Background.Inflammation persists in treated human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and may contribute to an increased risk for non–AIDS-related pathologies. We investigated the correlation of cytokine responses with changes in CD4 T-cell levels and coinfection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) during highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART).
Methods.A total of 383 participants in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (212 with HIV monoinfection, 56 with HCV monoinfection, and 115 with HIV/HCV coinfection) were studied. HIV-infected women had <1000 HIV RNA copies/mL, 99.7% had >200 CD4 T cells/μL; 98% were receiving HAART at baseline. Changes in CD4 T-cell count between baseline and 2–4 years later were calculated. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) obtained at baseline were used to measure interleukin 1β (IL-1β), interleukin 6 (IL-6), interleukin 10 (IL-10), interleukin 12 (IL-12), and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) responses to Toll-like receptor (TLR) 3 and TLR4 stimulation.
Results.Undetectable HIV RNA (<80 copies/mL) at baseline and secretion of IL-10 by PBMCs were positively associated with gains in CD4 T-cell counts at follow-up. Inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-12, and TNF-α) were also produced in TLR-stimulated cultures, but only IL-10 was significantly associated with sustained increases in CD4 T-cell levels. This association was significant only in women with HIV monoinfection, indicating that HCV coinfection is an important factor limiting gains in CD4 T-cell counts, possibly by contributing to unbalanced persistent inflammation.
Conclusions.Secreted IL-10 from PBMCs may balance the inflammatory environment of HIV, resulting in CD4 T-cell stability.
Among individuals without human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), African Americans have lower spontaneous clearance of hepatitis C virus (HCV) than Caucasians, and women have higher clearance than men. Few studies report racial/ethnic differences in acute HCV in HIV infected, or Hispanic women. We examined racial/ethnic differences in spontaneous HCV clearance in a population of HCV mono- and co-infected women.
We conducted a cross sectional study of HCV seropositive women (897 HIV infected and 168 HIV uninfected) followed in the US multicenter, NIH-funded Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), to determine the association of race/ethnicity with spontaneous HCV clearance, as defined by undetectable HCV RNA at study entry.
Among HIV and HCV seropositive women, 18.7 % were HCV RNA negative, 60.9 % were African American, 19.3 % Hispanic and 17.7 % Caucasian. HIV infected African American women were less likely to spontaneously clear HCV than Hispanic (OR 0.59, 95 % CI 0.38–0.93, p = 0.022) or Caucasian women (OR 0.57, 95 % CI 0.36–0.93, p = 0.023). Among HIV uninfected women, African Americans had less HCV clearance than Hispanics (OR 0.18, 95 % CI 0.07–0.48, p = 0.001) or Caucasians (OR 0.26, 95 % CI 0.09–0.79, p = 0.017). There were no significant differences in HCV clearance between Hispanics and Caucasians, among either HIV infected (OR 0.97, 95 % CI 0.57–1.66, p = 0.91) or uninfected (OR 1.45, 95 % CI 0.56–3.8, p = 0.45) women.
African Americans were less likely to spontaneously clear HCV than Hispanics or Caucasians, regardless of HIV status. No significant differences in spontaneous HCV clearance were observed between Caucasian and Hispanic women. Future studies incorporating IL28B genotype may further explain these observed racial/ethnic differences in spontaneous HCV clearance.
African American; Hispanic; Acute hepatitis C; Female
Individuals with HIV infection exhibit high cytomegalovirus (CMV) IgG levels, but there are few data regarding the association of hepatitis C virus (HCV) with the immune response against CMV.
Associations of HCV with CMV seropositivity and CMV IgG levels were studied in 635 HIV-infected women, 187 of whom were HCV-seropositive, with adjustment in multivariable models for age, race/ethnicity, and HIV disease characteristics. Eighty one percent of the women reported receipt of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) prior to or at CMV testing.
In adjusted models women with chronic HCV had higher CMV IgG levels than those without HCV RNA (β = 2.86, 95% CI:0.89 – 4.83; P = 0.004). The association of HCV RNA with CMV IgG differed by age (Pinteraction = 0.0007), with a strong association observed among women in the low and middle age tertiles (≤45.3 years of age; β = 6.21, 95% CI:3.30 – 9.11, P<0.0001) but not among women in the high age tertile. CMV IgG levels were not associated with non-invasive measures of liver disease, APRI and FIB-4, or with HCV RNA level and adjustment for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) IgG levels did not affect the association between HCV and CMV.
CMV IgG levels are higher in HCV/HIV co-infected women than in HIV mono-infected women. Further research on the association of HCV with CMV IgG is indicated because prior studies have found CMV IgG to be associated with morbidity and mortality in the general population and subclinical carotid artery disease in HIV-infected patients.
Transient HIV infections have been invoked to account for the cellular immune responses detected in highly virus-exposed individuals who have remained HIV seronegative. We tested for very low levels of HIV RNA in 524 seronegative plasma samples from 311 highly exposed women and men from 3 longitudinal HIV cohorts.
2073 transcription mediated amplification (TMA) HIV RNA tests were performed for an average of 3.95 TMA assays per plasma sample. Quadruplicate TMA assays, analyzing a total of 2 ml of plasma, provided an estimated sensitivity of 3.5 HIV RNA copies/ml.
Four samples from subjects who did not sero-convert within the following six months were positive for HIV RNA. For one sample, human polymorphism DNA analysis indicated a sample mix up. Borderline HIV RNA detection signals were detected for the other three positive samples and further replicate TMA testing yielded no positive results. Nested PCR assays (n=254) for HIV proviral DNA on PBMC from these 3 subjects were negative.
Transient viremia was not reproducibly detected in highly HIV exposed seronegative men and women. If transient infections do occur, plasma HIV RNA levels may remain below the detection limits of the sensitive assay used here, be of very short duration, or viral replication may be restricted to mucosal surfaces or their draining lymphoid tissues.
HIV causes inflammation that can be at least partially corrected by HAART. To determine the qualitative and quantitative nature of cytokine perturbation, we compared cytokine patterns in three HIV clinical groups including HAART responders (HAART), untreated HIV non-controllers (NC), and HIV-uninfected (NEG).
Multiplex assays were used to measure 32 cytokines in a cross-sectional study of participants in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). Participants from 3 groups were included: HAART (n=17), NC (n=14), and HIV NEG (n=17).
Several cytokines and chemokines showed significant differences between NC and NEG participants, including elevated IP-10 and TNF-α and decreased IL-12(p40), IL-15, and FGF-2 in NC participants. Biomarker levels among HAART women more closely resembled the NEG, with the exception of TNF-α and FGF-2. Secondary analyses of the combined HAART and NC groups revealed that IP-10 showed a strong, positive correlation with viral load and negative correlation with CD4+ T cell counts. The growth factors VEGF, EGF, and FGF-2 all showed a positive correlation with increased CD4+ T cell counts.
Untreated, progressive HIV infection was associated with decreased serum levels of cytokines important in T cell homeostasis (IL-15) and T cell phenotype determination (IL-12), and increased levels of innate inflammatory mediators such as IP-10 and TNF-α. HAART was associated with cytokine profiles that more closely resembled those of HIV uninfected women. The distinctive pattern of cytokine levels in the 3 study groups may provide insights into HIV pathogenesis, and responses to therapy.
HIV; CD4+ T cells; cytokines; chemokines; HAART
Serosorting, the practice of selectively engaging in unprotected sex with partners of the same HIV serostatus, has been proposed as a strategy for reducing HIV transmission risk among men who have sex with men (MSM). However, there is a paucity of scientific evidence regarding whether women engage in serosorting. We analyzed longitudinal data on women’s sexual behavior with male partners collected in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study from 2001 to 2005. Serosorting was defined as an increasing trend of unprotected anal or vaginal sex (UAVI) within seroconcordant partnerships over time, more frequent UAVI within seroconcordant partnerships compared to non-concordant partnerships, or having UAVI only with seroconcordant partners. Repeated measures Poisson regression models were used to examine the associations between serostatus partnerships and UAVI among HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women. The study sample consisted of 1,602 HIV-infected and 664 HIV-uninfected women. Over the follow-up period, the frequency of seroconcordant partnerships increased for HIV-uninfected women but the prevalence of UAVI within seroconcordant partnerships remained stable. UAVI was reported more frequently within HIV seroconcordant partnerships than among serodiscordant or unknown serostatus partnerships, regardless of the participant’s HIV status or types of partners. Among women with both HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected partners, 41% (63 HIV-infected and 9 HIV-uninfected) were having UAVI only with seroconcordant partners. Our analyses suggest that serosorting is occurring among both HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women in this cohort.
HIV; Unprotected sex; Serosorting; Risk reduction; Condom use
The majority of natural history studies of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection have immune and viral parameters in men. Data demonstrating that women have lower HIV-1 RNA levels than men at the same CD4 cell counts have raised the question of immunologic differences in HIV-seropositive women. This study describes levels and changes in phenotypic markers of immune maturity, function, and activation in the CD4 and CD8 cell subsets in HIV-seropositive and high-risk HIV-seronegative women. Our primary hypothesis was that activation levels would be significantly higher among illicit drug users. However, results showed that HIV-1 RNA level was the strongest predictor of marker level and that both HIV-1 RNA level and CD4 cell count were independently associated with CD4 activation, but illicit drug use was not. In summary, this study demonstrated that immune activation was a significant pathogenic feature in women and that activation was driven by HIV infection and not illicit drug use.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV)–infected women—in particular, those coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)—can transmit infection to their children and sex partners.
The present study was conducted to analyze the presence of HCV RNA in cervicovaginal lavage (CVL) fluid from 71 women (58 HCV/HIV-1–coinfected women and 13 HCV-infected, HIV-1–uninfected women) enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study.
HCV RNA was detected (by a commercial polymerase chain reaction assay) in CVL fluid from 18 (29%) of the HIV-1–infected women and from none of the HIV-1–uninfected women (P < .05). Multivariate analysis revealed that risk factors for the presence of HCV RNA in CVL fluid were HCV viremia (odds ratio [OR], 16.81; P = .02) and HIV-1 RNA in CVL fluid (OR, 19.87; P = .02). This observation suggests local interactions between HIV-1 and HCV in the genital tract compartment. There was no correlation between HCV RNA in CVL fluid and CD4, CD8, or CD3 cell counts, HIV-1 RNA viremia, the number of leukocytes in CVL fluid, or HIV-1 therapy. Furthermore, in 3 of 5 analyzed patients who had a detectable CVL HCV RNA load, we found viral variants differing in the 5′ untranslated region that were present neither in plasma nor in peripheral-blood mononuclear cells.
Our observations point to the importance of the genital tract compartment, in which local HCV replication could be facilitated by local HIV-1 replication.
To evaluate the impact of hepatitis C virus (HCV) on the immune system before receipt of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and on immune recovery after receipt of HAART among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/HCV–coinfected women enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study.
The study included 294 HIV-infected women who initiated HAART and attended 2 follow-up visits. The women were grouped on the basis of positive HCV antibody and HCV RNA tests. There were 148 women who were HCV antibody negative, 34 who were HCV antibody positive but RNA negative, and 112 who were HCV antibody and RNA positive. Immune recovery was measured by flow-cytometric assessment for markers of activation and maturation on CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Data analysis used repeated measures of variance.
HIV/HCV coinfection is associated with an increased number of CD4+ and CD8+ primed/memory T cells. HIV/HCV coinfection, however, did not affect any further decreases in CD4+ or CD4+ and CD8+ naive/memory T cell counts or enhanced T cell activation. HIV/HCV coinfection also did not affect HAART responses in the CD4+ and CD8+ T cell compartment.
HCV does not affect immune responses to HAART in HIV/HCV–coinfected individuals but is associated with an expansion of CD4+ and CD8+ memory T cell subsets. Functional impairment in the CD4+ and CD8+ T cell compartments still needs to be assessed in coinfected patients.
Vertical transmission of HCV is increased among HIV-1/HCV coinfected women and is related to HCV viral load. In this study we assessed clinical and demographic factors associated with HCV viremia in a cohort of young pregnant and non-pregnant mothers coinfected with HIV-1.
A cross-sectional clinic-based study nested within a prospective cohort study.
From 1988 to 2000, HIV-1 + pregnant and non-pregnant women with children followed in a large maternal, child and adolescent HIV-1 clinic were evaluated for HCV infection using EIA 3.0. HCV RNA levels were determined for HCV antibody + women using polymerase chain reaction. Demographic and clinical characteristics between HCV-RNA(+) and HCV-RNA(−) women and between pregnant and non-pregnant HIV-1/HCV coinfected women were compared using univariate and multivariate analyses.
Among 359 HIV-1(+) women, 84 (23%) were HCV-ab + and 49/84 (58%) had detectable HCV-RNA in plasma. Median age was 31. CD4 counts, HIV-1 RNA levels and demographic characteristics were similar for viremic and non-viremic women and pregnant and non-pregnant women. However, viremic women were more likely to report a history of (88% versus 43%; P < 0.001) or active injection drug use (AIDU) (83% versus 29%; P < 0.001). Logistic regression analysis showed that HCV viremia was associated significantly with AIDU (adjusted OR: 15.17; 95% CI: 3.56, 64.56) after adjusting for age, race, number of sexual partners, pregnancy status, CD4 counts and HIV-1 viral load.
In this cohort of young HIV-1 and HCV coinfected women, HCV viremia was associated strongly with active injection drug use, perhaps due to reinfection or reactivation of HCV. Thus, careful evaluation for HCV infection and counseling related to drug use may be necessary.
HCV; HIV-1 infection; HCV viremia; intravenous drug use; pregnancy
Limited data suggest that glycated hemoglobin (hemoglobin A1c; A1C) values may not reflect glycemic control accurately in HIV-infected individuals with diabetes.
We evaluated repeated measures of paired fasting glucose and A1C values in 315 HIV-infected and 109 HIV-uninfected diabetic participants in the Women's Interagency HIV Study. Generalized estimating equations used log A1C as the outcome variable, with adjustment for log fasting glucose concentration in all models.
An HIV-infected woman on average had 0.9868 times as much A1C (that is, 1.32% lower; 95% confidence interval 0.9734-0.9904) as an HIV-uninfected woman with the same log fasting glucose concentration. In multivariate analysis, HIV serostatus was not associated, but white, other non-black race, and higher red blood cell mean corpuscular volume (MCV) were statistically associated with lower A1C values. Use of diabetic medication was associated with higher A1C values. In multivariate analysis restricted to HIV-infected women, white and other race, higher MCV, and HCV viremia were associated with lower A1C values whereas older age, use of diabetic medications and higher CD4 cell count were associated with higher A1C values. Use of combination antiretroviral therapy, protease inhibitors, zidovudine, stavudine, or abacavir was not associated with A1C values.
We conclude that A1C values were modestly lower in HIV-infected diabetic women relative to HIV-uninfected diabetic women after adjustment for fasting glucose concentration. The difference was abrogated by adjustment for MCV, race, and diabetic medication use. Our data suggest that in clinical practice A1C gives a reasonably accurate refection of glycemic control in HIV-infected diabetic women.
How co-infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) impacts on the trajectory of kidney function among HIV-infected patients is unclear. This study examined the effect of HCV on kidney function over time among women infected with HIV.
Retrospective observational cohort
Setting and Participants
Study sample included participants from the Women's Interagency HIV Study who were HIV-infected and had received HCV antibody testing and serum creatinine measurement at baseline.
Outcomes and Measurement
Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) calculated from semi-annual serum creatinine measurements using the 4-variable Modification of Diet in Renal Diseases (MDRD) Study equation. Linear mixed models were used to evaluate the independent effect of being HCV seropositive on eGFR over time, adjusting for demographic factors, co-morbid conditions, illicit drug use, measures of HIV disease status, use of medications, and interactions with baseline low eGFR (<60 mL/min/1.73m2).
Of the 2,684 HIV-infected women, 952 (35%) were found to be HCV seropositive. For 180 women with CKD at baseline (eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73m2), being HCV seropositive was independently associated with a fully-adjusted net decline in eGFR of about 5% per year (95% CI: 3.2 to 7.2%), relative to women who were seronegative. In contrast, HCV was not independently associated with decline in eGFR among women without low eGFR at baseline (p<0.001 for interaction).
The MDRD Study equation has not been validated as a measure of GFR among persons with HIV or HCV. Proteinuria was not included in the study analysis. Because the study is observational, the effects of residual confounding cannot be excluded.
Among HIV-infected women with CKD, co-infection with HCV is associated with a modest, but statistically significant decline in eGFR over time. More careful monitoring of kidney function may be warranted for HIV-infected patients with CKD who are also co-infected with HCV.
hepatitis C virus; HIV; kidney diseases; women
To evaluate the utility of a single quantitative PCR (qPCR) measurement of HSV (HSV-1&2) DNA in cervicovaginal lavage (CVL) specimens collected from women with predominantly chronic HSV-2 infection in assessing genital HSV shedding and the clinical course of genital herpes (GH) within a cohort with semiannual schedule of follow up and collection of specimens.
Two previously described methods used for detection of HSV DNA in mucocutaneous swab samples were adapted for quantification of HSV DNA in CVLs. Single CVL specimens from 509 women were tested. Presence and quantity of CVL HSV DNA were explored in relation to observed cross-sectional and longitudinal clinical data.
The PCR assay was sensitive and reproducible with a limit of quantification of ~50 copies per milliliter of CVL. Overall, 7% of the samples were positive for HSV-2 DNA with median log10 HSV-2 DNA copy number of 3.9 (IQR: 2.6-5.7). No HSV-1 was detected. Presence and quantity of HSV-2 DNA in CVL directly correlated with the clinical signs and symptoms of presence of active symptomatic disease with frequent recurrences.
Single qPCR measurement of HSV DNA in CVL fluids of women with chronic HSV-2 infection provided useful information for assessing GH in the setting of infrequent sampling of specimens. Observed positive correlation of the presence and quantity of HSV-2 DNA with the presence of active and more severe course of HSV-2 infection may have clinical significance in the evaluation and management of HSV-2 infected patients.
The natural history of HSV-2 infection and role of HSV-2 reactivations in HIV disease progression are unclear.
Clinical symptoms of active HSV-2 infection were used to classify 1,938 HIV/HSV-2 co-infected participants of the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) into groups of varying degree of HSV-2 clinical activity. Differences in plasma HIV RNA and CD4+ T cell counts between groups were explored longitudinally across three study visits and cross-sectionally at the last study visit.
A dose dependent association between markers of HIV disease progression and degree of HSV-2 clinical activity was observed. In multivariate analyses after adjusting for baseline CD4+ T cell levels, active HSV-2 infection with frequent symptomatic reactivations was associated with 21% to 32% increase in the probability of detectable plasma HIV RNA (trend p = 0.004), an average of 0.27 to 0.29 log10 copies/ml higher plasma HIV RNA on a continuous scale (trend p<0.001) and 51 to 101 reduced CD4+ T cells/mm3 over time compared to asymptomatic HSV-2 infection (trend p<0.001).
HIV induced CD4+ T cell loss was associated with frequent symptomatic HSV-2 reactivations. However, effect of HSV-2 reactivations on HIV disease progression markers in this population was modest and appears to be dependent on the frequency and severity of reactivations. Further studies will be necessary to determine whether HSV-2 reactivations contribute to acceleration of HIV disease progression.
We determined the abilities of 10 technologies to detect and quantify a common drug-resistant mutant of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (lysine to asparagine at codon 103 of the reverse transcriptase) using a blinded test panel containing mutant-wild-type mixtures ranging from 0.01% to 100% mutant. Two technologies, allele-specific reverse transcriptase PCR and a Ty1HRT yeast system, could quantify the mutant down to 0.1 to 0.4%. These technologies should help define the impact of low-frequency drug-resistant mutants on response to antiretroviral therapy.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) sequences were detected in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in 8 of 13 HCV-positive patients. In four patients harboring different virus strains in serum and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), CSF-derived virus was similar to that found in PBMC, which suggests that PBMC could carry HCV into the brain.
Patients with chronic hepatitis C are more likely to have significant changes in their physical and mental well-being than patients with liver disease of other etiology, and hepatitis C virus (HCV) has been occasionally implicated in diseases of the central nervous system. We analyzed the presence of the HCV negative-strand RNA sequence, which is the viral replicative intermediary, in autopsy brain tissue samples from six HCV-infected patients. Negative-strand HCV RNA was searched for by a strand-specific Tth-based reverse transcriptase PCR, and viral sequences amplified from brain tissue and serum were compared by single-strand conformational polymorphism analysis and direct sequencing. HCV RNA negative strands were detected in brain tissue in three patients. In two of these patients, serum- and brain-derived viral sequences were different and classified as belonging to different genotypes. In one of the latter patients, HCV RNA negative strands were detected in lymph node and, while being different from serum-derived sequences, were identical to those present in the brain. The results of the present study suggest that HCV can replicate in the central nervous system, probably in cells of the macrophage/monocyte lineage.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) RNA measurements were evaluated within an externally controlled multilaboratory program. Three external standards (1.5 × 103 to 1.5 × 106 copies/ml) were included in 814 assay runs by four laboratories. Results indicate that HIV-1 RNA levels can be measured with a precision equal to that of the pre-highly active antiretroviral therapy era (standard deviations, ±0.16 to 0.25 log10 units).
We have analyzed three cases of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected recipients who received blood from HCV-infected donors. Two recipients were exposed to two different HCV RNA-positive donors, and one was exposed to a single donor. All parental genomes from the actual infecting units of blood and the recipients were defined, and their presence in the follow-up serum samples was determined using sensitive strain-specific assays. The strain from one of the donors was found to predominate in all recipients' serum samples collected throughout the follow-up period of 10 to 30 months. In two recipients exposed to two infected donors, the strain from the second donor was occasionally found at very low level. However, the original recipients' strains were not detected. Our observations show that HCV-infected individuals can be superinfected with different strains, and this event may lead to eradication or suppression of the original infecting strain. Furthermore, our findings demonstrate that simultaneous exposure to multiple HCV strains may result in concomitant infection by more than one strain, although a single strain could rapidly establish its dominance. The results of the present study suggest the existence of competition among infecting HCV strains which determines the ultimate outcome of multiple HCV exposure.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) was detected in the genital tracts of 59% of 225 women by RNA PCR and in 7% of the women by culture. In a comparison of two sampling methods, endocervical swabs were more sensitive than cervicovaginal lavage for HIV-1 RNA detection by PCR but not by culture and their sensitivity was independent of the concentration of HIV-1 RNA.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) RNA levels in female genital tract and peripheral blood samples were compared using two commercial amplification technologies: the Roche AMPLICOR HIV-1 MONITOR test and either the Organon Teknika nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (NASBA-QT) assay or the NucliSens assay. Estimates of HIV-1 RNA copy number were derived from internal kit standards and analyzed unadjusted and adjusted to a common set of external standards. We found a discordance rate of approximately 18% between the two technologies for the detection of HIV-1 in either the genital tract or peripheral blood samples. Detection discordance was not consistent among specimens or among women. There were no significant differences in adjusted or unadjusted estimates of HIV-1 RNA copy number in the genital tract samples using the AMPLICOR HIV-1 MONITOR test and either the NASBA-QT assay or the NucliSens assay. In addition, the estimated HIV-1 RNA copy number in peripheral blood samples did not differ when tested with the NucliSens assay and the AMPLICOR HIV-1 MONITOR test using kit standards. However, there was a significant difference in estimated RNA copy number between the NASBA-QT assay and the AMPLICOR HIV-1 MONITOR test for internal kit standards, which, as we have previously shown, was eliminated after adjustment with the external standards. Our results suggest that the Roche and Organon Teknika assays are equivalent for quantifying HIV-1 RNA in female genital tract specimens, although variation in detection does exist.
We have found differences among the populations of hepatitis C virus sequences in serum, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and various tissues in patients with chronic hepatitis C. These results are compatible with the existence of independent viral compartments in the infected host. Our results also suggest that PBMCs, and probably various tissues, can selectively adsorb viral subpopulations differing in the E2 region.
A PCR-based technique was used to detect hepatitis B virus (HBV) integration in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with chronic hepatitis B. Integrated HBV DNA sequences, with virus-cell junctions located in the cohesive region between direct repeat 1 (DR1) and DR2, were found in 2 of 10 studied patients.