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1.  Coinfection with Human Herpesvirus 8 Is Associated with Persistent Inflammation and Immune Activation in Virologically Suppressed HIV-Infected Patients 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e105442.
Objectives
Infection with co-pathogens is one of the postulated factors contributing to persistent inflammation and non-AIDS events in virologically-suppressed HIV-infected patients. We aimed to investigate the relationship of human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8), a vasculotropic virus implicated in the pathogenesis of Kaposi's sarcoma, with inflammation and subclinical atherosclerosis in HIV-infected patients.
Methods
Prospective study including virologically suppressed HIV-infected patients. Several blood biomarkers (highly-sensitive C-reactive protein [hsCRP], tumour necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1, malondialdehyde, plasminogen activator inhibitor [PAI-1], D-dimer, sCD14, sCD163, CD4/CD38/HLA-DR, and CD8/CD38/HLA-DR), serological tests for HHV-8 and the majority of herpesviruses, carotid intima-media thickness, and endothelial function through flow-mediated dilatation of the brachial artery were measured.
Results
A total of 136 patients were included, 34.6% of them infected with HHV-8. HHV-8-infected patients were more frequently co-infected with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) (P<0.001), and less frequently with hepatitis C virus (HCV) (P = 0.045), and tended to be older (P = 0.086). HHV-8-infected patients had higher levels of hsCRP (median [interquartile range], 3.63 [1.32–7.54] vs 2.08 [0.89–4.11] mg/L, P = 0.009), CD4/CD38/HLA-DR (7.67% [4.10–11.86]% vs 3.86% [2.51–7.42]%, P = 0.035) and CD8/CD38/HLA-DR (8.02% [4.98–14.09]% vs 5.02% [3.66–6.96]%, P = 0.018). After adjustment for the traditional cardiovascular risk factors, HCV and HSV-2 infection, the associations remained significant: adjusted difference between HHV-8 positive and negative patients (95% confidence interval) for hsCRP, 74.19% (16.65–160.13)%; for CD4/CD38/HLA-DR, 89.65% (14.34–214.87)%; and for CD8/CD38/HLA-DR, 58.41% (12.30–123.22)%. Flow-mediated dilatation and total carotid intima-media thickness were not different according to HHV-8 serostatus.
Conclusion
In virologically suppressed HIV-infected patients, coinfection with HHV-8 is associated with increased inflammation and immune activation. This might contribute to increase the risk of non-AIDS events, including accelerated atherosclerotic disease.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0105442
PMCID: PMC4136871  PMID: 25133669
2.  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
3.  Contribution of Interferon gamma release assays testing to the diagnosis of latent tuberculosis infection in HIV-infected patients: A comparison of QuantiFERON-TB Gold In Tube, T-SPOT.TB and tuberculin skin test 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:169.
Background
Diagnosis and treatment of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) is the most effective strategy to control tuberculosis (TB) among patients with HIV infection. The tuberculin skin test (TST) was the only available method to identify LTBI. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the usefulness of the interferon-gamma release assays (IGRAs): QuantiFERON-tuberculosis (TB) Gold-In-Tube test (QFG) and T-SPOT.TB for the diagnosis of LTBI in a diverse cohort of HIV-infected patients.
Methods
A prospective study was carried out in consecutive patients cared for in a single institution in Spain from January 2009 to October 2010. IGRAs and TST were performed simultaneously. TST induration ≥ 5 mm was considered positive.
Results
QFG, T-SPOT.TB and TST were performed in 373 subjects. Median CD4 cell count was 470/μl with a median nadir of 150/μl. TST, QFG and T-SPOT.TB were positive in 13.3%, 7.5% and 18.5% cases respectively. Among 277 patients with neither past or current TB nor previous treatment for LTBI and who had TST results, a positive TST result was obtained in 20 (7.2%) cases. When adding QFG results to TST, there were a total of 26 (8.6%) diagnoses of LTBI. When the results of both IGRAs were added, the number of diagnoses increased to 54 (17.9%) (incremental difference: 10.7% [95% confidence interval [CI]:5.3-16.2%] [p < 0.001]), and when both IGRAs were added, the number of diagnoses reached 56 (18.5%) (incremental difference: 11.3% [95% CI:5.7%–16.9%] [p < 0.001]). Patients with a CD4 cell count greater than 500 cells/μl and prior stay in prison were more likely to have a diagnosis of LTBI by TST and/or QFG and/or T-SPOT.TB (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 3.8; 95% CI, 1.4 – 9.9; and aOR: 3.3; 95% CI, 1.3 – 8.3, respectively).
Conclusions
IGRAs were more sensitive than TST for diagnosis of M. tuberculosis infection in HIV-infected patients. Dual sequential testing with TST and IGRAs may be the optimal approach for LTBI screening in this population.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-169
PMCID: PMC3482589  PMID: 22849726
4.  Evaluation of endothelial function and subclinical atherosclerosis in association with hepatitis C virus in HIV-infected patients: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2011;11:265.
Background
Relationship of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in HIV-infected patients remains controversial. We evaluated endothelial function and subclinical atherosclerosis in HIV-infected patients with and without HCV.
Methods
Flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) of the brachial artery and circulating levels of cell adhesion molecules (CAM) were measured in HCV/HIV-coinfected and HIV-monoinfected patients. Subclinical atherosclerosis was assessed by carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT).
Results
63 (31%) HCV/HIV-coinfected and 138 (69%) HIV-monoinfected patients were included. Median soluble vascular CAM-1 (sVCAM-1) and intercellular CAM-1 (sICAM-1) levels were significantly higher in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients (P < 0.001 for both cases). Median (interquartile range) FMD was 6.21% (2.86-9.62) in HCV/HIV-coinfected and 5.54% (2.13-9.13) in HIV-monoinfected patients (P = 0.37). Adjustment for variables associated with HCV and FMD disclosed similar results. FMD correlated inversely with cIMT and age. Carotid IMT did not differ between HCV/HIV-coinfected and HIV-monoinfected patients in unadjusted (0.61 [0.55-0.65] mm vs 0.60 [0.53-0.72] mm; P = 0.39) or adjusted analyses.
Conclusion
HCV infection was associated with higher levels of sICAM-1 and sVCAM-1, but no evidence of increased subclinical atherosclerosis was found when endothelial function was evaluated through FMD, or when assessing the cIMT.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-265
PMCID: PMC3198698  PMID: 21967471
5.  Performance of Genotypic Algorithms for Predicting HIV-1 Tropism Measured against the Enhanced-Sensitivity Trofile Coreceptor Tropism Assay ▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2010;48(11):4135-4139.
The objectives of this study were to assess the performance of genotypic algorithms for predicting CXCR4-using virus, with enhanced sensitivity Trofile HIV coreceptor tropism assay (ES Trofile) as the reference, and to compare the concordance/accuracy of genotypic tests with ES Trofile and with the original Trofile assay. Paired phenotypic and genotypic determinations of HIV-1 coreceptor usage were compared in plasma samples from HIV-1-infected patients. Sequencing of the third hypervariable (V3) loop of the viral gene and phenotypic assays were performed for each sample. Genotypic rules used to predict tropism were Geno2pheno (false-positive rate at 1 to 20%), position-specific scoring matrix X4R5 (PSSMX4R5) and PSSMsinsi (where “sinsi” stands for syncytium inducing and non-syncytium inducing), and the 11/25, 11/24/25, and net charge rules. Two hundred forty-four phenotypic and genotypic samples were tested. Coreceptor usage was obtained from ES Trofile for 145 (59%) samples and from Trofile for 99 (41%) samples. The highest concordance (82.6%) was obtained with PSSMX4R5 when ES Trofile was used as the reference. Geno2pheno at a 20% false-positive rate showed the highest sensitivity (76.7%) for CXCR4-using virus detection with ES Trofile. Samples from naïve subjects and those with CD4 cell counts between 200 and 500 cells/mm3 showed the best predictive performance. Overall, the accuracy of the bioinformatics tools to detect CXCR4-using virus was similar for ES Trofile and Trofile; however, the negative predictive values for genotypic tools with ES Trofile were slightly higher than they were with Trofile. The accuracy of genotypic algorithms for detecting CXCR4-using viruses is high when using ES Trofile as the reference. Results are similar to those obtained with Trofile. The concordance with ES Trofile is better with higher CD4 cell counts and nonexposure to antiretroviral therapy.
doi:10.1128/JCM.01204-10
PMCID: PMC3020874  PMID: 20861336

Results 1-5 (5)