Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) around IL28B are associated with spontaneous hepatitis C virus (HCV) clearance of genotypes 1 and 3 in white and African-American populations. This study investigated whether the IL28B SNP (rs12979860) is associated with spontaneous clearance of HCV, principally genotype 4, in 162 Egyptians (80 with clearance). The protective C allele was more common in those with spontaneous clearance (76.3% vs 57.9%; P = .0006). Individuals with clearance were 3.4 (95% confidence interval, 1.8–6.5) times more likely to have C/C genotype. Thus, IL28B plays a role in spontaneous clearance of HCV genotype 4 in North Africa.
CXCL9 (monokine induced by IFN γ [Mig]) and CXCL10 (interferon [IFN] γ−inducible protein 10 [IP-10]) have been associated with hepatic fibrosis in predominantly white hepatitis C virus (HCV)–infected patients. We investigated their potential as noninvasive markers of hepatic fibrosis and fibrosis progression in African-American patients. Peripheral chemokine levels were measured in 115 HCV-infected patients within 4 months of liver biopsy; patients underwent a second biopsy after 3–5 years. CXCL10 levels appeared to be higher in patients with advanced fibrosis on the contemporaneous biopsy and were significantly higher in patients with advanced fibrosis compared with those with minimal fibrosis on the later biopsy (P = .0045). Therefore, CXCL10 has potential as a marker of fibrosis progression in African-American HCV-infected patients.
We tested the hypothesis that a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) located near the interleukin-28B gene is associated with the control of hepatitis C virus and HIV-1 replication in elite controllers/suppressors. We show here that the protective genotype is not overrepresented in elite controllers/suppressors compared with HIV-1-seronegative patients and HIV-1-infected patients with viral loads more than 10 000 copies/ml. Thus, it appears that this SNP is not associated with the elite control of HIV-1 infection.
Killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) influence both innate and adaptive immunity. But while the role of KIRs in NK-mediated innate immunity is well-documented, the impact of KIRs on the T cell response in human disease is not known. Here we test the hypothesis that an individual's KIR genotype affects the efficiency of their HLA class I-mediated antiviral immune response and the outcome of viral infection. We show that, in two unrelated viral infections, hepatitis C virus and human T lymphotropic virus type 1, possession of the KIR2DL2 gene enhanced both protective and detrimental HLA class I-restricted anti-viral immunity. These results reveal a novel role for inhibitory KIRs. We conclude that inhibitory KIRs, in synergy with T cells, are a major determinant of the outcome of persistent viral infection.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human T-cell leukemia virus (HTLV-I) infect millions of people worldwide. Some HCV-infected individuals spontaneously clear the virus and many HTLV-1-infected people remain asymptomatic; however, in both cases the infection can lead to serious illness such as cancer. The factors which determine outcome are still elusive. We have found that a gene that encodes a receptor (KIR2DL2) enhances both protective and detrimental HLA class I-mediated immunity to HCV and HTLV-1. Strikingly, although KIRs are primarily associated with innate immunity, our observations suggest that they also have a major impact on the efficiency of the adaptive immune response. This work helps to explain why one individual infected with a virus remains healthy but another, infected with the same virus develops disease; it also helps to explain why particular HLA class I molecules do not always protect or cause susceptibility as expected. Interestingly, the impact of the KIR is entirely context dependent: if an HLA class I molecule is protective then protection is enhanced, but in the context of a detrimental HLA then susceptibility is enhanced. This study reveals a novel role for inhibitory KIRs in adaptive immunity.
We characterized temporal trends in HAART initiation (1996–2008) among treatment eligible persons in a community-based cohort of current and former injection drug users (IDUs) in Baltimore.
The AIDS Linked to the IntraVenous Experience (ALIVE) cohort has been following HIV positive IDUs since 1988. HAART eligibility was defined as the first visit after January 1, 1996 where CD4 was <350 cells/µl. Temporal trends and predictors of HAART initiation were examined using chi-square tests for trend and lognormal survival models.
The median age of 582 HAART-eligible IDUs was 41; 75% were male, 97% African American and 60% active injectors. 345 initiated HAART over 1803 person-years (19.2 per 100 person-years, 95% CI, 17.2–21.3); there was no significant temporal trend in HAART initiation. Independent predictors of delayed initiation included heavy injection and higher CD4 count; prior AIDS diagnosis, usual source of care and health insurance were predictors of more rapid initiation. The delay between eligibility and initiation decreased among those becoming eligible most recently (2003–07) compared with those in earlier calendar periods (1996–2003); however, a substantial number initiated HAART in recent calendar years either after substantial delay or not at all.
We failed to observe substantial improvement in HAART initiation among current and former IDUs over 12 years; heavy drug injection remains the major barrier to HAART initiation and consistent HIV care. The fact that many IDUs initiate HAART after significant delay or not at all raises concern that disparities in HIV care for IDUs remain at a time of simplified antiretroviral regimens and increasing adoption of earlier treatment.
HIV/AIDS; injection drug users; highly active antiretroviral therapy; temporal trends
Fibrosis stages from liver biopsies reflect liver damage from hepatitis C infection, but analysis is challenging due to their ordered but non-numeric nature, infrequent measurement, misclassification, and unknown infection times.
We used a non-Markov multistate model, accounting for misclassification, with multiple imputation of unknown infection times, applied to 1062 participants of whom 159 had multiple biopsies. Odds ratios (OR) quantified the estimated effects of covariates on progression risk at any given time.
Models estimated that progression risk decreased the more time participants had already spent in the current stage, African American race was protective (OR 0.75, 95% confidence interval 0.60 to 0.95, p = 0.018), and older current age increased risk (OR 1.33 per decade, 95% confidence interval 1.15 to 1.54, p = 0.0002). When controlled for current age, older age at infection did not appear to increase risk (OR 0.92 per decade, 95% confidence interval 0.47 to 1.79, p = 0.80). There was a suggestion that co-infection with human immunodeficiency virus increased risk of progression in the era of highly active antiretroviral treatment beginning in 1996 (OR 2.1, 95% confidence interval 0.97 to 4.4, p = 0.059). Other examined risk factors may influence progression risk, but evidence for or against this was weak due to wide confidence intervals. The main results were essentially unchanged using different assumed misclassification rates or imputation of age of infection.
The analysis avoided problems inherent in simpler methods, supported the previously suspected protective effect of African American race, and suggested that current age rather than age of infection increases risk. Decreasing risk of progression with longer time already spent in a stage was also previously found for post-transplant progression. This could reflect varying disease activity, with recent progression indicating active disease and high risk, while longer time already spent in a stage indicates quiescent disease and low risk.
Obstructive lung disease (OLD) is frequently unrecognized and undertreated. Urban drug users are at higher risk for OLD due to race, behavioral, and socioeconomic characteristics, yet little data exist on prevalence and risk factors associated with unrecognized OLD in this population.
The objective of this study is to determine the prevalence of unrecognized OLD in an urban population and identify the characteristics associated with lack of physician-diagnosed OLD.
Cross-sectional analysis from the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Linked to the Intravenous Experience (ALIVE) study, an observational study of current and former injection drug users in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
All participants with spirometry-defined airflow obstruction were stratified by the presence or absence of physician diagnosis of OLD.
Using cross-sectional demographic, clinical, and spirometric measurements, multivariable regression models were generated to identify factors independently associated with unrecognized OLD.
Of the 1083 participants evaluated in the ALIVE lung substudy, 176 (16.3%) met spirometric criteria for OLD. Of those, only 88 (50%) had a physician diagnosis of OLD. The prevalence of unrecognized OLD decreased as severity of airflow obstruction increased. Factors independently associated with unrecognized OLD were absence of respiratory symptoms (prevalence ratio [PR], 1.70; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.29–2.23; P < 0.01) and less severe dyspnea (PR, 0.83; 95% CI: 0.72–0.96, per point increase in dyspnea scale; P = 0.01). In the subset of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected participants, the use of antiretroviral therapy (ART) was independently associated with an increased prevalence of unrecognized OLD (PR, 1.93; 95% CI: 1.05–3.56; P = 0.03).
In a cohort of current and former urban drug users, OLD is substantially underrecognized and associated with lack of respiratory symptoms. Relying on the presence of respiratory symptoms as a trigger to perform spirometry may result in a substantial underdiagnosis of OLD in this population. HIV-infected individuals receiving ART are a population particularly vulnerable to unrecognized OLD.
obstructive lung disease; human immunodeficiency virus infection; COPD; asthma; spirometry
During the transition from acute to chronic infection in individuals persistently infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), cellular responses initiate within the first 6 months of primary infection and collapse thereafter, whereas humoral responses activate later during the chronic phase. Whether and how this deviation of immune responses specifically influences HCV evolution are unknown. To determine the pattern of HCV evolution during this critical period, we conducted extensive sequence analysis on annual clonal hemigenomic sequences for up to 3 years in six well-characterized subjects, using statistical methods that accounted for repeated measures. Significantly different evolutionary rates were observed in envelope versus nonenvelope genes, with an increasing rate of nonsynonymous change (dN) in envelope genes and a stable dN in nonenvelope genes (P = 0.006). The ratio of the envelope to nonenvelope nonsynonymous rate increased from 2 in year 1 to 5 in years 2 and 3. Centripetal changes (reversions toward matching of the worldwide subtype 1a consensus sequence) were frequently observed during the 3-year transition from acute infection to chronicity, even in the presence of neutralizing antibody (NAb) pressure. Remarkably, sequences of hypervariable region 1 (HVR1) remained stable for up to 21 months in the absence of NAb pressure in one subject, followed by rapid changes that were temporally associated with the detection of NAb responses, which strongly suggests that HVR1 evolution is shaped by NAb pressure. These data provide the first systematic estimates of HCV evolutionary rates in multiple genes during early infection in vivo and provide additional evidence for deterministic, rather than random, evolution of HCV.
We characterized patterns of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) use and predictors of non-structured treatment interruptions (NTIs) among injection drug users (IDUs) in Baltimore, MD.
335 IDUs who initiated HAART from 1996-2006 were studied. NTIs were defined as any subsequent six-month interval where HAART was not reported. Predictors of the first NTI and subsequent restart of HAART were examined using Cox regression.
260 (78%) reported ≥1 NTI. Of 215 with ≥1 follow-up visit after the NTI, 44 (20%) never restarted HAART, 62 (29%) restarted and remained on HAART and 109 (51%) reported multiple NTIs. NTIs were less likely among those who initiated HAART in later calendar years and hada recent outpatient visit and more likely among women, persons with detectable HIV RNA at the prior visit and those who reported injecting daily. Among those with NTIs, interuptions occurred earlier in persons who were younger, did not have a prior AIDS diagnosis and were actively injecting; NTIs lasted longer in persons who had higher HIV RNA levels, were incarcerated and drinking alcohol. A recent outpatient visit and not actively injecting were associated with restarting HAART.
NTIs were common in this population and occurred most frequently in the setting of active drug use and disruption of health care. Effective linkages between primary care for HIV and substance abuse treatment may improve HAART outcomes in this population.
Highly active antiretroviral therapy; injection drug users; treatment interruptions
HCV is an important human pathogen that represents a model for chronic infection since the majority of infected individuals fail to clear the infection despite generation of virus-specific T cell responses during the period of acute infection. While viral sequence evolution at targeted MHC class I restricted epitopes represents one mechanism for immune escape in HCV, many targeted epitopes remain intact under circumstances of viral persistence. In order to explore alternative mechanisms of HCV immune evasion, we analyzed patterns of expression of a major inhibitory receptor on T cells, programmed death-1 (PD-1), from the time of initial infection and correlated these with HCV RNA levels, outcome of infection, and sequence escape within the targeted epitope. We show that the level of PD-1 expression in early HCV infection is significantly higher on HCV-specific T cells from those who progress to chronic HCV infection compared to those who clear infection. This correlation is independent of HCV RNA levels, compatible with the notion that high PD-1 expression on HCV-specific CD8 T cells during acute infection inhibits viral clearance. Viral escape during persistent infection is associated with reduction in PD-1 levels on the surface of HCV specific T cells, supporting the necessity of ongoing antigenic stimulation of T cells for maintenance of PD-1 expression. These results support the idea that PD-1 expression on T cells specific for nonescaped epitopes contributes to viral persistence and suggest that PD-1 blockade may alter the outcome of HCV infection.
CD8+ T cells; HCV infection; Programmed Death-1; Viral Escape
Recovery from acute hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection occurs in 95% of adult-acquired infections. A 32-base pair deletion in CCR5 (CCR5Δ32), which encodes for a nonfunctional receptor, increases the likelihood of recovery. Using 181 subjects with persistent HBV infection and 316 who had recovered, we tested the hypothesis that an epistatic interaction between functional polymorphisms in RANTES (a CCR5 ligand) and CCR5 impacts recovery. Specific models designed to assess individual contributions of compound genotypes demonstrated that the only combination associated with recovery from an HBV infection was RANTES -403A with CCR5Δ32 (OR 0.36, P= 0.02). Since the phenotypic consequence of -403A is reported to be higher levels of RANTES, we propose a model where excess RANTES in combination with low CCR5 favor recovery from an HBV infection, which will require validation through functional testing. “This is an author-produced version of a manuscript accepted for publication in The Journal of Immunology (The JI). The American Association of Immunologists, Inc. (AAI), publisher of The JI, holds the copyright to this manuscript. This version of the manuscript has not yet been copyedited or subjected to editorial proofreading by The JI; hence, it may differ from the final version published in The JI (online and in print). AAI (The JI) is not liable for errors or omissions in this author-produced version of the manuscript or in any version derived from it by the U.S. National Institutes of Health or any other third party. The final, citable version of record can be found at www.jimmunol.org.”
Viral infection; chemokines; human
Between 1990 and 1998, tuberculin skin testing (TST) and isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) was provided to injection drug users participating in the AIDS Linked to the Intravenous Experiences (ALIVE) cohort.
A registry match was conducted with the ALIVE cohort database and the Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene tuberculosis registry.
Of 2,010 participants, 1,753(74%) had a TST placed and read; 536(31%) were positive. TST positivity was 16% in HIV-positives;39% in HIV-negatives(p<0.01). Overall, 299(56%) TST reactors started IPT; 165(55%) completed six months. Three tuberculosis cases were diagnosed among HIV-negatives (IR=0.16/1,000PYs); 19 among HIV-positives (1.94/1000PYs; IRR=12.3(3.61−64.70). Within the entire cohort, tuberculosis rates were 0.8/1000PYs for those not receiving IPT, 0.48/1000PYs for those receiving any IPT, 0.29/1000PYs for those completing at least 30 days and 0/1000PYs for completers. Ten cases of tuberculosis occurred in HIV-infected individuals with negative TSTs.
IPT was associated with protection against tuberculosis, but uptake was modest. While it is likely that tuberculosis incidence would have increased, especially in HIV-positive subjects, if the IPT program had not occurred, more significant declines in tuberculosis incidence in this population will require improved methods for ensuring uptake and completion of IPT and preventing disease in TST-negative individuals.
tuberculosis; latent tuberculosis infection; HIV
Transient elastography is a novel, noninvasive method for staging liver fibrosis. We compared elastography with histologic methods among hepatitis C virus (HCV)–infected and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–HCV-coinfected participants in an urban, predominantly black study population.
Participants recruited from the AIDS Linked to the Intravenous Experience and the Johns Hopkins HIV Clinical Cohort studies underwent elastography to determine liver stiffness measurements. Liver biopsy specimens were staged F0–F4 in accordance with the Metavir score. Diagnostic accuracy and determination of liver stiffness cutoff values, compared with histologic methods, were determined by receiver operating characteristic analysis. Logistic regression methods identified parameters associated with discordant classification status.
Of 192 participants, 139 (72%) were coinfected with HIV and HCV, 121 (63%) had insignificant fibrosis, and 48 (25%) had cirrhosis. Overall, the area-under-the-curve receiver operating characteristic was 0.87 for detection of both significant fibrosis (95% confidence interval, 0.82–0.92) and cirrhosis (95% confidence interval, 0.81–0.93). With use of cutoff values of ≥9.3 kPa for fibrosis and ≥12.3 kPa for cirrhosis, 79%–83% of participants were correctly classified by liver stiffness measurement (compared with histologic methods); accuracy appeared to be higher among HIV-uninfected participants than among HIV-infected participants. Most discordance occurred when liver stiffness measurements indicated liver disease and histologic examination did not (in 16% of participants); the patients with these discordant results were more likely to have attributes that increased the odds of significant fibrosis, such as elevated serum fibrosis markers or HIV-related immunosuppression, compared with persons in whom low fibrosis was predicted by both examination of a biopsy specimen and elastography.
For most HCV-infected persons, fibrosis stage predicted by elastography is similar to that predicted by examination of a biopsy specimen. Elastography-based measurement of liver stiffness holds promise to expand liver disease screening and monitoring, particularly among injection drug users.
Background & Aims
HIV-1 infection has been associated with enhanced microbial translocation, and microbial translocation is a mechanism through which alcohol and some enteric conditions cause liver disease. We hypothesized that HIV promotes liver disease by enhancing microbial translocation.
We studied human cohorts in which hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV outcomes were carefully characterized.
HIV-related CD4+ lymphocyte depletion was strongly associated with microbial translocation as indicated by elevated levels of circulating lipopolysaccharide (LPS), LPS binding protein, soluble CD14, fucose-binding lectin (AAL) reactive to IgG specific for the alpha galactose epitope, and suppressed levels of endotoxin-core antibodies (EndoCAb IgM) in HIV-infected subjects compared with the same persons before they had HIV infection and compared with HIV-uninfected subjects. The same measures of microbial translocation were strongly associated with HCV-related liver disease progression (cirrhosis), e.g. LPS, odds ratio 19.0 (p = 0.002), AAL, odds ratio 27.8 (p<0.0001); in addition, levels of LPS were elevated prior to recognition of cirrhosis.
Microbial translocation may be a fundamental mechanism through which HIV accelerates progression of chronic liver disease.
Treatment of latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection with isoniazid can cause hepatotoxicity, but the risk of isoniazid-associated hepatotoxicity among persons coinfected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is unknown. We conducted a prospective study among 146 injection drug users with M. tuberculosis infection and normal baseline hepatic transaminase values who were treated with isoniazid. Of 146 participants, 138 (95%) were HCV-seropositive. Thirty-seven participants (25%) were human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)—seropositive. Thirty-two (22%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 16%–30%) of 146 participants developed transaminase value elevations to >3 times the upper limit of normal. Transaminase value elevation was associated with concurrent alcohol use but not with race, age, presence of hepatitis B surface antigen, HIV-1 infection, or current injection drug use. Isoniazid was withdrawn from 11 participants (8%; 95% CI, 4%–13%). Of 8 deaths during follow-up, none were attributed to isoniazid-associated hepatotoxicity. The risk of transaminase value elevation and drug discontinuation for HCV-infected persons receiving isoniazid was within the range reported for populations with lower HCV prevalence.
Immunoglobulin (Ig) GM and KM allotypes—genetic markers of γ and κ chains, respectively—are associated with the outcome of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, but the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. We hypothesized that GM and KM allotypes could contribute to the outcome of HCV infection by influencing the levels of IgG antibodies to the HCV glycoproteins E1E2. We serologically allotyped 100 African Americans with persistent HCV infection for GM and KM markers and measured anti-E1E2 antibodies. Subjects with the GM 1,17 5,13 phenotype had significantly higher levels of anti-E1E2 antibodies than the subjects who lacked this phenotype (p = 0.008). Likewise, subjects with the KM 1-carrying phenotypes had higher levels of anti-E1E2 antibodies than the subjects who lacked these phenotypes (p = 0.041). Median titers were fourfold higher in persons expressing both GM 1,17 5,13 and KM 1-carrying phenotypes compared to those who lacked these phenotypes (p = 0.011). Interactive effects of these GM-KM phenotypes were previously found to be highly significantly associated with spontaneous HCV clearance. Results presented here show that Ig allotypes contribute to the inter-individual differences in humoral immunity to the HCV epitopes, a finding that may provide a mechanistic explanation for their involvement in the outcome of HCV infection.
Immunoglobulin; GM and KM allotypes; IgG antibodies; Proteins E1 and E2; Hepatitis C virus; Humoral immunity
Hepatic fibrosis is the primary mediator of disease due to chronic infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV exists as a quasispecies in each infected individual, and longitudinal viral sequence changes may reveal viral dynamics and the selection pressures applied by the host immune system. Thus, we hypothesized that patterns of sequence change might reveal the immunopathogenesis of fibrosis progression. We tested this hypothesis by studying individuals enrolled in a prospective study of chronic HCV-related hepatic fibrosis with little or no fibrosis at first biopsy (stage 0 or 1) and a second planned liver biopsy sample obtained 4 years later. Serum was obtained from five individuals with fast progression (FP; defined as a >2-stage change between visits) and 10 carefully matched individuals with slow progression (SP; defined as a <2-stage change between visits). We sequenced multiple cloned hemigenomic cDNAs from each person spanning six genes (core through NS3). Phylogenetic analysis revealed temporal shifts in phylogenetic clustering over time, suggesting frequent quasispecies replacement rather than simple diversification. In addition, mixed infections were detected in three subjects, with coexistence in two subjects (one FP, one SP) of subtypes 1a and 1b throughout the 4-year biopsy interval. Subjects with FP had a higher rate of evolution than subjects with SP, with a preponderance of synonymous changes, suggesting purifying selection, except in hypervariable region 1, where positive selection pressure is frequently detected. Thus, in a small but carefully matched cohort we found evidence for rapid neutral evolution of HCV in persons with rapid progression of hepatic fibrosis, suggesting higher turnover of infected cells.
Recovery from acute hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection requires a broad, vigorous T-cell response, which is enhanced in mice when chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) is missing. To test the hypothesis that production of a nonfunctional CCR5 (CCR5Δ32 [a functionally null allele containing a 32-bp deletion]) increases the likelihood of recovery from hepatitis B in humans, we studied 526 persons from three cohorts in which one person with HBV persistence was matched to two persons who recovered from an HBV infection. Recovery or persistence was determined prior to availability of lamivudine. We determined genotypes for CCR5Δ32 and for polymorphisms in the CCR5 promoter and in coding regions of the neighboring genes, chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2) and chemokine receptor-like 2 (CCRL2). Allele and haplotype frequencies were compared among the 190 persons with viral recovery and the 336 with persistence by use of conditional logistic regression. CCR5Δ32 reduced the risk of developing a persistent HBV infection by nearly half (odds ratio [OR], 0.53; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.33 to 0.83; P = 0.006). This association was virtually identical in persons with and without a concomitant human immunodeficiency virus infection. Of the nine individuals who were homozygous for the deletion, eight recovered from infection (OR, 0.25; 95% CI, 0.03 to 1.99; P = 0.19). None of the other neighboring polymorphisms examined were associated with HBV outcome. These data demonstrate a protective effect of CCR5Δ32 in recovery from an HBV infection, provide genetic epidemiological evidence for a role of CCR5 in the immune response to HBV, and suggest a potential therapeutic treatment for patients persistently infected with HBV.
Mannose binding lectin (MBL) is a central component of the innate immune response and thus may be important for determining hepatitis B virus (HBV) persistence. Since single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the gene encoding MBL (mbl2) alter the level of functional MBL, we hypothesized that mbl2 genotypes are a determinant of HBV persistence or recovery from viral infection. We tested this hypothesis by using a nested case control design with 189 persons with HBV persistence matched to 338 individuals who had naturally recovered from HBV infection. We determined genotypes of two promoter and three exon 1 SNPs in mbl2 and grouped these genotypes according to the amount of functional MBL production. We found that the promoter SNP −221C, which leads to deficient MBL production, was more common in those subjects with viral persistence (odds ratio [OR], 1.38; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01 to 1.89; P = 0.04). Those subjects homozygous for the combination of promoter and exon 1 genotypes associated with the highest amount of functional MBL had significantly increased odds of recovery from infection (OR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.37 to 0.84; P = 0.005). Conversely, those homozygous for the combination of promoter and exon 1 genotypes which produce the lowest amount of functional MBL were more likely to have viral persistence (OR, 1.76; 95% CI, 1.02 to 3.01; P = 0.04). These data are consistent with the hypothesis that functional MBL plays a central role in the pathogenesis of acute hepatitis B.
Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4) is an inhibitory T-cell receptor expressed by activated and regulatory T cells. We hypothesized that single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the gene encoding CTLA-4 may affect the vigor of the T-cell response to hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, thus influencing viral persistence. To test this hypothesis, we genotyped six CTLA4 SNPs, from which all frequent haplotypes can be determined, using a large, matched panel of subjects with known HBV outcomes. Haplotypes with these SNPs were constructed for each subject using PHASE software. The haplotype distribution differed between those with viral persistence and those with clearance. Two haplotypes were associated with clearance of HBV infection, which was most likely due to associations with the SNPs −1722C (odds ratio [OR] = 0.60, P = 0.06) and +49G (OR = 0.73, P = 0.02). The wild-type haplotype, which contains an SNP leading to a decreased T-cell response (+6230A), was associated with viral persistence (OR = 1.32, P = 0.04). These data suggest that CTLA4 influences recovery from HBV infection, which is consistent with the emerging role of T regulatory cells in the pathogenesis of disease.
Immunoglobulin GM and KM allotypes—genetic markers of γ and κ chains, respectively—are associated with immune responsiveness to several infectious pathogens and with survival in certain viral epidemics. We hypothesized that GM and KM allotypes affect the outcome of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. To test this hypothesis, we serologically allotyped 100 persons with well-documented clearance of HCV infection and 198 matched persistently infected persons. None of the GM or KM phenotypes by itself was associated with the clearance or persistence of HCV infection. Particular combinations of these phenotypes, however, were significantly associated with the outcome of HCV infection. Subjects with GM 1,17 5,13 and KM 1,3 phenotypes were over three times (odds ratio [OR], 3.57; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.44 to 8.87) as likely to clear the infection as the subjects who lacked these phenotypes. This GM phenotype had a similar association with clearance in the absence of KM 3 (OR, 2.75; 95% CI, 1.21 to 6.23). The presence of GM 1,3,17 23 5,13 phenotype (in the absence of KM 3) was associated with persistence (OR, 0.21; 95% CI, 0.06 to 0.77), while its absence (in the presence of KM 1,3) was associated with the clearance of infection (OR, 2.03; 95% CI, 1.16 to 3.54). These results show epistatic interactions of genes on chromosomes 14 (GM) and 2 (KM) in influencing the outcome of an HCV infection. Further investigations involving candidate genes (GM, KM, HLA, and Fcγ receptors) and cellular and humoral immune responses to HCV epitopes are needed to understand the mechanisms underlying these associations.
Following an acute hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, clearance or persistence is determined in part by the vigor and breadth of the host immune response. Since the human leukocyte antigen system (HLA) is an integral component of the immune response, we hypothesized that the highly polymorphic HLA genes are key determinants of viral clearance. HLA class I and II genes were molecularly typed in 194 Caucasian individuals with viral persistence and 342 matched controls who had cleared the virus. A single class I allele, A*0301 (odds ratio [OR], 0.47; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.30 to 0.72; P = 0.0005) was associated with viral clearance. The class II allele DRB1*1302 was also associated with clearance (OR, 0.42; 95% CI, 0.19 to 0.93; P = 0.03), but its significance decreased in a multivariate model that included other alleles associated with disease outcome as covariates. B*08 was associated with viral persistence both independently (OR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.04 to 2.43; P = 0.03) and as part of the conserved Caucasian haplotype A*01-B*08-DRB1*03. The B*44-Cw*1601 (OR, 2.23; 95% CI, 1.13 to 4.42; P = 0.02) and B*44-Cw*0501 (OR, 1.99; 95% CI, 1.22 to 3.24; P = 0.006) haplotypes were also associated with viral persistence. Interestingly, both the B*08 haplotype and DR7, which forms a haplotype with B*44-Cw*1601, have been associated with nonresponse to the HBV vaccine. The associations with class I alleles are consistent with a previously implicated role for CD8-mediated cytolytic-T-cell response in determining the outcome of an acute HBV infection.
In studies of acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, the early host immune response is one of the determinants of viral persistence. The class I human leukocyte antigens (HLA), which present foreign antigen to cytolytic T cells, are integral components of this response. We hypothesized that the highly polymorphic HLA genes affect the outcome of an HCV infection. To test this hypothesis, we molecularly typed 231 persons with well-documented clearance of an HCV infection and 444 matched persistently infected persons. HLA-A*1101 (odds ratio [OR], 0.49; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.27 to 0.89), HLA-B*57 (OR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.39 to 1.00), and HLA-Cw*0102 (OR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.21 to 0.89) were associated with viral clearance, whereas HLA-A*2301 (OR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.01 to 3.11) and HLA-Cw*04 (OR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.21 to 2.59) were associated with viral persistence. HLA-Cw*04 is in strong linkage disequilibrium with HLA-B*53 and HLA-B*35, but only HLA-B*53 (OR, 1.70; 95% CI, 0.95 to 3.06) and the Cw*04-B*53 haplotype (OR, 1.76; 95% CI, 0.94 to 3.26) were weakly associated with viral persistence. HLA-B*53 has similar, but not necessarily identical, binding specificity to some HLA-B*35 subtypes (B*35-Px group). The association with the B*35-Px group was less strong than with HLA-B*53 alone. The association of HLA-Cw*04 with HCV persistence was codominant (two copies of the gene were more strongly associated with persistence than one copy). However, HLA-Cw*04 was not associated with HCV RNA levels among the persistently infected individuals. Since Cw*04 is a ligand for the killer immunoglobulin-like receptors on natural killer cells, these cells may be involved in recovery from HCV infection. Further investigation is needed to understand the relationship between class I alleles and HCV clearance.
To examine response to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) among a sample of treatment-experienced patients in the late stage of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in residential health care facilities (RHCFs) in New York City facilities designated for HIV/AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) when access and adherence are maximized.
Medical record review of 111 patients.
Demographics were mean age 42 years; 58% male; 60% African-American; 31% Hispanic; 57% injection drug users (IDUs); 23% with history of dementia; 52% hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody seropositive; 80% on HAART, of whom 18% had lipodystrophy. Of 88 patients on HAART, 52% had a decreased viral load (>1/2log) versus 13% of 23 not on HAART (P<.05); a>1/2log viral load increase was seen in 8% and 35%, respectively (P<.05). Those with viral load increase were more likely than those with stable/decreased viral load to be IDUs (71% vs. 64%) and to have HCV seropositivity (86% vs. 53%), even with similar initial CD4+ cell count, viral load, and follow-up time.
In a predominantly minority IDU population who are treatment experienced, 50% of the patients successfully responded to treatment with supervised therapy. The RHCFs in New York City provide a unique opportunity to examine further factors associated with response to HAART in an environment in which medication administration and adherence are maximized and monitored carefully.
Advanced HIV; HAART; Hepatitis C Seropositivity; IDUs; Residential Health Care Facilities; Substance Abuse; Viral Load
Immunosuppression from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may impair antibody formation, and false-negative hepatitis C virus antibody (anti-HCV) tests have been reported in individuals coinfected with HIV and HCV. It is unknown if the frequency of false-negative tests is sufficiently high to change screening recommendations in this setting. Thus, the prevalence of false-negative results for anti-HCV by third-generation tests was determined with samples from HIV-infected individuals. Sera from 559 HIV-infected and 944 HIV-negative prospectively followed injection drug users were tested for anti-HCV by a third-generation enzyme immunoassay and for HCV RNA by using a branched DNA assay and the HCV COBAS AMPLICOR system. Of 559 HIV-infected participants, 547 (97.8%) were anti-HCV positive. One of the remaining 12 anti-HCV-negative participants was HCV RNA positive, and she later developed detectable anti-HCV. Of the 944 HIV-negative participants, 825 (87.4%) were anti-HCV positive. One of the remaining 119 anti-HCV-negative participants was HCV RNA positive, and she also developed detectable anti-HCV at a later visit. These data indicate that HIV infection does not alter the approach to hepatitis C virus screening, which should be performed with third-generation assays for anti-HCV unless acute infection is suspected.