rates of virologic failure with ABC/3TC.
Objective
Compare regimen-specific early virologic response.
Methods
Using Wilcoxon rank-sum tests, we compared regimen-specific VL changes from entry to week 4 in A5202 subjects (n=1813) and from entry to week 1, 2 and 4 in a 179-patient substudy. We evaluated associations between week 4 VL change and time to virologic failure with Cox proportional-hazards models.
Results
TDF/FTC- and ABC/3TC produced similar Week 4 viral load declines in the entire study population and in the high VL stratum. EFV produced greater VL declines from baseline at week 4 than ATV/r (median −2.1 vs. −1.9 log10 copies/mL; p<0.001). In the substudy of subjects with week 1, 2 and 4 VL data, there was no difference in viral load decline in those randomized to TDF/FTC versus ABC/3TC, but EFV resulted in greater VL decline from entry at each of these timepoints than ATV/r. Smaller Week 4 viral load decline was associated with increased risk of virologic failure.
Conclusions
Within all treatment arms, a less robust week 4 virologic response was associated with higher risk for subsequent virologic failure. However, between-regimen differences in week 4 VL declines did not parallel the previously reported differences in longer term virologic efficacy in A5202, suggesting that between-regimen differences in responses were not due to intrinsic differences in antiviral activity.
doi:10.1310/hct1406-284
PMCID: PMC4060613  PMID: 24334181
Anti-HIV Agents; HIV Infections/drug therapy/*virology; Treatment Outcome
6.  Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor Resistance Mutations Associated with First-Line Stavudine-Containing Antiretroviral Therapy: Programmatic Implications for Countries Phasing Out Stavudine 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2013;207(Suppl 2):S70-S77.
Background
The World Health Organization Antiretroviral Treatment Guidelines recommend phasing-out stavudine because of its risk of long-term toxicity. There are two mutational pathways of stavudine resistance with different implications for zidovudine and tenofovir cross-resistance, the primary candidates for replacing stavudine. However, because resistance testing is rarely available in resource-limited settings, it is critical to identify the cross-resistance patterns associated with first-line stavudine failure.
Methods
We analyzed HIV-1 resistance mutations following first-line stavudine failure from 35 publications comprising 1,825 individuals. We also assessed the influence of concomitant nevirapine vs. efavirenz, therapy duration, and HIV-1 subtype on the proportions of mutations associated with zidovudine vs. tenofovir cross-resistance.
Results
Mutations with preferential zidovudine activity, K65R or K70E, occurred in 5.3% of individuals. Mutations with preferential tenofovir activity, ≥two thymidine analog mutations (TAMs) or Q151M, occurred in 22% of individuals. Nevirapine increased the risk of TAMs, K65R, and Q151M. Longer therapy increased the risk of TAMs and Q151M but not K65R. Subtype C and CRF01_AE increased the risk of K65R, but only CRF01_AE increased the risk of K65R without Q151M.
Conclusions
Regardless of concomitant nevirapine vs. efavirenz, therapy duration, or subtype, tenofovir was more likely than zidovudine to retain antiviral activity following first-line d4T therapy.
doi:10.1093/infdis/jit114
PMCID: PMC3657117  PMID: 23687292
HIV-1; drug resistance; mutations; nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor; NRTI; stavudine; d4T; zidovudine; AZT; tenofovir; TDF; subtypes
7.  An Affordable HIV-1 Drug Resistance Monitoring Method for Resource Limited Settings 
HIV-1 drug resistance has the potential to seriously compromise the effectiveness and impact of antiretroviral therapy (ART). As ART programs in sub-Saharan Africa continue to expand, individuals on ART should be closely monitored for the emergence of drug resistance. Surveillance of transmitted drug resistance to track transmission of viral strains already resistant to ART is also critical. Unfortunately, drug resistance testing is still not readily accessible in resource limited settings, because genotyping is expensive and requires sophisticated laboratory and data management infrastructure. An open access genotypic drug resistance monitoring method to manage individuals and assess transmitted drug resistance is described. The method uses free open source software for the interpretation of drug resistance patterns and the generation of individual patient reports. The genotyping protocol has an amplification rate of greater than 95% for plasma samples with a viral load >1,000 HIV-1 RNA copies/ml. The sensitivity decreases significantly for viral loads <1,000 HIV-1 RNA copies/ml. The method described here was validated against a method of HIV-1 drug resistance testing approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Viroseq genotyping method. Limitations of the method described here include the fact that it is not automated and that it also failed to amplify the circulating recombinant form CRF02_AG from a validation panel of samples, although it amplified subtypes A and B from the same panel.
doi:10.3791/51242
PMCID: PMC4024245  PMID: 24747156
Medicine; Issue 85; Biomedical Technology; HIV-1; HIV Infections; Viremia; Nucleic Acids; genetics; antiretroviral therapy; drug resistance; genotyping; affordable
8.  HIV-1 RNA Levels and Antiretroviral Drug Resistance in Blood and Non-Blood Compartments from HIV-1–Infected Men and Women enrolled in AIDS Clinical Trials Group Study A5077 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e93537.
Background
Detectable HIV-1 in body compartments can lead to transmission and antiretroviral resistance. Although sex differences in viral shedding have been demonstrated, mechanisms and magnitude are unclear. We compared RNA levels in blood, genital-secretions and saliva; and drug resistance in plasma and genital-secretions of men and women starting/changing antiretroviral therapy (ART) in the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) 5077 study.
Methods
Blood, saliva and genital-secretions (compartment fluids) were collected from HIV-infected adults (≥13 years) at 14 United-States sites, who were initiating or changing ART with plasma viral load (VL) ≥2,000 copies/mL. VL testing was performed on all compartment fluids and HIV resistance genotyping on plasma and genital-secretions. Spearman rank correlations were used to evaluate concordance and Fisher’s and McNemar’s exact tests to compare VL between sexes and among compartments.
Results
Samples were available for 143 subjects; 36% treated (23 men, 29 women) and 64% ‘untreated’ (40 men, 51 women). RNA detection was significantly more frequent in plasma (100%) than genital-secretions (57%) and saliva (64%) (P<0.001). A higher proportion of men had genital shedding versus women (78% versus 41%), and RNA detection was more frequent in saliva versus genital-secretions in women when adjusted for censoring at the limit of assay detection. Inter-compartment fluid VL concordance was low in both sexes. In 22 (13 men, 9 women) paired plasma-genital-secretion genotypes from treated subjects, most had detectable resistance in both plasma (77%) and genital-secretions (68%). Resistance discordance was observed between compartments in 14% of subjects.
Conclusions
HIV shedding and drug resistance detection prior to initiation/change of ART in ACTG 5077 subjects differed among tissues and between sexes, making the gold standard blood-plasma compartment assessment not fully representative of HIV at other tissue sites. Mechanisms of potential sex-dependent tissue compartmentalization should be further characterized to aid in optimizing treatment and prevention of HIV transmission.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00007488
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0093537
PMCID: PMC3974754  PMID: 24699474
9.  HIV-1 Amino Acid Changes Among Participants With Virologic Failure: Associations With First-line Efavirenz or Atazanavir Plus Ritonavir and Disease Status 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2012;206(12):1920-1930.
Background. Although specific human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) drug resistance mutations are well studied, little is known about cumulative amino acid changes, or how regimen and participant characteristics influence these changes.
Methods. In the AIDS Clinical Trials Group randomized study A5202 of treatment-naive HIV-infected participants, cumulative HIV-1 amino acid changes from pretreatment to virologic failure were evaluated in protease and reverse transcriptase (RT) gene sequences.
Results. Among 265 participants with virologic failure, those assigned atazanavir plus ritonavir (ATV/r) did not have significantly more protease changes compared with those assigned efavirenz (EFV) (P ≥ .13). In contrast, participants with virologic failure assigned EFV had more RT changes, including and excluding known resistance codons (P < .001). At pretreatment, lower CD4 cell count, major resistance, more amino acid mixtures (all P < .001), hepatitis C antibody negativity (P = .05), and black race/ethnicity (P = .02) were associated with more HIV-1 amino acid changes.
Conclusions. Virologic failure following EFV-containing treatment was associated with more HIV-1 amino acid changes compared to failure of ATV/r-containing treatment. Furthermore, we show that non–drug resistance mutations occurred more frequently among those failing EFV, the clinical relevance of which warrants further investigation. Pretreatment immunologic status may play a role in viral evolution during treatment, as evidenced by increased amino acid changes among those with lower pretreatment CD4 count.
Clinical Trials Registration. NCT00118898.
doi:10.1093/infdis/jis613
PMCID: PMC3502379  PMID: 23148287
10.  Genotypic HIV type-1 drug resistance among patients with immunological failure to first-line antiretroviral therapy in south India 
Antiviral therapy  2009;14(7):10.3851/IMP1411.
Background
HIV type-1 (HIV-1) monitoring in resource limited settings relies on clinical and immunological assessment. The objective of this study was to study the frequency and pattern of reverse transcriptase (RT) drug resistance among patients with immunological failure (IF) to first-line therapy.
Methods
A cross-sectional study of 228 patients with IF was done, of which 126 were drug-naive (group A) when starting highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and 102 were exposed to mono/dual therapy prior to HAART initiation (group B). A validated in-house genotyping method and Stanford interpretaion was used. Means, sd, median and frequencies (as percentages) were used to indicate the patient characteristics in each group. The χ2 test and Fisher's exact test were used to compare categorical variables as appropriate. All analyses were performed using SPSS software, version 13.0. P-values <0.05 were considered to be statistically significant.
Results
RT drug resistance mutations were found in 92% and 96% of patients in groups A and B, respectively. Median (interquartile range) CD4+ T–cell count at failure was 181cells/ml (18–999) and time to failure was 40 months (2–100). M184V (80% versus 75%), thymidine analogue mutations (63% versus 74%), Y181C (39% versus 39%) and K103N (29% versus 39%) were predominant RT mutations in both groups. Extensive nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor cross-resistance mutations were observed in 51% and 26%of patients in group B and A, respectively.
Conclusions
Alternative strategies for initial therapy and affordable viral load monitoring could reduce resistance accumulations and preserve available drugs for future options in resource-limited settings.
doi:10.3851/IMP1411
PMCID: PMC3816397  PMID: 19918105
11.  Prototypical Recombinant Multi-Protease-Inhibitor-Resistant Infectious Molecular Clones of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 
The many genetic manifestations of HIV-1 protease inhibitor (PI) resistance present challenges to research into the mechanisms of PI resistance and the assessment of new PIs. To address these challenges, we created a panel of recombinant multi-PI-resistant infectious molecular clones designed to represent the spectrum of clinically relevant multi-PI-resistant viruses. To assess the representativeness of this panel, we examined the sequences of the panel's viruses in the context of a correlation network of PI resistance amino acid substitutions in sequences from more than 10,000 patients. The panel of recombinant infectious molecular clones comprised 29 of 41 study-defined PI resistance amino acid substitutions and 23 of the 27 tightest amino acid substitution clusters. Based on their phenotypic properties, the clones were classified into four groups with increasing cross-resistance to the PIs most commonly used for salvage therapy: lopinavir (LPV), tipranavir (TPV), and darunavir (DRV). The panel of recombinant infectious molecular clones has been made available without restriction through the NIH AIDS Research and Reference Reagent Program. The public availability of the panel makes it possible to compare the inhibitory activities of different PIs with one another. The diversity of the panel and the high-level PI resistance of its clones suggest that investigational PIs active against the clones in this panel will retain antiviral activity against most if not all clinically relevant PI-resistant viruses.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00614-13
PMCID: PMC3754322  PMID: 23796938
12.  Capacity building and predictors of success for HIV-1 drug resistance testing in the Asia-Pacific region and Africa 
Background
The TREAT Asia Quality Assessment Scheme (TAQAS) was developed as a quality assessment programme through expert education and training, for laboratories in the Asia-Pacific and Africa that perform HIV drug-resistance (HIVDR) genotyping. We evaluated the programme performance and factors associated with high-quality HIVDR genotyping.
Methods
Laboratories used their standard protocols to test panels of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive plasma samples or electropherograms. Protocols were documented and performance was evaluated according to a newly developed scoring system, agreement with panel-specific consensus sequence, and detection of drug-resistance mutations (DRMs) and mixtures of wild-type and resistant virus (mixtures). High-quality performance was defined as detection of ≥95% DRMs.
Results
Over 4.5 years, 23 participating laboratories in 13 countries tested 45 samples (30 HIV-1 subtype B; 15 non-B subtypes) in nine panels. Median detection of DRMs was 88–98% in plasma panels and 90–97% in electropherogram panels. Laboratories were supported to amend and improve their test outcomes as appropriate. Three laboratories that detected <80% DRMs in early panels demonstrated subsequent improvement. Sample complexity factors – number of DRMs (p<0.001) and number of DRMs as mixtures (p<0.001); and laboratory performance factors – detection of mixtures (p<0.001) and agreement with consensus sequence (p<0.001), were associated with high performance; sample format (plasma or electropherogram), subtype and genotyping protocol were not.
Conclusion
High-quality HIVDR genotyping was achieved in the TAQAS collaborative laboratory network. Sample complexity and detection of mixtures were associated with performance quality. Laboratories conducting HIVDR genotyping are encouraged to participate in quality assessment programmes.
doi:10.7448/IAS.16.1.18580
PMCID: PMC3709369  PMID: 23845227
HIV; drug resistance; genotyping; quality assessment
13.  In Vitro HIV-1 Evolution in Response to Triple Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors & In Silico Phenotypic Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e61102.
Background
Effectiveness of ART regimens strongly depends upon complex interactions between the selective pressure of drugs and the evolution of mutations that allow or restrict drug resistance.
Methods
Four clinical isolates from NRTI-exposed, NNRTI-naive subjects were passaged in increasing concentrations of NVP in combination with 1 µM 3 TC and 2 µM ADV to assess selective pressures of multi-drug treatment. A novel parameter inference procedure, based on a stochastic viral growth model, was used to estimate phenotypic resistance and fitness from in vitro combination passage experiments.
Results
Newly developed mathematical methods estimated key phenotypic parameters of mutations arising through selective pressure exerted by 3 TC and NVP. Concentrations of 1 µM 3 TC maintained the M184V mutation, which was associated with intrinsic fitness deficits. Increasing NVP concentrations selected major NNRTI resistance mutations. The evolutionary pathway of NVP resistance was highly dependent on the viral genetic background, epistasis as well as stochasticity. Parameter estimation indicated that the previously unrecognized mutation L228Q was associated with NVP resistance in some isolates.
Conclusion
Serial passage of viruses in the presence of multiple drugs may resemble the selection of mutations observed among treated individuals and populations in vivo and indicate evolutionary preferences and restrictions. Phenotypic resistance estimated here “in silico” from in vitro passage experiments agreed well with previous knowledge, suggesting that the unique combination of “wet-” and “dry-lab” experimentation may improve our understanding of HIV-1 resistance evolution in the future.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0061102
PMCID: PMC3629221  PMID: 23613794
14.  Viremia and HIV-1 Drug Resistance Mutations Among Patients Receiving Second-Line Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy in Chennai, Southern India 
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.
doi:10.1093/cid/cir967
PMCID: PMC3571716  PMID: 22323567
15.  HIV disclosure patterns, predictors, and psychosocial correlates among HIV-positive women in Zimbabwe 
AIDS Care  2011;24(3):358-368.
Disclosure of positive HIV status in Sub-Saharan Africa has been associated with safer sexual practices and better antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence, but associations with psychosocial function are unclear. We examined patterns and psychosocial correlates of disclosure in a Zimbabwean community. Two hundred HIV positive women at different stages of initiating ART participated in a cross-sectional study examining actual disclosures, disclosure beliefs, perceived stigma, self-esteem, depression, and quality of life. Ninety-seven percent of the women disclosed to at least one person, 78% disclosed to their current husband/partner, with an average disclosure of 4.0 persons per woman. The majority (85–98%) of disclosures occurred in a positive manner and 72–95% of the individuals reacted positively. Factors significantly correlated with HIV disclosure to partners included being married, later age at menses, longer duration of HIV since diagnosis, being on ART, being more symptomatic at baseline, ever having used condoms, and greater number of partners in the last year. In multivariate analysis, being married and age at menses predicted disclosure to partners. Positive disclosure beliefs, but not the total number of disclosures, significantly correlated with lower perceived stigma (rho=0.44 for personalized subscale and rho=0.51 for public subscale, both p<0.0001), higher self-esteem (rho=0.15, p=0.04), and fewer depressive symptoms (rho=−0.14, p=0.05). In conclusion, disclosure of positive HIV status among Zimbabwean women is common and is frequently met with positive reactions. Moreover, positive disclosure beliefs correlate significantly with psychosocial measures, including lower perceived stigma, higher self-esteem, and lower depression.
doi:10.1080/09540121.2011.608786
PMCID: PMC3243809  PMID: 21902570
disclosure; stigma; depression; HIV; antiretroviral therapy; Zimbabwe; Sub-Saharan Africa
16.  Global analysis of sequence diversity within HIV-1 subtypes across geographic regions 
Future virology  2012;7(5):505-517.
Aims
HIV-1 sequence diversity can affect host immune responses and phenotypic characteristics such as antiretroviral drug resistance. Current HIV-1 sequence diversity classification uses phylogeny-based methods to identify subtypes and recombinants, which may overlook distinct subpopulations within subtypes. While local epidemic studies have characterized sequence-level clustering within subtypes using phylogeny, identification of new genotype – phenotype associations are based on mutational correlations at individual sequence positions. We perform a systematic, global analysis of position-specific pol gene sequence variation across geographic regions within HIV-1 subtypes to characterize subpopulation differences that may be missed by standard subtyping methods and sequence-level phylogenetic clustering analyses.
Materials & methods
Analysis was performed on a large, globally diverse, cross-sectional pol sequence dataset. Sequences were partitioned into subtypes and geographic subpopulations within subtypes. For each subtype, we identified positions that varied according to geography using VESPA (viral epidemiology signature pattern analysis) to identify sequence signature differences and a likelihood ratio test adjusted for multiple comparisons to characterize differences in amino acid (AA) frequencies, including minority mutations. Synonymous nonsynonymous analysis program (SNAP) was used to explore the role of evolutionary selection witihin subtype C.
Results
In 7693 protease (PR) and reverse transcriptase (RT) sequences from untreated patients in multiple geographic regions, 11 PR and 11 RT positions exhibited sequence signature differences within subtypes. Thirty six PR and 80 RT positions exhibited within-subtype geography-dependent differences in AA distributions, including minority mutations, at both conserved and variable loci. Among subtype C samples from India and South Africa, nine PR and nine RT positions had significantly different AA distributions, including one PR and five RT positions that differed in consensus AA between regions. A selection analysis of subtype C using SNAP demonstrated that estimated rates of nonsynonymous and synonymous mutations are consistent with the possibility of positive selection across geographic subpopulations within subtypes.
Conclusion
We characterized systematic genotypic pol differences across geographic regions within subtypes that are not captured by the subtyping nomenclature. Awareness of such differences may improve the interpretation of future studies determining the phenotypic consequences of genetic backgrounds.
doi:10.2217/fvl.12.37
PMCID: PMC3400699  PMID: 22822410
geography; HIV-1; pol gene sequences; protease; reverse transcriptase; subtyping
17.  Reverse Transcriptase (RT) Substitution at Codons 208 and 228 Among Treatment-experienced HIV-1 Subtype-C Infected Indian Patients Is Strongly Associated with Thymidine Analogue Mutations (TAMs) 
Summary
In HIV-1 subtype C infected populations in south India, we searched for novel mutations associated with failing antiretroviral therapy that included nucleoside reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitors. HIV-1 RT sequences were generated from treated and untreated groups and each nucleotide position was analysed with appropriate corrections for multiple testing. We found that nonsynonymous mutations at positions 208 and 228 were strongly associated with the presence of thymidine analogue mutations in the treated group, and were not present at all in the naïve group. The role of these substitutions on treatment outcomes and the evolution of drug resistance in HIV-1 subtype-C infected populations warrant further investigation.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e31823e2d2b
PMCID: PMC3259528  PMID: 22245718
HIV-1 Drug Resistance Mutation; HIV-1 Subtype C; HIV in India; Thymidine Analogue Mutation (TAMs); HIV-1 RT mutation at codon 208; 228; HIV Drug Resistance in India
18.  Antiviral Resistance and Correlates of Virologic Failure in the first Cohort of HIV-Infected Children Gaining Access to Structured Antiretroviral Therapy in Lima, Peru: A Cross-Sectional Analysis 
Background
The impact of extended use of ART in developing countries has been enormous. A thorough understanding of all factors contributing to the success of antiretroviral therapy is required. The current study aims to investigate the value of cross-sectional drug resistance monitoring using DNA and RNA oligonucleotide ligation assays (OLA) in treatment cohorts in low-resource settings. The study was conducted in the first cohort of children gaining access to structured ART in Peru.
Methods
Between 2002–5, 46 eligible children started the standard regimen of AZT, 3TC and NFV Patients had a median age of 5.6 years (range: 0.7-14y), a median viral load of 1.7·105 RNA/ml (range: 2.1·103 – 1.2·106), and a median CD4-count of 232 cells/μL (range: 1–1591). Of these, 20 patients were classified as CDC clinical category C and 31/46 as CDC immune category 3. At the time of cross-sectional analysis in 2005, adherence questionnaires were administered. DNA OLAs and RNA OLAs were performed from frozen PBMC and plasma, RNA genotyping from dried blood spots.
Results
During the first year of ART, 44% of children experienced virologic failure, with an additional 9% failing by the end of the second year. Virologic failure was significantly associated with the number of resistance mutations detected by DNA-OLA (p < 0.001) during cross-sectional analysis, but also with low immunologic CDC-scores at baseline (p < 0.001). Children who had been exposed to unsupervised short-term antiretrovirals before starting structured ART showed significantly higher numbers of resistance mutations by DNA-OLA (p = 0.01). Detection of M184V (3TC resistance) by RNA-OLA and DNA-OLA demonstrated a sensitivity of 0.93 and 0.86 and specificity of 0.67 and 0.7, respectively, for the identification of virologic failure. The RT mutations N88D and L90M (NFV resistance) detected by DNA-OLA correlated with virologic failure, whereas mutations at RT position 215 (AZT resistance) were not associated with virologic failure.
Conclusions
Advanced immunosuppression at baseline and previous exposures to unsupervised brief cycles of ART significantly impaired treatment outcomes at a time when structured ART was finally introduced in his cohort. Brief maternal exposures to with AZT +/− NVP for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission did not affect treatment outcomes in this group of children. DNA-OLA from frozen PBMC provided a highly specific tool to detect archived drug resistance. RNA consensus genotyping from dried blood spots and RNA-OLA from plasma consistently detected drug resistance mutations, but merely in association with virologic failure.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-1
PMCID: PMC3782360  PMID: 23280237
19.  Abacavir/Lamivudine Versus Tenofovir DF/Emtricitabine as Part of Combination Regimens for Initial Treatment of HIV: Final Results 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2011;204(8):1191-1201.
(See the editorial commentary by Hull and Montaner, on pages 1154–6.)
Background. AIDS Clinical Trials Group A5202 compared blinded abacavir/lamivudine (ABC/3TC) to tenofovir DF/emtricitabine (TDF/FTC) with efavirenz (EFV) or atazanavir/ritonavir (ATV/r) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected treatment-naive patients, stratified by screening HIV RNA (< or ≥105 copies/mL). Due to higher virologic failure with ABC/3TC in the high HIV RNA stratum, blinded treatment was stopped in this group, but study follow-up continued for all patients.
Methods. Primary endpoints were times to virologic failure, regimen modification, and safety event.
Results. In the low HIV RNA stratum, time to virologic failure was similar for ABC/3TC vs TDF/FTC with ATV/r (hazard ratio [HR] 1.25, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.76, 2.05) or EFV (HR 1.23, 95% CI 0.77, 1.96), with significantly shorter times to regimen modification for ABC/3TC with EFV or ATV/r and to safety events with EFV. Prior to stopping blinded treatment in the high stratum, higher virologic failure rates were seen with ABC/3TC with EFV (HR 2.46, 95% CI 1.20, 5.05) or ATV/r (HR 2.22, 95% CI 1.19, 4.14).
Conclusions. In the low HIV RNA stratum, times to virologic failure for ABC/3TC or TDF/FTC were not different with EFV or ATV/r. In the high stratum, virologic failure rate was significantly higher for ABC/3TC than for TDF/FTC when given with either EFV or ATV/r.
doi:10.1093/infdis/jir505
PMCID: PMC3173503  PMID: 21917892
20.  Comparing Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cell DNA and Circulating Plasma viral RNA pol Genotypes of Subtype C HIV-1 
Introduction
Drug resistance mutations (DRM) in viral RNA are important in defining to provide effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) in HIV-1 infected patients. Detection of DRM in peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) DNA is another source of information, although the clinical significance of DRMs in proviral DNA is less clear.
Materials and Methods
From 25 patients receiving ART at a center in Zimbabwe, 32 blood samples were collected. Dideoxy-sequencing of gag-pol identified subtype and resistance mutations from plasma viral RNA and proviral DNA. Drug resistance was estimated using the calibrated population resistance tool on www.hivdb.stanford.edu database. Numerical resistance scores were calculated for all antiretroviral drugs and for the subjects’ reported regimen. Phylogenetic analysis as maximum likelihood was performed to determine the evolutionary distance between sequences.
Results
Of the 25 patients, 4 patients (2 of which had given 2 blood samples) were not known to be on ART (NA) and had exclusively wild-type virus, 17 had received Protease inhibitors (PI), 18, non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTI) and 19, two or more nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI). Of the 17 with history of PI, 10 had PI mutations, 5 had minor differences between mutations in RNA and DNA. Eighteen samples had NNRTI mutations, six of which demonstrated some discordance between DNA and RNA mutations. Although NRTI resistance mutations were frequently different between analyses, mutations resulted in very similar estimated phenotypes as measured by resistance scores. The numerical resistance scores from RNA and DNA for PIs differed between 2/10, for NNRTIs between 8/18, and for NRTIs between 17/32 pairs. When calculated resistance scores were collapsed, 3 pairs showed discordance between RNA and DNA for at least one PI, 6 were discordant for at least one NNRTI and 11 for at least one NRTI. Regarding phylogenetic evolutionary analysis, all RNA and DNA sequence pairs clustered closely in a maximum likelihood tree.
Conclusion
PBMC DNA could be useful for testing drug resistance in conjunction with plasma RNA where the results of each yielded complementary information about drug resistance. Identification of DRM, archived in proviral DNA, could be used to provide for sustainable public health surveillance among subtype C infected patients.
PMCID: PMC3457662  PMID: 23019537
AIDS; Peripheral blood mononuclear cell; Viral RNA; pol sequence; HIV-1 subtype C; Antiretroviral therapy
21.  Lopinavir/ritonavir Monotherapy After Virologic Failure of First-line Antiretroviral Therapy in Resource-limited Settings 
AIDS (London, England)  2012;26(11):1345-1354.
Objective
To evaluate virologic response rates of lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) monotherapy as second-line antiretroviral treatment (ART) among adults in resource-limited settings (RLS).
Design
Open-label pilot study of LPV/r monotherapy in participants on first-line non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor 3-drug combination ART with plasma HIV-1 RNA 1000–200 000 copies/mL.
Methods
Participants were recruited from 5 sites in Africa and Asia within the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) network. All participants received LPV/r 400/100mg twice daily. The primary endpoint was remaining on LPV/r monotherapy without virologic failure (VF) at week 24. Participants with virologic failure were offered addition of emtricitabine and tenofovir (FTC/TDF) to LPV/r.
Results
Mutations associated with drug resistance were encountered in nearly all individuals screened for the study. One hundred and twenty-three participants were enrolled, and 122 completed 24 weeks on study. A high proportion remained on LPV/r monotherapy without VF at 24 weeks (87%). Archived samples with HIV-1 RNA levels < 400 at week 24 (n = 102) underwent ultrasensitive assay. Of these subjects, 62 had levels < 40 copies/mL and 30 had levels 40–200. Fifteen subjects experienced VF, among whom 11 had resistance assessed, and 2 had emergent protease inhibitor mutations. The presence of baseline thymidine analogue mutations and K65R predicted a lower VF rate. Thirteen subjects with VF added FTC/TDF, and 1 subject added FTC/ TDF without VF. At study week 48, 11/14 adding FTC/TDF had HIV-1 RNA levels < 400 copies/mL.
Conclusions
In this pilot study conducted in diverse RLS, LPV/r monotherapy as second-line ART demonstrated promising activity.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e328353b066
PMCID: PMC3443745  PMID: 22441252
22.  Atazanavir Plus Ritonavir or Efavirenz as Part of a 3-Drug Regimen for Initial Treatment of HIV-1 
Annals of internal medicine  2011;154(7):445-456.
Background
Limited data compare once-daily options for initial therapy for HIV-1.
Objective
To compare time to virologic failure; first grade-3 or -4 sign, symptom, or laboratory abnormality (safety); and change or discontinuation of regimen (tolerability) for atazanavir plus ritonavir with efavirenz-containing initial therapy for HIV-1.
Design
A randomized equivalence trial accrued from September 2005 to November 2007, with median follow-up of 138 weeks. Regimens were assigned by using a central computer, stratified by screening HIV-1 RNA level less than 100 000 copies/mL or 100 000 copies/mL or greater; blinding was known only to the site pharmacist. (ClinicalTrials.gov registration number: NCT00118898)
Setting
59 AIDS Clinical Trials Group sites in the United States and Puerto Rico.
Patients
Antiretroviral-naive patients.
Intervention
Open-label atazanavir plus ritonavir or efavirenz, each given with with placebo-controlled abacavir–lamivudine or tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (DF)–emtricitabine.
Measurements
Primary outcomes were time to virologic failure, safety, and tolerability events. Secondary end points included proportion of patients with HIV-1 RNA level less than 50 copies/mL, emergence of drug resistance, changes in CD4 cell counts, calculated creatinine clearance, and lipid levels.
Results
463 eligible patients were randomly assigned to receive atazanavir plus ritonavir and 465 were assigned to receive efavirenz, both with abacavir–lamivudine; 322 (70%) and 324 (70%), respectively, completed follow-up. The respective numbers of participants in each group who received tenofovir DF–emtricitabine were 465 and 464; 342 (74%) and 343 (74%) completed follow-up. Primary efficacy was similar in the group that received atazanavir plus ritonavir and and the group that received efavirenz and did not differ according to whether abacavir–lamivudine or tenofovir DF–emtricitabine was also given. Hazard ratios for time to virologic failure were 1.13 (95% CI, 0.82 to 1.56) and 1.01 (CI, 0.70 to 1.46), respectively, although CIs did not meet prespecified criteria for equivalence. The time to safety (P = 0.048) and tolerability (P < 0.001) events was longer in persons given atazanavir plus ritonavir than in those given efavirenz with abacavir–lamivudine but not with tenofovir DF–emtricitabine.
Limitations
Neither HLA-B*5701 nor resistance testing was the standard of care when A5202 enrolled patients. The third drugs, atazanavir plus ritonavir and efavirenz, were open-label; the nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors were prematurely unblinded in the high viral load stratum; and 32% of patients modified or discontinued treatment with their third drug.
Conclusion
Atazanavir plus ritonavir and efavirenz have similar antiviral activity when used with abacavir–lamivudine or tenofovir DF–emtricitabine.
Primary Funding Source
National Institutes of Health.
doi:10.1059/0003-4819-154-7-201104050-00316
PMCID: PMC3430716  PMID: 21320923
23.  Unusual five amino acid insert within subtype C HIV-1 envelope contributes to dual-tropism (X4R5) 
AIDS (London, England)  2010;24(7):1063-1064.
During the course of HIV infection, some HIV-1 viruses switch from using the CCR5 (R5) coreceptor to using CXCR4 (X4). Here, we describe two subtype C isolates from a Zimbabwean patient that switched from using R5 to using both R5 and X4 with an accompanying addition of five amino acids to the V3 loop region of envelope. The insert appears to be derived from the human genome rather than a duplication within HIV-1.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e328331f717
PMCID: PMC3428204  PMID: 20299967
24.  Placental Malaria and Mother-to-Child Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 in Rural Rwanda 
We conducted a nested case-control study of placental malaria (PM) and mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) within a prospective cohort of 627 mother-infant pairs followed from October 1989 until April 1994 in rural Rwanda. Sixty stored placentas were examined for PM and other placental pathology, comparing 20 HIV-infected mother-infant (perinatal transmitter) pairs, 20 HIV-uninfected pairs, and 20 HIV-infected mothers who did not transmit to their infant perinatally. Of 60 placentas examined, 45% showed evidence of PM. Placental malaria was associated with increased risk of MTCT of HIV-1 (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 6.3; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.4–29.1), especially among primigravidae (aOR = 12.0; 95% CI = 1.0–150; P < 0.05). Before antiretroviral therapy or prophylaxis, PM was associated with early infant HIV infection among rural Rwandan women living in a hyper-endemic malaria region. Primigravidae, among whom malaria tends to be most severe, may be at higher risk.
doi:10.4269/ajtmh.2011.10-0589
PMCID: PMC3144813  PMID: 21813835
25.  Panel of Prototypical Recombinant Infectious Molecular Clones Resistant to Nevirapine, Efavirenz, Etravirine, and Rilpivirine 
We created a panel of 10 representative multi-nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI)-resistant recombinant infectious molecular HIV-1 clones to assist researchers studying NNRTI resistance or developing novel NNRTIs. The cloned viruses contain most of the major NNRTI resistance mutations and most of the significantly associated mutation pairs that we identified in two network analyses. Each virus in the panel has intermediate- or high-level resistance to all or three of the four most commonly used NNRTIs.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00648-12
PMCID: PMC3421573  PMID: 22664973

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