Combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) reduces HIV-associated morbidities and mortalities but cannot cure the infection. Given the difficulty of eradicating HIV-1, a functional cure for HIV-infected patients appears to be a more reachable short-term goal. We identified 14 HIV patients (post-treatment controllers [PTCs]) whose viremia remained controlled for several years after the interruption of prolonged cART initiated during the primary infection. Most PTCs lacked the protective HLA B alleles that are overrepresented in spontaneous HIV controllers (HICs); instead, they carried risk-associated HLA alleles that were largely absent among the HICs. Accordingly, the PTCs had poorer CD8+ T cell responses and more severe primary infections than the HICs did. Moreover, the incidence of viral control after the interruption of early antiretroviral therapy was higher among the PTCs than has been reported for spontaneous control. Off therapy, the PTCs were able to maintain and, in some cases, further reduce an extremely low viral reservoir. We found that long-lived HIV-infected CD4+ T cells contributed poorly to the total resting HIV reservoir in the PTCs because of a low rate of infection of naïve T cells and a skewed distribution of resting memory CD4+ T cell subsets. Our results show that early and prolonged cART may allow some individuals with a rather unfavorable background to achieve long-term infection control and may have important implications in the search for a functional HIV cure.
There is a renewed scientific interest in developing strategies allowing long-term remission in HIV-1-infected individuals. Very rare (<1%) patients are able to spontaneously control viremia to undetectable levels (HIV controllers, HICs). However, the possibility to translate their mechanisms of control to other patients is uncertain. Starting antiretroviral therapy during primary infection may provide significant benefits to HIV-infected patients (i.e. reduction of viral reservoirs, preservation of immune responses, protection from chronic immune activation). Indeed, we have observed that some HIV-infected patients interrupting a prolonged antiretroviral therapy initiated close to primary infection are able to control viremia afterwards. We present here 14 of such post-treatment controllers (PTCs). We show that PTCs have achieved control of infection through mechanisms that are, at least in part, different from those commonly observed in HICs and that their capacity to control is likely related to early therapeutic intervention. We found that PTCs were able, after therapy interruption, to keep, and in some cases further reduce, a weak viral reservoir. This might be related to the low contribution of long-lived cells to the HIV-reservoir in these patients. Finally, we estimated the probability of maintaining viral control at 24 months post-early treatment interruption to be ∼15%, which is much higher than the one expected for spontaneous control.
The aim of this study was to estimate the rate of misclassification in treated HIV patients who initiated treatment at the chronic stage of HIV infection using an enzyme immunoassay (EIA) that discriminates between recent infection (RI; within 6 months) and established infection. The performance of EIA-RI was evaluated in 96 HIV-1 chronically infected patients on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) with an undetectable viral load (VL) for at least 3 years. Demographic data, HIV-1 viral load, CD4+ T-cell count, viral subtype, and treatment duration were collected. The subset of misclassified patients was further analyzed using samples collected annually. The impact on incidence estimates was evaluated by simulation. The specificity in treated patients was significantly lower (70.8 to 77.1%) than that observed in untreated patients (93.3 to 99.3%, P < 0.001). Patients falsely classified as recently infected had been treated for a longer period and had longer-term viral suppression than those correctly classified. The loss of specificity of the test due to treatment may have a dramatic impact on the accuracy of the incidence estimates, with a major impact when HIV prevalence is high. The cross-sectional studies intended to derive HIV incidence must collect information on treatment or, alternatively, should include detection of antiretroviral drugs in blood specimens to rule out treated patients from the calculations.
The University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) Genome Browser (http://genome.ucsc.edu) offers online public access to a growing database of genomic sequence and annotations for a wide variety of organisms. The Browser is an integrated tool set for visualizing, comparing, analysing and sharing both publicly available and user-generated genomic datasets. As of September 2012, genomic sequence and a basic set of annotation ‘tracks’ are provided for 63 organisms, including 26 mammals, 13 non-mammal vertebrates, 3 invertebrate deuterostomes, 13 insects, 6 worms, yeast and sea hare. In the past year 19 new genome assemblies have been added, and we anticipate releasing another 28 in early 2013. Further, a large number of annotation tracks have been either added, updated by contributors or remapped to the latest human reference genome. Among these are an updated UCSC Genes track for human and mouse assemblies. We have also introduced several features to improve usability, including new navigation menus. This article provides an update to the UCSC Genome Browser database, which has been previously featured in the Database issue of this journal.
T cell activation levels, viral load and CD4+ T cell counts at early stages of HIV-1 infection are predictive of the rate of progression towards AIDS. We evaluated whether the inflammatory profile during primary HIV-1 infection is predictive of the virological and immunological set-points and of disease progression. We quantified 28 plasma proteins during acute and post-acute HIV-1 infection in individuals with known disease progression profiles. Forty-six untreated patients, enrolled during primary HIV-1 infection, were categorized into rapid progressors, progressors and slow progressors according to their spontaneous progression profile over 42 months of follow-up. Already during primary infection, rapid progressors showed a higher number of increased plasma proteins than progressors or slow progressors. The plasma levels of TGF-β1 and IL-18 in primary HIV-1 infection were both positively associated with T cell activation level at set-point (6 months after acute infection) and together able to predict 74% of the T cell activation variation at set-point. Plasma IP-10 was positively and negatively associated with, respectively, T cell activation and CD4+ T cell counts at set-point and capable to predict 30% of the CD4+ T cell count variation at set-point. Moreover, plasma IP-10 levels during primary infection were predictive of rapid progression. In primary infection, IP-10 was an even better predictor of rapid disease progression than viremia or CD4+ T cell levels at this time point. The superior predictive capacity of IP-10 was confirmed in an independent group of 88 HIV-1 infected individuals. Altogether, this study shows that the inflammatory profile in primary HIV-1 infection is associated with T cell activation levels and CD4+ T cell counts at set-point. Plasma IP-10 levels were of strong predictive value for rapid disease progression. The data suggest IP-10 being an earlier marker of disease progression than CD4+ T cell counts or viremia levels.
Brucella ovis causes an infectious disease responsible for infertility and subsequent economic losses in sheep production. The standard serological test to detect B. ovis infection in rams is the complement fixation test (CFT), which has imperfect sensitivity and specificity in addition to technical drawbacks. Other available tests include the indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (I-ELISA) but no I-ELISA kit has been fully evaluated.
The study aimed to compare an I-ELISA kit and the standard CFT. Our study was carried out on serum samples from 4599 rams from the South of France where the disease is enzootic. A Bayesian approach was used to estimate tests characteristics (diagnostic sensitivity, Se and diagnostic specificity, Sp). The tests were then studied together in order to optimise testing strategies to detect B. ovis.
After optimising the cut-off values in order to avoid doubtful results without deteriorating the concordance between the results of the two tests, the I-ELISA appeared to be slightly more sensitive than CFT (Se I-ELISA = 0.917 [0.822; 0.992], 95% Credibility Interval (CrI) compared to Se CFT = 0.860 [0.740; 0.967], 95% CrI). However, CFT was slightly more specific than I-ELISA (Sp CFT = 0.988 [0.947; 1.0], 95% CrI) compared to Sp I-ELISA =0.952 [0.901; 1.0], 95% CrI).
The tests were then associated with two different interpretation schemes. The series association increased the specificity of screening and could be used for pre-movement testing in rams from uninfected flocks. The parallel association increased sequence sensitivity, thus appearing more suitable for eradicating the disease in infected flocks.
The high sensitivity and acceptable specificity of this I-ELISA kit support its potential interest to avoid the limitations of CFT. The two tests could also be used together or combined with other diagnostic methods such as semen culture to improve the testing strategy. The choice of test sequence and interpretation criteria depends on the epidemiological context, screening objectives and the financial and practical constraints.
Brucella ovis; Diagnostic tests; CFT; I-ELISA; Sensitivity; Specificity; Bayesian approach
Population-based estimates of HIV incidence in France have revealed that men who have sex with men (MSM) are the most affected population and contribute to nearly half of new infections each year. We sought to estimate HIV incidence among sexually active MSM in Paris gay community social venues.
Methodology/ Principal Findings
A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2009 in a sample of commercial venues such as bars, saunas and backrooms. We collected a behavioural questionnaire and blood sample. Specimens were tested for HIV infection and positive specimens then tested for recent infection by the enzyme immunoassay for recent HIV-1 infection (EIA-RI). We assessed the presence of antiretroviral therapy among infected individuals to rule out treated patients in the algorithm that determined recent infection. Biomarker-based cross-sectional incidence estimates were calculated. We enrolled 886 MSM participants among which 157 (18%) tested HIV positive. In positive individuals who knew they were infected, 75% of EIA-RI positive results were due to ART. Of 157 HIV positive specimens, 15 were deemed to be recently infected. The overall HIV incidence was estimated at 3.8% person-years(py) [95%CI: 1.5–6.2]. Although differences were not significant, incidence was estimated to be 3.5% py [0.1–6.1] in men having had a negative HIV test in previous year and 4.8% py [0.1–10.6] in men having had their last HIV test more than one year before the survey, or never tested. Incidence was estimated at 4.1% py [0–8.3] in men under 35 years and 2.5% py [0–5.4] in older men.
This is the first community-based survey to estimate HIV incidence among MSM in France. It includes ART detection and reveals a high level of HIV transmission in sexually active individuals, despite a high uptake of HIV testing. These data call for effective prevention programs targeting MSM engaged in high-risk behaviours.
It is unknown whether HIV treatment guidelines, based on resource-rich country cohorts, are applicable to African populations.
We estimated CD4 cell loss in ART-naïve, AIDS-free individuals using mixed models allowing for random intercept and slope, and time from seroconversion to clinical AIDS, death and antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation by survival methods. Using CASCADE data from 20 European and 3 sub-Saharan African (SSA) cohorts of heterosexually-infected individuals, aged ≥15 years, infected ≥2000, we compared estimates between non-African Europeans, Africans in Europe, and Africans in SSA.
Of 1,959 (913 non-Africans, 302 Europeans - African origin, 744 SSA), two-thirds were female; median age at seroconversion was 31 years. Individuals in SSA progressed faster to clinical AIDS but not to death or non-TB AIDS. They also initiated ART later than Europeans and at lower CD4 cell counts. In adjusted models, Africans (especially from Europe) had lower CD4 counts at seroconversion and slower CD4 decline than non-African Europeans. Median (95% CI) CD4 count at seroconversion for a 15–29 year old woman was 607 (588–627) (non-African European), 469 (442–497) (European - African origin) and 570 (551–589) (SSA) cells/µL with respective CD4 decline during the first 4 years of 259 (228–289), 155 (110–200), and 199 (174–224) cells/µL (p<0.01).
Despite differences in CD4 cell count evolution, death and non-TB AIDS rates were similar across study groups. It is therefore prudent to apply current ART guidelines from resource-rich countries to African populations.
To analyse the contribution of primary human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection (PHI) to the French viral epidemic.
HIV-1 pol sequences included 987 PHI from the French ANRS PRIMO cohort between 1999 and 2010 and were analysed using a population-based phylogenetic approach. Clinical features, risk factors, sexual behaviour and drug resistance for clustered and nonclustered transmission events were ascertained.
Viruses from 125 (12.7%) of PHI cosegregated into 56 transmission chains, with increasing frequency during the last years (10.2% before 2006 versus 15.2% of clusters in 2006–2010, p = 0.02). The mean number of patients per cluster was 2.44. Compared to unique PHI, clusters involved more often men, infected through homosexual intercourse, of young age, with a high number of casual sexual partnerships and frequent previous HIV serological tests. Resistant strains were found in 16.0% and 11.1% of clusters and unique PHI, respectively (p = 0.11). Overall, 34% (n = 19) clusters included patients followed in French regions far apart, involving 13 clusters with at least one Parisian patient.
PHIs are a significant source of onward transmission, especially in the MSM population. Recently infected people contribute to the spread of the viral epidemic throughout the French territory. Survey of transmitted drug resistance and behavioural characteristics of patients involved into clustered PHI may help to guide prevention and treatment interventions.
The University of California Santa Cruz Genome Browser (http://genome.ucsc.edu) offers online public access to a growing database of genomic sequence and annotations for a wide variety of organisms. The Browser is an integrated tool set for visualizing, comparing, analyzing and sharing both publicly available and user-generated genomic data sets. In the past year, the local database has been updated with four new species assemblies, and we anticipate another four will be released by the end of 2011. Further, a large number of annotation tracks have been either added, updated by contributors, or remapped to the latest human reference genome. Among these are new phenotype and disease annotations, UCSC genes, and a major dbSNP update, which required new visualization methods. Growing beyond the local database, this year we have introduced ‘track data hubs’, which allow the Genome Browser to provide access to remotely located sets of annotations. This feature is designed to significantly extend the number and variety of annotation tracks that are publicly available for visualization and analysis from within our site. We have also introduced several usability features including track search and a context-sensitive menu of options available with a right-click anywhere on the Browser's image.
The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) Consortium is entering its 5th year of production-level effort generating high-quality whole-genome functional annotations of the human genome. The past year has brought the ENCODE compendium of functional elements to critical mass, with a diverse set of 27 biochemical assays now covering 200 distinct human cell types. Within the mouse genome, which has been under study by ENCODE groups for the past 2 years, 37 cell types have been assayed. Over 2000 individual experiments have been completed and submitted to the Data Coordination Center for public use. UCSC makes this data available on the quality-reviewed public Genome Browser (http://genome.ucsc.edu) and on an early-access Preview Browser (http://genome-preview.ucsc.edu). Visual browsing, data mining and download of raw and processed data files are all supported. An ENCODE portal (http://encodeproject.org) provides specialized tools and information about the ENCODE data sets.
Our objective was to analyze the evolution of resistance mutations (RM) and viral tropism of multi-drug-resistant (MDR) strains detected at primary HIV-1 infection (PHI). MDR HIV strain was defined as the presence of genotypic resistance to at least 1 antiretroviral of the 3 classes. Tropism determinations (CCR5 or CXCR4) were performed on baseline plasma HIV-RNA and/or PBMC-HIV-DNA samples, then during follow-up using population-based sequencing of V3 loop and phenotypic tests. Clonal analysis was performed at baseline for env, RT and protease genes, and for HIV-DNA env gene during follow-up. Five patients were eligible. At baseline, RT, protease and env clones from HIV-RNA and HIV-DNA were highly homogenous for each patient; genotypic tropism was R5 in 3 (A,B,C) and X4 in 2 patients (D,E). MDR strains persisted in HIV-DNA throughout follow-up in all patients. For patient A, tropism remained R5 with concordance between phenotypic and genotypic tests. Clonal analysis on Month (M) 78 HIV-DNA evidenced exclusively R5 (21/21) variants. In patient B, clonal analysis at M36 showed exclusively R5 variants (19/19) using both genotypic and phenotypic tests. In patient C, baseline tropism was R5 by genotypic test and R5/X4 by phenotypic test. An expansion of these X4 clones was evidenced by clonal analysis on M72 HIV-DNA (12/14 X4 and 2/14 R5 variants). In patient D, baseline tropism was X4 with concordance between both techniques and HIV-RNA and HIV-DNA remained X4-tropic up to M72, confirmed by the clonal analysis. Patient E harboured highly homogenous X4-using population at baseline; tropism was unchanged at M1 and M18. In all patients, the initial MDR population was highly homogenous initially, supporting the early expansion of a monoclonal population and its long-term persistence. X4-tropic variants present at baseline were still exclusive (patients D and E) or dominant (at least one time point, patient C) far from PHI.
There are few large published studies of HIV controllers with long-term undetectable viral load (VL). We describe the characteristics and outcomes of 81 French HIV controllers.
Methods and Results
HIV controllers were defined as asymptomatic, antiretroviral-naïve persons infected ≥10 years previously, with HIV-RNA <400 copies/mL in >90% of plasma samples. All available CD4 and VL values were collected at enrolment. Mixed-effect linear models were used to analyze CD4 cell count slopes since diagnosis. HIV controllers represented 0.31% of all patients managed in French hospitals. Patients infected through intravenous drug use were overrepresented (31%) and homosexual men were underrepresented (26% of men) relative to the ANRS SEROCO cohort of subjects diagnosed during the same period. HIV controllers whose VL values were always below the detection limit of the assays were compared with those who had rare “blips” (<50% of VL values above the detection limit) or frequent blips (>50% of VL values above the detection limit). Estimated CD4 cell counts at HIV diagnosis were similar in the three groups. CD4 cell counts remained stable after HIV diagnosis in the “no blip” group, while they fell significantly in the two other groups (−0.26√CD4 and −0.28√CD4/mm3/year in the rare and frequent blip groups, respectively). No clinical, immunological or virological progression was observed in the no blip group, while 3 immunological and/or virological events and 4 cancers were observed in the blip subgroups.
Viral blips in HIV controllers are associated with a significant decline in CD4 T cells and may be associated with an increased risk of pathological events, possibly owing to chronic inflammation/immune activation.
We used genotypic and phenotypic assays to estimate the frequency of X4/DM viruses in 131 patients infected with non-subtype-B viruses at the time of primary HIV-1 infection (PHI). All patients were enrolled in the French PRIMO Cohort from 1996 to 2007. Most strains belonged to CRF02_AG (51.1%) and subtype A (14.5%). Sixteen viruses (12.2%) were classified as CXCR4 tropic (“X4 strains”) by the combined criteria of amino acids 11 and 25 of the V3 loop (11/25) and net charge rules and/or the SVMgeno2pheno10% algorithm: 6 strains by the combined genotypic rule, 7 by the SVMgeno2pheno10% algorithm, and 3, clustering in subtype D, by both algorithms. However, only one strain (0.8%), belonging to subtype A, was defined as a dual-tropic (DM) virus by the phenotypic assay. The 67 CRF02_AG strains included 2 classified as X4 strains by the combined genotypic rule (3%) and 2 others classified as X4 strains by SVMgeno2pheno10% (3%), but none of these 4 strains was an X4 or DM strain according to the phenotypic assay. These results suggest that the cellular virus reservoir was established with X4 strains in very few non-subtype-B-infected patients at the time of PHI. Genotypic predictions can overestimate the proportion of non-subtype-B X4 viruses at PHI.
The UCSC Cancer Genomics Browser (https://genome-cancer.ucsc.edu) comprises a suite of web-based tools to integrate, visualize and analyze cancer genomics and clinical data. The browser displays whole-genome views of genome-wide experimental measurements for multiple samples alongside their associated clinical information. Multiple data sets can be viewed simultaneously as coordinated ‘heatmap tracks’ to compare across studies or different data modalities. Users can order, filter, aggregate, classify and display data interactively based on any given feature set including clinical features, annotated biological pathways and user-contributed collections of genes. Integrated standard statistical tools provide dynamic quantitative analysis within all available data sets. The browser hosts a growing body of publicly available cancer genomics data from a variety of cancer types, including data generated from the Cancer Genome Atlas project. Multiple consortiums use the browser on confidential prepublication data enabled by private installations. Many new features have been added, including the hgMicroscope tumor image viewer, hgSignature for real-time genomic signature evaluation on any browser track, and ‘PARADIGM’ pathway tracks to display integrative pathway activities. The browser is integrated with the UCSC Genome Browser; thus inheriting and integrating the Genome Browser’s rich set of human biology and genetics data that enhances the interpretability of the cancer genomics data.
The ENCODE project is an international consortium with a goal of cataloguing all the functional elements in the human genome. The ENCODE Data Coordination Center (DCC) at the University of California, Santa Cruz serves as the central repository for ENCODE data. In this role, the DCC offers a collection of high-throughput, genome-wide data generated with technologies such as ChIP-Seq, RNA-Seq, DNA digestion and others. This data helps illuminate transcription factor-binding sites, histone marks, chromatin accessibility, DNA methylation, RNA expression, RNA binding and other cell-state indicators. It includes sequences with quality scores, alignments, signals calculated from the alignments, and in most cases, element or peak calls calculated from the signal data. Each data set is available for visualization and download via the UCSC Genome Browser (http://genome.ucsc.edu/). ENCODE data can also be retrieved using a metadata system that captures the experimental parameters of each assay. The ENCODE web portal at UCSC (http://encodeproject.org/) provides information about the ENCODE data and links for access.
The University of California, Santa Cruz Genome Browser (http://genome.ucsc.edu) offers online access to a database of genomic sequence and annotation data for a wide variety of organisms. The Browser also has many tools for visualizing, comparing and analyzing both publicly available and user-generated genomic data sets, aligning sequences and uploading user data. Among the features released this year are a gene search tool and annotation track drag-reorder functionality as well as support for BAM and BigWig/BigBed file formats. New display enhancements include overlay of multiple wiggle tracks through use of transparent coloring, options for displaying transformed wiggle data, a ‘mean+whiskers’ windowing function for display of wiggle data at high zoom levels, and more color schemes for microarray data. New data highlights include seven new genome assemblies, a Neandertal genome data portal, phenotype and disease association data, a human RNA editing track, and a zebrafish Conservation track. We also describe updates to existing tracks.
The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project is an international consortium of investigators funded to analyze the human genome with the goal of producing a comprehensive catalog of functional elements. The ENCODE Data Coordination Center at The University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) is the primary repository for experimental results generated by ENCODE investigators. These results are captured in the UCSC Genome Bioinformatics database and download server for visualization and data mining via the UCSC Genome Browser and companion tools (Rhead et al. The UCSC Genome Browser Database: update 2010, in this issue). The ENCODE web portal at UCSC (http://encodeproject.org or http://genome.ucsc.edu/ENCODE) provides information about the ENCODE data and convenient links for access.
The University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) Genome Browser website (http://genome.ucsc.edu/) provides a large database of publicly available sequence and annotation data along with an integrated tool set for examining and comparing the genomes of organisms, aligning sequence to genomes, and displaying and sharing users’ own annotation data. As of September 2009, genomic sequence and a basic set of annotation ‘tracks’ are provided for 47 organisms, including 14 mammals, 10 non-mammal vertebrates, 3 invertebrate deuterostomes, 13 insects, 6 worms and a yeast. New data highlights this year include an updated human genome browser, a 44-species multiple sequence alignment track, improved variation and phenotype tracks and 16 new genome-wide ENCODE tracks. New features include drag-and-zoom navigation, a Wiki track for user-added annotations, new custom track formats for large datasets (bigBed and bigWig), a new multiple alignment output tool, links to variation and protein structure tools, in silico PCR utility enhancements, and improved track configuration tools.
The prevalence and the origin of HIV-1 subtype B, the most prevalent circulating clade among the long-term residents in Europe, have been studied extensively. However the spatial diffusion of the epidemic from the perspective of the virus has not previously been traced.
In the current study we inferred the migration history of HIV-1 subtype B by way of a phylogeography of viral sequences sampled from 16 European countries and Israel. Migration events were inferred from viral phylogenies by character reconstruction using parsimony. With regard to the spatial dispersal of the HIV subtype B sequences across viral phylogenies, in most of the countries in Europe the epidemic was introduced by multiple sources and subsequently spread within local networks. Poland provides an exception where most of the infections were the result of a single point introduction. According to the significant migratory pathways, we show that there are considerable differences across Europe. Specifically, Greece, Portugal, Serbia and Spain, provide sources shedding HIV-1; Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg, on the other hand, are migratory targets, while for Denmark, Germany, Italy, Israel, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK we inferred significant bidirectional migration. For Poland no significant migratory pathways were inferred.
Subtype B phylogeographies provide a new insight about the geographical distribution of viral lineages, as well as the significant pathways of virus dispersal across Europe, suggesting that intervention strategies should also address tourists, travellers and migrants.
Previous studies of the HIV-1 disease have shown that HLA and Chemokine receptor genetic variants influence disease progression and early viral load. We performed a Genome Wide Association study in a cohort of 605 HIV-1-infected seroconverters for detection of novel genetic factors that influence plasma HIV-RNA and cellular HIV-DNA levels. Most of the SNPs strongly associated with HIV-RNA levels were localised in the 6p21 major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region and were in the vicinity of class I and III genes. Moreover, protective alleles for four disease-associated SNPs in the MHC locus (rs2395029, rs13199524, rs12198173 and rs3093662) were strikingly over-represented among forty-five Long Term HIV controllers. Furthermore, we show that the HIV-DNA levels (reflecting the HIV reservoir) are associated with the same four SNPs, but also with two additional SNPs on chromosome 17 (rs6503919; intergenic region flanked by the DDX40 and YPEL2 genes) and chromosome 8 (rs2575735; within the Syndecan 2 gene). Our data provide evidence that the MHC controls both HIV replication and HIV reservoir. They also indicate that two additional genomic loci may influence the HIV reservoir.
Prevalence of HIV-1 non-B subtypes has increased overtime in patients diagnosed at the time of primary infection (PHI) in France. Our objective was to characterize in detail non-B strains which could not be genetically classified into the known subtypes/Circulating Recombinant Forms (CRFs).
Among 744 patients enrolled in the ANRS PRIMO Cohort since 1996, 176 (23.7%) were infected with HIV-1 non-B strains. The subtype/CRF could not be identified in RT for 15 (2%). The V3-V5 env region was sequenced and 3 strains (04FR-KZS, 06FR-CRN, 04FR-AUK) were full-length sequenced. Phylogenetic and bootscan analyses were used to characterize the mosaic structures.
Among V3-V5 sequences, 6 were divergent A, 2 distantly related to E or D, 2 C, 1 B and 2 remained unclassified. 04FR-KZS, isolated in a Congolese woman infected in France, clustered with 2 previously described viruses from the Democratic Republic of Congo. They represent CRF27_cpx involving A/E/G/H/J/K/U subtypes. 06FR-CRN, isolated in a homosexual Caucasian patient, was a B/C/U recombinant involving a Brazilian C strain. 04FR-AUK, isolated in a Congolese patient infected in France, was a A/K/CRF09/U recombinant clustering from gag to vif with HIV-1 MAL. Others PHI were further observed in 2006–2007 with 1 KZS and 5 CRN-like viruses, suggesting their spread in France.
This study illustrates the increasing HIV-1 diversity in France associating new (06FR-CRN) and old (CRF27_cpx and "MAL-like" 04FR-AUK) strains, which are rare in their region of origin but may have a possible founder effect in France. Our results strengthen the French guidelines recommending viro-epidemiological surveillance of HIV-1 diversity.
The evolution of plasma viral load after HIV infection has been described as reaching a setpoint, only to start rising again shortly before AIDS diagnosis. In contrast, CD4 T-cell count is considered to show a stable decrease. However, characteristics of marker evolution over time depend on the scale that is used to visualize trends. In reconsidering the setpoint theory for HIV RNA, we analyzed the evolution of CD4 T-cell count and HIV-1 RNA level from HIV seroconversion to AIDS diagnosis. Follow-up data were used from two cohort studies among homosexual men (N = 400), restricting to the period before highly active antiretroviral therapy became widely available (1984 until 1996). Individual trajectories of both markers were fitted and averaged, both from seroconversion onwards and in the four years preceding AIDS diagnosis, using a bivariate random effects model. Both markers were evaluated on a scale that is directly related to AIDS risk.
Individuals with faster AIDS progression had higher HIV RNA level six months after seroconversion. For CD4 T-cell count, this ordering was less clearly present. However, HIV RNA level and CD4 T-cell count showed qualitatively similar evolution over time after seroconversion, also when stratified by rate of progression to AIDS. In the four years preceding AIDS diagnosis, a non-significant change in HIV RNA increase was seen, whereas a significant biphasic pattern was present for CD4 T-cell decline.
HIV RNA level has more setpoint behaviour than CD4 T-cell count as far as the level shortly after seroconversion is concerned. However, with respect to the, clinically more relevant, marker evolution over time after seroconversion, a setpoint theory holds as much for CD4 T-cell count as for HIV RNA level.
The objective was to develop and to validate an immunossay to identify recent human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infections that can be used on dried serum spots (DSS). A single, indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was developed to quantify antibodies toward four HIV-1 antigens: consensus peptides of the immunodominant epitope of gp41 (IDE), consensus V3 peptides, recombinant integrase, and recombinant p24. The parameters of the logistic regression used to classify the samples were estimated on a training sample (210 serum samples) using resampling techniques to get stable estimates and then applied to a validation sample (761 serum samples). The IDE and V3 peptides were the best able to discriminate between the antibodies present in serum from recently (≤6 months) infected individuals and those with long-lasting infection. Combined quantification of antibody binding to these two synthetic antigens allowed us to identify recent infections with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.949 and a sensitivity of 88.3%, with a specificity of 97.6% in patients with long-term infection (but not AIDS) and 86.0% in patients suffering from AIDS with a threshold of 0.50 in the validation sample. This simple immunoassay can be used to identify recently HIV-1-infected patients. Its performance is compatible with its use in population-based studies including DSS.
HIV-specific CD8+ T cells play a major role in the control of virus during HIV primary infection (PI) but do not completely prevent viral replication. We used IFN-γ enzyme-linked immunospot assay and intracellular staining to characterize the ex vivo CD8+ T-cell responses to a large variety of HIV epitopic peptides in 24 subjects with early HIV PI. We observed HIV-specific responses in 71% of subjects. Gag and Nef peptides were more frequently recognized than Env and Pol peptides. The number of peptides recognized was low (median 2, range 0–6). In contrast, a much broader response was observed in 30 asymptomatic subjects with chronic infection: all were responders with a median of 5 peptides recognized (range 1–13). The frequency of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells among PBMC for a given peptide was of the same order of magnitude in both groups. The proportion of HIV-specific CD8+CD28– terminally differentiated T cells was much lower in PI than at the chronic stage of infection. The weakness of the immune response during HIV PI could partially account for the failure to control HIV. These findings have potential importance for defining immunotherapeutic strategies and establishing the goals for effective vaccination.
J. Clin. Invest. 104:1431–1439 (1999).