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1.  Use of the heteroduplex mobility assay and cell sorting to select genome sequences of the CCR5 gene in HEK 293T cells edited by transcription activator-like effector nucleases 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2013;37(1):120-126.
Engineered nucleases such as zinc finger nucleases (ZFN) and transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALEN) are one of the most promising tools for modifying genomes. These site-specific enzymes cause double-strand breaks that allow gene disruption or gene insertion, thereby facilitating genetic manipulation. The major problem associated with this approach is the labor-intensive procedures required to screen and confirm the cellular modification by nucleases. In this work, we produced a TALEN that targets the human CCR5 gene and developed a heteroduplex mobility assay for HEK 293T cells to select positive colonies for sequencing. This approach provides a useful tool for the quick detection and easy assessment of nuclease activity.
PMCID: PMC3958318
CCR5; genome editing; gene knockout; TALEN; HMA
2.  Synthetic 1,4-Pyran Naphthoquinones Are Potent Inhibitors of Dengue Virus Replication 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82504.
Dengue virus infection is a serious public health problem in endemic areas of the world where 2.5 billion people live. Clinical manifestations of the Dengue infection range from a mild fever to fatal cases of hemorrhagic fever. Although being the most rapidly spreading mosquito-borne viral infection in the world, until now no strategies are available for effective prevention or control of Dengue infection. In this scenario, the development of compounds that specifically inhibit viral replication with minimal effects to the human hosts will have a substantial effect in minimizing the symptoms of the disease and help to prevent viral transmission in the affected population. The aim of this study was to screen compounds with potential activity against dengue virus from a library of synthetic naphthoquinones. Several 1,2- and 1,4-pyran naphthoquinones were synthesized by a three-component reaction of lawsone, aldehyde (formaldehyde or arylaldehydes) and different dienophiles adequately substituted. These compounds were tested for the ability to inhibit the ATPase activity of the viral NS3 enzyme in in vitro assays and the replication of dengue virus in cultured cells. We have identified two 1,4-pyran naphthoquinones, which inhibited dengue virus replication in mammal cells by 99.0% and three others that reduced the dengue virus ATPase activity of NS3 by two-fold in in vitro assays.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082504
PMCID: PMC3869945  PMID: 24376541
3.  Genetic Diversity and Naturally Polymorphisms in HIV Type 1 Integrase Isolates from Maputo, Mozambique: Implications for Integrase Inhibitors 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2012;28(12):1788-1792.
Abstract
HIV proviral DNA integration into the host chromosome is carried out by integrase becoming an important target antiretroviral therapy. Raltegravir was the first integrase inhibitor approved for use in HIV therapy and elvitegravir is in the late phase of clinical development; both show good results in monotherapy studies and may be used worldwide for rescue therapy. In this work we analyzed 57 integrase sequences obtained from samples from drug-naive and first line regime-failing patients from Maputo, Mozambique, to evaluate the presence of natural polymorphisms and resistance mutations associated with raltegravir and elvitegravir. No major mutations conferring resistance to integrase inhibitors were found and polymorphic accessory mutations were solely observed in low frequency among subtype C sequences—L74M (3.4%), T97A (1.8%), and E157Q (1.8%)—suggesting that this new antiretroviral drug class will be effective in Mozambique providing a good perspective to the introduction of this class of drugs in that country.
doi:10.1089/aid.2012.0058
PMCID: PMC3505052  PMID: 22497664
4.  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.
doi:10.1093/infdis/jis359
PMCID: PMC3490696  PMID: 22615315
5.  Evolution of Primary HIV Drug Resistance in a Subtype C Dominated Epidemic in Mozambique 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e68213.
Objective
In Mozambique, highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART) was introduced in 2004 followed by decentralization and expansion, resulting in a more than 20-fold increase in coverage by 2009. Implementation of HIV drug resistance threshold surveys (HIVDR-TS) is crucial in order to monitor the emergence of transmitted viral resistance, and to produce evidence-based recommendations to support antiretroviral (ARV) policy in Mozambique.
Methods
World Health Organization (WHO) methodology was used to evaluate transmitted drug resistance (TDR) in newly diagnosed HIV-1 infected pregnant women attending ante-natal clinics in Maputo and Beira to non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTI), nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI) and protease inhibitors (PI). Subtypes were assigned using REGA HIV-1 subtyping tool and phylogenetic trees constructed using MEGA version 5.
Results
Although mutations associated with resistance to all three drug were detected in these surveys, transmitted resistance was analyzed and classified as <5% in Maputo in both surveys for all three drug classes. Transmitted resistance to NNRTI in Beira in 2009 was classified between 5–15%, an increase from 2007 when no NNRTI mutations were found. All sequences clustered with subtype C.
Conclusions
Our results show that the epidemic is dominated by subtype C, where the first-line option based on two NRTI and one NNRTI is still effective for treatment of HIV infection, but intermediate levels of TDR found in Beira reinforce the need for constant evaluation with continuing treatment expansion in Mozambique.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0068213
PMCID: PMC3728366  PMID: 23935858
6.  Dynamics of resistance mutations to NS3 protease inhibitors in a cohort of Brazilian patients chronically infected with hepatitis C virus (genotype 1) treated with pegylated interferon and ribavirin: a prospective longitudinal study 
Virology Journal  2013;10:57.
Abstract
About sixty thousand new cases of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection are recorded in Brazil each year. These cases are currently treated with pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin (RBV) with an overall success rate of 50%. New compounds for anti-HCV therapy targeted to the HCV NS3 protease are being developed and some already form the components of licensed therapies. Mapping NS3 protease resistance mutations to protease inhibitors or anti-viral drug candidates is important to direct anti-HCV drug treatment.
Methods
Sequence analysis of the HCV NS3 protease was conducted in a group of 68 chronically infected patients harboring the HCV genotype 1. The patients were sampled before, during and after a course of PEG-IFN-RBV treatment.
Results
Resistance mutations to the protease inhibitors, Boceprevir and Telaprevir were identified in HCV isolated from three patients (4.4%); the viral sequences contained at least one of the following mutations: V36L, T54S and V55A. In one sustained virological responder, the T54S mutation appeared during the course of PEG-IFN and RBV therapy. In contrast, V36L and V55A mutations were identified in virus isolated from one relapsing patient before, during, and after treatment, whereas the T54S mutation was identified in virus isolated from one non-responding patient, before and during the treatment course.
Conclusions
The incidence and persistence of protease resistance mutations occurring in HCV from chronically infected patients in Brazil should be considered when using protease inhibitors to treat HCV disease. In addition, patients treated with the current therapy (PEG-IFN and RBV) that are relapsing or are non-responders should be considered candidates for protease inhibitor therapy.
doi:10.1186/1743-422X-10-57
PMCID: PMC3599441  PMID: 23409973
HCV NS3 protease; Drug resistance persistency; Selection pressure; Antiviral drugs; Chronic Hepatitis C infection
7.  Differential In Vitro Kinetics of Drug Resistance Mutation Acquisition in HIV-1 RT of Subtypes B and C 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e46622.
Background
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).
Conclusions/Significance
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.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0046622
PMCID: PMC3463560  PMID: 23056372
8.  Natural transmission of feline immunodeficiency virus from infected queen to kitten 
Virology Journal  2012;9:99.
Background
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a naturally occurring lentivirus that infects cats. The primary mode of transmission occurs through bite wounds, and other routes are difficult to observe in nature.
Findings
The purpose of this study was to evaluate FIV transmission from queen to kitten in a colony of naturally infected stray cats. With this aim, a queen was monitored over a period of three years. A blood sample was taken to amplify and sequence gag, pol and env regions of the virus from the queen, two kittens and other cats from the colony.
Conclusion
Phylogenetic analysis showed evidence of queen to kitten transmission.
doi:10.1186/1743-422X-9-99
PMCID: PMC3439265  PMID: 22632459
Vertical transmission; FIV; Stray cats
9.  Frequency of human immunodeficiency virus type-2 in hiv infected patients in Maputo City, Mozambique 
Virology Journal  2011;8:408.
The HIV/AIDS pandemic is primarily caused by HIV-1. Another virus type, HIV-2, is found mainly in West African countries. We hypothesized that population migration and mobility in Africa may have facilitated the introduction and spreading of HIV-2 in Mozambique. The presence of HIV-2 has important implications for diagnosis and choice of treatment of HIV infection. Hence, the aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of HIV-2 infection and its genotype in Maputo, Mozambique.
HIV-infected individuals (N = 1,200) were consecutively enrolled and screened for IgG antibodies against HIV-1 gp41 and HIV-2 gp36 using peptide-based enzyme immunoassays (pepEIA). Specimens showing reactivity on the HIV-2 pepEIA were further tested using the INNO-LIA immunoblot assay and HIV-2 PCR targeting RT and PR genes. Subtype analysis of HIV-2 was based on the protease gene.
After screening with HIV-2 pepEIA 1,168 were non-reactive and 32 were reactive to HIV-2 gp36 peptide. Of this total, 30 specimens were simultaneously reactive to gp41 and gp36 pepEIA while two samples reacted solely to gp36 peptide. Only three specimens containing antibodies against gp36 and gp105 on the INNO-LIA immunoblot assay were found to be positive by PCR to HIV-2 subtype A.
The proportion of HIV-2 in Maputo City was 0.25% (90%CI 0.01-0.49). The HIV epidemic in Southern Mozambique is driven by HIV-1, with HIV-2 also circulating at a marginal rate. Surveillance program need to improve HIV-2 diagnosis and consider periodical survey aiming to monitor HIV-2 prevalence in the country.
doi:10.1186/1743-422X-8-408
PMCID: PMC3179751  PMID: 21849066
HIV-2; laboratory diagnosis; sub-Saharan Africa; Mozambique
10.  Interactions between SIVNef, SIVGagPol and Alix correlate with viral replication and progression to AIDS in rhesus macaques 
Virology  2009;394(1):47-56.
Infection with Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) leads to high viral loads and progression to Simian AIDS (SAIDS) in rhesus macaques. The viral accessory protein Nef is required for this phenotype in monkeys as well as in HIV-infected humans. Previously, we determined that HIVNef binds HIVGagPol and Alix for optimal viral replication in cells. In this study, we demonstrated that these interactions could correlate with high viral loads leading to SAIDS in the infected host. By infecting rhesus macaques with a mutant SIVmac239, where sequences in the nef gene that are required for these interactions were mutated, we observed robust viral replication and disease in two out of four monkeys, where they reverted to the wild type genotype and phenotype. These two rhesus macaques also died of SAIDS. Two other monkeys did not progress to disease and continued to harbor mutant nef sequences. We conclude that interactions between Nef, GagPol and Alix contribute to optimal viral replication and progression to disease in the infected host.
doi:10.1016/j.virol.2009.08.024
PMCID: PMC2767429  PMID: 19748111
SIV; HIV; Nef; monkey infection; pathogenesis; disease progression; GagPol; Alix
11.  Two Lineages of Dengue Virus Type 2, Brazil 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2010;16(3):576-578.
doi:10.3201/eid1603.090996
PMCID: PMC3322019  PMID: 20202456
Dengue viruses; DENV-2; vector-borne; infections; outbreak; viruses; dengue; Brazil; letter
12.  Brazilian Network for HIV Drug Resistance Surveillance: a survey of individuals recently diagnosed with HIV 
Use of antiretrovirals is widespread in Brazil, where more than 200,000 individuals are under treatment. Although general prevalence of primary antiretroviral resistance in Brazil is low, systematic sampling in large metropolitan areas has not being performed.
The HIV Threshold Survey methodology (HIV-THS, WHO) was utilized, targeting Brazil's four major regions and selecting the six most populated state capitals: Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Porto Alegre, Brasilia and Belem. We were able to sequence samples from 210 individuals with recent HIV diagnosis, 17 of them (8.1%) carrying HIV isolates with primary antiretroviral resistance mutations. Five, nine and four isolates showed mutations related to resistance to nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) and protease inhibitors (PIs), respectively. Using HIV-THS, we could find an intermediate level of transmitted resistance (5% to 15%) in Belem/Brasilia, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Lower level of transmitted resistance (<5%) were observed in the other areas. Despite the extensive antiretroviral exposure and high rates of virologic antiretroviral failure in Brazil, the general prevalence of primary resistance is still low. However, an intermediate level of primary resistance was found in the four major Brazilian cities, confirming the critical need to start larger sampling surveys to better define the risk factors associated with transmission of resistant HIV.
doi:10.1186/1758-2652-12-20
PMCID: PMC2759910  PMID: 19765271
13.  Differential Drug Resistance Acquisition in HIV-1 of Subtypes B and C 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(8):e730.
Background
Subtype C is the most prevalent HIV-1 subtype in the world, mainly in countries with the highest HIV prevalence. However, few studies have evaluated the impact of antiretroviral therapy on this subtype. In southern Brazil, the first developing country to offer free and universal treatment, subtypes B and C co-circulate with equal prevalence, allowing for an extensive evaluation of this issue.
Methods and Findings
Viral RNA of 160 HIV-1+ patients was extracted, and the protease and reverse transcriptase genes were sequenced, subtyped and analyzed for ARV mutations. Sequences were grouped by subtype, and matched to type (PI, NRTI and NNRTI) and time of ARV exposure. Statistical analyses were performed to compare differences in the frequency of ARV-associated mutations. There were no significant differences in time of treatment between subtypes B and C groups, although they showed distinct proportions of resistant strains at different intervals for two of three ARV classes. For PI, 26% of subtype B strains were resistant, compared to only 8% in subtype C (p = 0.0288, Fisher's exact test). For NRTI, 54% of subtype B strains were resistant versus 23% of subtype C (p = 0.0012). Differences were significant from 4 years of exposure, and remained so until the last time point analyzed. The differences observed between both subtypes were independent of time under rebound viremia in cases of virologic failure and of the number of HAART regimens used by treated patients.
Conclusions
Our results pointed out to a lower rate of accumulation of mutations conferring resistance to ARV in subtype C than in subtype B. These findings are of crucial importance for current initiatives of ARV therapy roll-out in developing countries, where subtype is C prevalent.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000730
PMCID: PMC1939879  PMID: 17710130
14.  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.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00749-06
PMCID: PMC1797782  PMID: 17116672
15.  Interactions between Nef and AIP1 proliferate multivesicular bodies and facilitate egress of HIV-1 
Retrovirology  2006;3:33.
Background
Nef is an accessory protein of primate lentiviruses, HIV-1, HIV-2 and SIV. Besides removing CD4 and MHC class I from the surface and activating cellular signaling cascades, Nef also binds GagPol during late stages of the viral replicative cycle. In this report, we investigated further the ability of Nef to facilitate the replication of HIV-1.
Results
To this end, first the release of new viral particles was much lower in the absence of Nef in a T cell line. Since the same results were obtained in the absence of the viral envelope using pseudo-typed viruses, this phenomenon was independent of CD4 and enhanced infectivity. Next, we found that Nef not only possesses a consensus motif for but also binds AIP1 in vitro and in vivo. AIP1 is the critical intermediate in the formation of multivesicular bodies (MVBs), which play an important role in the budding and release of viruses from infected cells. Indeed, Nef proliferated MVBs in cells, but only when its AIP1-binding site was intact. Finally, these functions of Nef were reproduced in primary macrophages, where the wild type but not mutant Nef proteins led to increased release of new viral particles from infected cells.
Conclusion
We conclude that by binding GagPol and AIP1, Nef not only proliferates MVBs but also contributes to the egress of viral particles from infected cells.
doi:10.1186/1742-4690-3-33
PMCID: PMC1526754  PMID: 16764724
16.  Discordances between Interpretation Algorithms for Genotypic Resistance to Protease and Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Are Subtype Dependent 
The major limitation of drug resistance genotyping for human immunodeficiency virus remains the interpretation of the results. We evaluated the concordance in predicting therapy response between four different interpretation algorithms (Rega 6.3, HIVDB-08/04, ANRS [07/04], and VGI 8.0). Sequences were gathered through a worldwide effort to establish a database of non-B subtype sequences, and demographic and clinical information about the patients was gathered. The most concordant results were found for nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitors (93%), followed by protease inhibitors (84%) and nucleoside RT inhibitor (NRTIs) (76%). For therapy-naive patients, for nelfinavir, especially for subtypes C and G, the discordances were driven mainly by the protease (PRO) mutational pattern 82I/V + 63P + 36I/V for subtype C and 82I + 63P + 36I + 20I for subtype G. Subtype F displayed more discordances for ritonavir in untreated patients due to the combined presence of PRO 20R and 10I/V. In therapy-experienced patients, subtype G displayed a lot of discordances for saquinavir and indinavir due to mutational patterns involving PRO 90 M and 82I. Subtype F had more discordance for nelfinavir attributable to the presence of PRO 88S and 82A + 54V. For the NRTIs lamivudine and emtricitabine, CRF01_AE had more discordances than subtype B due to the presence of RT mutational patterns 65R + 115 M and 118I + 215Y, respectively. Overall, the different algorithms agreed well on the level of resistance scored, but some of the discordances could be attributed to specific (subtype-dependent) combinations of mutations. It is not yet known whether therapy response is subtype dependent, but the advice given to clinicians based on a genotypic interpretation algorithm differs according to the subtype.
doi:10.1128/AAC.50.2.694-701.2006
PMCID: PMC1366873  PMID: 16436728
17.  Impact of HIV-1 Subtype and Antiretroviral Therapy on Protease and Reverse Transcriptase Genotype: Results of a Global Collaboration 
PLoS Medicine  2005;2(4):e112.
Background
The genetic differences among HIV-1 subtypes may be critical to clinical management and drug resistance surveillance as antiretroviral treatment is expanded to regions of the world where diverse non-subtype-B viruses predominate.
Methods and Findings
To assess the impact of HIV-1 subtype and antiretroviral treatment on the distribution of mutations in protease and reverse transcriptase, a binomial response model using subtype and treatment as explanatory variables was used to analyze a large compiled dataset of non-subtype-B HIV-1 sequences. Non-subtype-B sequences from 3,686 persons with well characterized antiretroviral treatment histories were analyzed in comparison to subtype B sequences from 4,769 persons. The non-subtype-B sequences included 461 with subtype A, 1,185 with C, 331 with D, 245 with F, 293 with G, 513 with CRF01_AE, and 618 with CRF02_AG. Each of the 55 known subtype B drug-resistance mutations occurred in at least one non-B isolate, and 44 (80%) of these mutations were significantly associated with antiretroviral treatment in at least one non-B subtype. Conversely, of 67 mutations found to be associated with antiretroviral therapy in at least one non-B subtype, 61 were also associated with antiretroviral therapy in subtype B isolates.
Conclusion
Global surveillance and genotypic assessment of drug resistance should focus primarily on the known subtype B drug-resistance mutations.
Most research has focused on HIV-1 subtype B, although most infections worldwide are non-B. However, this paper suggests that the same drug resistance mutations occur across subtypes
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0020112
PMCID: PMC1087220  PMID: 15839752
18.  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.
doi:10.1128/AAC.48.9.3552-3555.2004
PMCID: PMC514783  PMID: 15328124
19.  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.
doi:10.1128/JCM.42.1.426-430.2004
PMCID: PMC321664  PMID: 14715797
20.  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.
doi:10.1128/AAC.47.9.2817-2822.2003
PMCID: PMC182615  PMID: 12936979
21.  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.
doi:10.1128/JCM.40.12.4512-4519.2002
PMCID: PMC154623  PMID: 12454144
22.  Prevalence of Protease and Reverse Transcriptase Drug Resistance Mutations over Time in Drug-Naïve Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1-Positive Individuals in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 
The prevalence of mutations that confer resistance to protease inhibitors and to nucleoside and nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors in 49 blood samples from drug-naïve human immunodeficiency virus type 1-infected blood donors living in Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, in 1998 was evaluated genotypically and phenotypically.
doi:10.1128/AAC.46.9.3075-3079.2002
PMCID: PMC127402  PMID: 12183276
23.  Detection of Phylogenetically Diverse Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Groups M and O from Plasma by Using Highly Sensitive and Specific Generic Primers 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1999;37(8):2581-2586.
The high degree of genetic diversity within human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), which includes two major groups, M (major) and O (outlier), and various env subtypes within group M (subtypes A to J), has made designing assays that will detect all known HIV-1 strains difficult. We have developed a generic primer set based on the conserved immunodominant region of transmembrane protein gp41 that can reliably amplify as few as 10 copies/PCR of viral DNA from near-full-length clones representing group M subtypes A to H (subtypes I and J were not available). The assay is highly sensitive in detecting plasma viral RNA from HIV-1 strains of diverse geographic origins representing different subtypes of HIV-1 group M as well as HIV-1 group O. Of the 253 group M plasma specimens (subtypes A, 68 specimens; B, 71; C, 19; D, 27; E, 23; F, 33; and G, 12), 250 (98.8%) were amplified by using the gp41 M/O primer set. More importantly, all 32 (100%) group O plasma samples were also amplified with these primers. In vitro spiking experiments further revealed that the assay could reliably detect as few as 25 copies/ml of viral RNA and gave positive signals in HIV-1-seropositive specimens with plasma copy numbers below the limits of detection by all commercially available viral load assays. In addition, analysis of five seroconversion panels indicated that the assay is highly sensitive for early detection of plasma viremia during the “window period.” Thus, the highly sensitive assay will be useful for early detection of HIV-1 in clinical specimens from all known HIV-1 infections, regardless of their genotypes and geographic origins.
PMCID: PMC85288  PMID: 10405405
24.  Sequence Diversity of the Reverse Transcriptase of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 from Untreated Brazilian Individuals 
The presence of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) bearing mutations resistant to nucleosidic inhibitors of the viral reverse transcriptase (RT) derived from HIV-seropositive asymptomatic and untreated volunteer blood donors was examined. The RT amplicons of 32 specimens were analyzed by using a reverse hybridization line probe assay technique that detects resistance against zidovudine (3′-azido-3′-deoxythymidine [AZT], didanosine (2′,3′-dideoxyinosine [ddI], zalcitabine (2′,3′-dideoxycytidine [ddC]), and lamivudine {(−)-β-l-2′,3′-dideoxy-3′-thiacytidine [3TC]} at amino acid positions 41, 69, 70, 74, 184, and 215 of the HIV RT. One sample (brp004, subtype B) showed an AZT resistance secondary mutation at position K70R. Fifteen specimens revealed one or more sites of nonreactivity to both wild-type- and mutant-specific probes (dual nonreactivity). Samples were also submitted to RT direct sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. Nine of 32 specimens belonged to non-B subtypes (C, D, F, and F/B or B/F mosaics). Three of these non-B isolates, named brp004, brp063, and brp069, revealed three other relevant AZT resistance mutations—a T215F mutation and two M41L mutations, respectively—hidden by the nonreactivity to line probe assay strips on the respective codon regions. The isolate brp004 also carried a D67N AZT resistance mutation revealed by direct sequencing. No nonnucleosidic RT inhibitor-resistant mutation was found. The analysis revealed a frequency of 2.26 × 10−4 mutations per nucleotide for independent samples related to RT resistance. These findings emphasize the magnitude of naturally occurring reservoirs of drug-resistant virus among untreated HIV-1-positive individuals in Brazil.
PMCID: PMC89342  PMID: 10390221
25.  Genetic Variation and Susceptibilities to Protease Inhibitors among Subtype B and F Isolates in Brazil 
The genetic variation of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) protease gene (prt) permits the classification of HIV-1 strains into five distinct protease subtypes, which follow the gag subtyping patterns. The susceptibilities of non-B-subtype strains to protease inhibitors (PIs) and other antiretroviral drugs remain largely unknown. Subtype F is the main non-B strain contributing to the Brazilian epidemic, accounting for 15 to 20% of these infections. In this work, we report the findings on 81 isolates from PI-naive Brazilian patients collected between 1993 and 1997. In addition, the relevant PI resistance mutations and their phenotypes were determined in vitro for 15 of these patients (B = 9 and F = 6). Among these, the subtype F samples evidenced high sensitivities in vitro to ritonavir and indinavir, with MICs at which 50 and 90% of the isolates are inhibited similar to those of both the Brazilian and the U.S. subtype B isolates. Analysis of the 81 Brazilian prt sequences demonstrated that the subtype F consensus sequence differs from the U.S. and Brazilian subtype B consensus in eight positions (I15V, E35D, M36I, R41K, R57K, Q61N, L63P, and L89M). The frequency of critical PI resistance substitutions (amino acid changes D30N, V82A/F/T, I84V, N88D, and L90M) among Brazilian isolates is very low (mean, 2.5%), and the associated secondary substitutions (amino acid positions 10L, 20K, 36M, 46M, 48G, 54I, 63P, 71A, and 77A) are infrequent. These observations document the relative rarity of resistance to PIs in the treatment of patients infected with HIV-1 subtype F in South America.
PMCID: PMC89059  PMID: 9925514

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