Painful peripheral neuropathy belongs to major side-effects limiting cancer chemotherapy. Paclitaxel, widely used to treat several cancers, induces neurological symptoms including burning pain, allodynia, hyperalgesia and numbness. Therefore, identification of drugs that may effectively counteract paclitaxel-induced neuropathic symptoms is crucial. Here, we combined histopathological, neurochemical, behavioral and electrophysiological methods to investigate the natural neurosteroid 3α-androstanediol (3α-DIOL) ability to counteract paclitaxel-evoked peripheral nerve tissue damages and neurological symptoms. Prophylactic or corrective 3α-DIOL treatment (4 mg/kg/2days) prevented or suppressed PAC-evoked heat-thermal hyperalgesia, cold-allodynia and mechanical allodynia/hyperalgesia, by reversing to normal, decreased thermal and mechanical pain thresholds of PAC-treated rats. Electrophysiological studies demonstrated that 3α-DIOL restored control values of nerve conduction velocity and action potential peak amplitude significantly altered by PAC-treatment. 3α-DIOL also repaired PAC-induced nerve damages by restoring normal neurofilament-200 level in peripheral axons and control amount of 2’,3’-cyclic-nucleotide-3’-phosphodiesterase in myelin sheaths. Decreased density of intraepidermal nerve fibers evoked by PAC-therapy was also counteracted by 3α-DIOL treatment. More importantly, 3α-DIOL beneficial effects were not sedation-dependent but resulted from its neuroprotective ability, nerve tissue repairing capacity and long-term analgesic action. Altogether, our results showing that 3α-DIOL efficiently counteracted PAC-evoked painful symptoms, also offer interesting possibilities to develop neurosteroid-based strategies against chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. This article shows that the prophylactic or corrective treatment with 3α-androstanediol prevents or suppresses PAC-evoked painful symptoms and peripheral nerve dysfunctions in rats. The data suggest that 3α-androstanediol-based therapy may constitute an efficient strategy to explore in humans for the eradication of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.
Low 25(OH)D has been associated with dyslipidemia, insulin resistance and inflammation in both general and HIV-infected (mostly treated) populations. We investigated these associations in antiretroviral-naïve HIV-infected persons.
We measured plasma 25(OH)D, metabolic, immunologic and inflammatory markers in 355 persons (204 Whites, 151 Blacks) at enrollment in the ANRS COPANA cohort.
25(OH)D levels were categorized <10 ng/mL (severe deficiency) and <20 ng/mL (deficiency). Statistical analyses were adjusted for sampling season, ethnicity and the interaction between season and ethnicity.
25(OH)D insufficiency (<30 ng/mL), deficiency (<20 ng/mL) and severe deficiency (<10 ng/mL) were highly prevalent (93%, 67% and 24% of patients, respectively). Blacks had significantly lower 25(OH)D than Whites (median: 13 vs. 17 ng/mL, P<0.001), with markedly less pronounced seasonal variation. Smoking and drinking alcohol were associated with having a 25 OHD level<10 ng/mL. In patients with 25(OH)D<10 ng/mL, the proportion of persons with a CD4 count<100/mm3 was higher than in patients with 25(OH)D≥10 ng/mL (18.8% vs. 10.7%, P = 0.04). Persons with 25 OHD<10 ng/mL had higher levels of hsCRP (1.60 mg/L [IQR: 0.59–5.76] vs. 1.27 mg/L [0.58–3,39], P = 0.03) and resistin (16.81 ng/L [IQR: 13.82–25.74] vs. 11.56 ng/L [IQR: 8.87–20.46], P = 0.02), and, among Blacks only, sTNFR2 (2.92 ng/mL [2.31–4.13] vs. 2.67 ng/mL, [1.90–3.23], P = 0.04). The strength and significance of the association between CD4<100/mm3 and 25 OHD<10 ng/mL were reduced after adjustment on sTNFR1, sTNFR2, and hsCRP levels. In multivariate analysis, a CD4 count <100/mm3, resistin concentration and smoking were independently associated with 25(OH)D<10 ng/mL.
Severe vitamin D deficiency was associated with low CD4 counts and increased markers of inflammation in ARV-naïve HIV-infected persons.
Lynch syndrome is the most common cause of inherited colorectal cancer, accounting for approximately 3% of all colorectal cancer cases in the United States. In 2009, an evidence-based review process conducted by the independent Evaluation of Genomic Applications in Practice and Prevention Working Group resulted in a recommendation to offer genetic testing for Lynch syndrome to all individuals with newly diagnosed colorectal cancer, with the intent of reducing morbidity and mortality in family members. To explore issues surrounding implementation of this recommendation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention convened a multidisciplinary working group meeting in September 2010. This article reviews background information regarding screening for Lynch syndrome and summarizes existing clinical paradigms, potential implementation strategies, and conclusions which emerged from the meeting. It was recognized that widespread implementation will present substantial challenges, and additional data from pilot studies will be needed. However, evidence of feasibility and population health benefits and the advantages of considering a public health approach were acknowledged. Lynch syndrome can potentially serve as a model to facilitate the development and implementation of population-level programs for evidence-based genomic medicine applications involving follow-up testing of at-risk relatives. Such endeavors will require multilevel and multidisciplinary approaches building on collaborative public health and clinical partnerships.
colorectal cancer; genetic screening; genetic testing; HNPCC; Lynch syndrome
Guidelines for initiating HIV treatment are regularly revised. We explored how physicians in France have applied these evolving guidelines for ART initiation over the last decade in two different situations: chronic (CHI) and primary HIV-1 infection (PHI), since specific recommendations for PHI are also provided in France.
Data came from the ANRS PRIMO (1267 patients enrolled during PHI in 1996–2010) and COPANA (800 subjects enrolled at HIV diagnosis in 2004–2008) cohorts. We defined as guidelines-inconsistent during PHI and CHI, patients meeting criteria for ART initiation and not treated in the following month and during the next 6 months, respectively.
ART initiation during PHI dramatically decreased from 91% of patients in 1996–99 to 22% in 2007 and increased to 60% in 2010, following changes in recommendations. In 2007, however, after the CD4 count threshold was raised to 350 cells/mm3 in 2006, only 55% of the patients with CD4≤350 were treated and 66% in 2008. During CHI, ART was more frequently initiated in patients who met the criteria at entry (96%) than during follow-up: 83% when recommendation to treat was 200 and 73% when it was 350 cells/mm3. Independent risk factors for not being treated during CHI despite meeting the criteria were lower viral load, lower educational level, and poorer living conditions.
HIV ART initiation guidelines are largely followed by practitioners in France. What can still be improved, however, is time to treat when CD4 cell counts reach the threshold to treat. Risk factors for lack of timely treatment highlight the need to understand better how patients’ living conditions and physicians’ perceptions influence the decision to initiate treatment.
We aimed to compare rates of virologic response and CD4 changes after combination antiretroviral (cART) initiation in individuals infected with B and specific non-B HIV subtypes.
Using CASCADE data we analyzed HIV-RNA and CD4 counts for persons infected ≥1996, ≥15 years of age. We used survival and longitudinal modeling to estimate probabilities of virologic response (confirmed HIV-RNA <500 c/ml), and failure (HIV-RNA>500 c/ml at 6 months or ≥1000 c/ml following response) and CD4 increase after cART initiation.
2003 (1706 B, 142 CRF02_AG, 55 A, 53 C, 47 CRF01_AE) seroconverters were included in analysis. There was no evidence of subtype effect overall for response or failure (p = 0.075 and 0.317, respectively) although there was a suggestion that those infected with subtypes CRF01_AE and A responded sooner than those with subtype B infection [HR (95% CI):1.37 (1.01–1.86) and 1.29 (0.96–1.72), respectively]. Rates of CD4 increase were similar in all subtypes except subtype A, which tended to have lower initial, but faster long-term, increases.
Virologic and immunologic response to cART was similar across all studied subtypes but statistical power was limited by the rarity of some non-B subtypes. Current antiretroviral agents seem to have similar efficacy in subtype B and most widely encountered non-B infections in high-income countries.
Multiple genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been performed in HIV-1 infected individuals, identifying common genetic influences on viral control and disease course. Similarly, common genetic correlates of acquisition of HIV-1 after exposure have been interrogated using GWAS, although in generally small samples. Under the auspices of the International Collaboration for the Genomics of HIV, we have combined the genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data collected by 25 cohorts, studies, or institutions on HIV-1 infected individuals and compared them to carefully matched population-level data sets (a list of all collaborators appears in Note S1 in Text S1). After imputation using the 1,000 Genomes Project reference panel, we tested approximately 8 million common DNA variants (SNPs and indels) for association with HIV-1 acquisition in 6,334 infected patients and 7,247 population samples of European ancestry. Initial association testing identified the SNP rs4418214, the C allele of which is known to tag the HLA-B*57:01 and B*27:05 alleles, as genome-wide significant (p = 3.6×10−11). However, restricting analysis to individuals with a known date of seroconversion suggested that this association was due to the frailty bias in studies of lethal diseases. Further analyses including testing recessive genetic models, testing for bulk effects of non-genome-wide significant variants, stratifying by sexual or parenteral transmission risk and testing previously reported associations showed no evidence for genetic influence on HIV-1 acquisition (with the exception of CCR5Δ32 homozygosity). Thus, these data suggest that genetic influences on HIV acquisition are either rare or have smaller effects than can be detected by this sample size.
Comparing the frequency differences between common DNA variants in disease-affected cases and in unaffected controls has been successful in uncovering the genetic component of multiple diseases. This approach is most effective when large samples of cases and controls are available. Here we combine information from multiple studies of HIV infected patients, including more than 6,300 HIV+ individuals, with data from 7,200 general population samples of European ancestry to test nearly 8 million common DNA variants for an impact on HIV acquisition. With this large sample we did not observe any single common genetic variant that significantly associated with HIV acquisition. We further tested 22 variants previously identified by smaller studies as influencing HIV acquisition. With the exception of a deletion polymorphism in the CCR5 gene (CCR5Δ32) we found no convincing evidence to support these previous associations. Taken together these data suggest that genetic influences on HIV acquisition are either rare or have smaller effects than can be detected by this sample size.
Characterization of HIV-1 sequences in newly infected individuals is important for elucidating the mechanisms of viral sexual transmission. We report the identification of transmitted/founder viruses in eight pairs of HIV-1 sexually-infected patients enrolled at the time of primary infection (“recipients”) and their transmitting partners (“donors”).
Using a single genome-amplification approach, we compared quasispecies in donors and recipients on the basis of 316 and 376 C2V5 env sequences amplified from plasma viral RNA and PBMC-associated DNA, respectively.
Both DNA and RNA sequences indicated very homogeneous viral populations in all recipients, suggesting transmission of a single variant, even in cases of recent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in donors (n = 2) or recipients (n = 3). In all pairs, the transmitted/founder virus was derived from an infrequent variant population within the blood of the donor. The donor variant sequences most closely related to the recipient sequences were found in plasma samples in 3/8 cases and/or in PBMC samples in 6/8 cases. Although donors were exclusively (n = 4) or predominantly (n = 4) infected by CCR5-tropic (R5) strains, two recipients were infected with highly homogeneous CXCR4/dual-mixed-tropic (X4/DM) viral populations, identified in both DNA and RNA. The proportion of X4/DM quasispecies in donors was higher in cases of X4/DM than R5 HIV transmission (16.7–22.0% versus 0–2.6%), suggesting that X4/DM transmission may be associated with a threshold population of X4/DM circulating quasispecies in donors.
These suggest that a severe genetic bottleneck occurs during subtype B HIV-1 heterosexual and homosexual transmission. Sexually-transmitted/founder virus cannot be directly predicted by analysis of the donor’s quasispecies in plasma and/or PBMC. Additional studies are required to fully understand the traits that confer the capacity to transmit and establish infection, and determine the role of concomitant STIs in mitigating the genetic bottleneck in mucosal HIV transmission.
We compared the neutralization sensitivity of early/transmitted HIV-1 variants from patients infected by subtype B viruses at 3 periods of the epidemic (1987–1991, 1996–2000, 2006–2010). Infectious pseudotyped viruses expressing envelope glycoproteins representative of the viral quasi-species infecting each patient were tested for sensitivity to neutralization by pools of sera from HIV-1 chronically infected patients and by an updated panel of 13 human monoclonal neutralizing antibodies (HuMoNAbs). A progressive significantly enhanced resistance to neutralization was observed over calendar time, by both human sera and most of the HuMoNAbs tested (b12, VRC01, VRC03, NIH45-46G54W, PG9, PG16, PGT121, PGT128, PGT145). Despite this evolution, a combination of two HuMoNAbs (NIH45-46G54W and PGT128) still would efficiently neutralize the most contemporary transmitted variants. In addition, we observed a significant reduction of the heterologous neutralizing activity of sera from individuals infected most recently (2003–2007) compared to patients infected earlier (1987–1991), suggesting that the increasing resistance of the HIV species to neutralization over time coincided with a decreased immunogenicity. These data provide evidence for an ongoing adaptation of the HIV-1 species to the humoral immunity of the human population, which may add an additional obstacle to the design of an efficient HIV-1 vaccine.
Most of the patients develop autologous neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) during HIV-1 infection. These NAbs drive the viral evolution and lead to the selection of escape variants at the individual level. The aim of our study was to check if, subsequently to the selective pressure exerted by the individual NAbs responses, the HIV-1 species has evolved at the population level towards an enhanced resistance to antibody neutralization. By comparing HIV-1 subtype B variants collected at three periods spanning more than 2 decades, we found a significantly progressive enhanced resistance to neutralization of the HIV-1 species over time. In addition, the enhanced resistance of the HIV species to neutralization coincided with a decreased capability of the virus to induce NAbs in infected patients. Despite this evolution, one combination of two human monoclonal broadly NAbs still were able to neutralize the most recent HIV-1 variants, suggesting that this combination should be preferentially included in future human immunoprophylaxis trials.
Impairment of the intestinal barrier and subsequent microbial translocation (MT) may be involved in chronic immune activation, which plays a central role in HIV pathogenesis. Th17 cells are critical to prevent MT. The aim of the study was to investigate, in patients with primary HIV infection (PHI), the early relationship between the Th17/Treg ratio, monocyte activation and MT and their impact on the T-cell activation set point, which is known to predict disease progression. 27 patients with early PHI were included in a prospective longitudinal study and followed-up for 6 months. At baseline, the Th17/Treg ratio strongly negatively correlated with the proportion of activated CD8 T cells expressing CD38/HLA-DR or Ki-67. Also, the Th17/Treg ratio was negatively related to viral load and plasma levels of sCD14 and IL-1RA, two markers of monocyte activation. In untreated patients, the Th17/Treg ratio at baseline negatively correlated with CD8 T-cell activation at month 6 defining the T-cell activation set point (% HLA-DR+CD38+ and %Ki-67+). Soluble CD14 and IL-1RA plasma levels also predicted the T-cell activation set point. Levels of I-FABP, a marker of mucosal damages, were similar to healthy controls at baseline but increased at month 6. No decrease in anti-endotoxin core antibody (EndoCAb) and no peptidoglycan were detected during PHI. In addition, 16S rDNA was only detected at low levels in 2 out 27 patients at baseline and in one additional patient at M6. Altogether, data support the hypothesis that T-cell and monocyte activation in PHI are not primarily driven by systemic MT but rather by viral replication. Moreover, the “innate immune set point” defined by the early levels of sCD14 and IL-1RA might be powerful early surrogate markers for disease progression and should be considered for use in clinical practice.
Generalized immune activation is pivotal in the pathogenesis of HIV disease. Impairment in the gut mucosal barrier allows the translocation of microbial flora from the gut towards the circulation. Translocated microbial products, together with HIV replication, contribute to chronic immune activation. Th17 cells are involved in epithelial barrier integrity and a loss of the balance between Th17 and regulatory T cells (Tregs) has been associated with disease progression. Early events occurring following infection are crucial for the subsequent disease progression. Thus, a high immune activation set point (level of T-cell activation established at the end of acute infection) is a marker of poor prognosis. Whether microbial translocation contributes to the immune activation set point remains an outstanding question. In our longitudinal prospective study of patients with acute infection, we investigated the early relationships between the Th17/Treg balance, monocyte activation and microbial translocation and their impact on the T-cell activation set point. We demonstrated that systemic microbial translocation does not occur at the time of acute infection. Moreover, we identified IL-1RA as a novel plasma biomarker predictive of the immune activation set point. This biomarker could be considered for use in clinical practice as a surrogate marker for disease progression.
Employment status is a major predictor of health status and living conditions, especially among HIV-infected people, a predominantly working-aged population. We aimed to quantify the risk of work cessation following HIV diagnosis in France in 2004–2010 and to measure the respective burden of HIV-related characteristics and of associated comorbidities on this risk.
We used data from the ANRS-COPANA multicenter cohort made of a diversified sample of recently diagnosed HIV-1-infected adults, antiretroviral treatment-naïve at baseline in 2004–2008. Detailed information on living conditions and clinical and biological characteristics were collected prospectively.
The risk of work cessation among the 376 working-aged participants employed at baseline was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Characteristics associated with the risk of work cessation were identified using multivariate Cox models.
The cumulative probability of work cessation reached 14.1% after 2 years and 34.7% after 5 years. Diabetes, hypertension and, to a lesser extent, signs of depression were associated with increased risks of work cessation after accounting for socio-occupational characteristics (adjusted hazard ratios [95% confidence interval]:5.7 [1.7–18.8], 3.1 [1.5–6.4] and 1.6 [0.9–2.9], respectively). In contrast, HIV disease severity and treatment, and experience of HIV-related discrimination were not statistically associated with the risk of work cessation.
The risk of work cessation during the course of HIV disease has remained substantial in the most recent period in France. Comorbidities, but not characteristics of HIV disease itself, substantially affect chances of maintaining in employment. This provides insights into strategies for limiting the burden of HIV disease for individuals and society.
Adult; Anti-HIV Agents; therapeutic use; Cardiovascular Diseases; drug therapy; epidemiology; virology; Cohort Studies; Comorbidity; Cost of Illness; Depression; drug therapy; epidemiology; virology; Diabetes Mellitus; drug therapy; epidemiology; virology; Employment; statistics & numerical data; Female; France; HIV Infections; drug therapy; epidemiology; virology; HIV-1; Health Status; Humans; Kaplan-Meier Estimate; Male; Middle Aged; Occupational Health; Proportional Hazards Models; Prospective Studies; Socioeconomic Factors; Truth Disclosure; Employment status; Socioeconomic factors; Comorbidity; HIV-related discrimination; France
Optimizing therapeutic strategies for an HIV cure requires better understanding the characteristics of early HIV-1 spread among resting CD4+ cells within the first month of primary HIV-1 infection (PHI). We studied the immune distribution, diversity, and inducibility of total HIV-DNA among the following cell subsets: monocytes, peripheral blood activated and resting CD4 T cells, long-lived (naive [TN] and central-memory [TCM]) and short-lived (transitional-memory [TTM] and effector-memory cells [TEM]) resting CD4+T cells from 12 acutely-infected individuals recruited at a median 36 days from infection. Cells were sorted for total HIV-DNA quantification, phylogenetic analysis and inducibility, all studied in relation to activation status and cell signaling. One month post-infection, a single CCR5-restricted viral cluster was massively distributed in all resting CD4+ subsets from 88% subjects, while one subject showed a slight diversity. High levels of total HIV-DNA were measured among TN (median 3.4 log copies/million cells), although 10-fold less (p = 0.0005) than in equally infected TCM (4.5), TTM (4.7) and TEM (4.6) cells. CD3−CD4+ monocytes harbored a low viral burden (median 2.3 log copies/million cells), unlike equally infected resting and activated CD4+ T cells (4.5 log copies/million cells). The skewed repartition of resting CD4 subsets influenced their contribution to the pool of resting infected CD4+T cells, two thirds of which consisted of short-lived TTM and TEM subsets, whereas long-lived TN and TCM subsets contributed the balance. Each resting CD4 subset produced HIV in vitro after stimulation with anti-CD3/anti-CD28+IL-2 with kinetics and magnitude varying according to subset differentiation, while IL-7 preferentially induced virus production from long-lived resting TN cells. In conclusion, within a month of infection, a clonal HIV-1 cluster is massively distributed among resting CD4 T-cell subsets with a flexible inducibility, suggesting that subset activation and skewed immune homeostasis determine the conditions of viral dissemination and early establishment of the HIV reservoir.
The strong CD8+ T-cell-mediated HIV-1-suppressive capacity found in a minority of HIV-infected patients in chronic infection is associated with spontaneous control of viremia. However, it is still unclear whether such capacities were also present earlier in the CD8+ T cells from non controller patients and then lost as a consequence of uncontrolled viral replication. We studied 50 patients with primary HIV-1-infection to determine whether strong CD8+ T-cell-mediated HIV suppression is more often observed at that time. Despite high frequencies of polyfunctional HIV-specific CD8+ T-cells and a strong CD4+ T-helper response, CD8+ T-cells from 48 patients lacked strong HIV-suppressive capacities ex vivo. This indicates that the superior HIV-suppressive capacity of CD8+ T-cells from HIV controllers is not a general characteristic of the HIV-specific CD8+ T cell response in primary HIV infection.
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.
Natural killer (NK) cells play a prominent role at the intersection between innate and cognate immunity, thus influencing the development of multiple pathological conditions including HIV-1-induced AIDS. Not only NK cells directly kill HIV-1-infected cells, but also control the maturation and/or elimination of dendritic cells (DCs). These functions are regulated by the delicate balance between activating and inhibiting receptors expressed at the NK-cell surface. Among the former, NKp30 has raised significant interest since the alternative splicing of its intracellular domain leads to differential effector functions, dictating the prognosis of patients bearing gastrointestinal sarcoma, and B7-H6 has recently been identified as its main ligand. Since NKp30 is downregulated in CD56-/CD16+ NK cells expanded in viremic, chronically infected HIV-1+ patients, we decided to investigate the predictive value of NKp30 splice variants for spontaneous disease progression in 89 therapy-naïve HIV-1-infected individuals enrolled in an historical cohort of patients followed since diagnosis (ANRS SEROCO cohort). We found no difference in the representation of NK-cell subsets (CD56bright, CD56dim, CD56neg) in HIV-1-infected patients as compared with healthy subjects. NKp30 downregulation was detected in CD56dim and CD56neg NK-cell subsets, yet this did not convey any prognostic value. None of the NKp30 isoforms did affect disease progression, as measured in terms of time-to-loss of circulating CD4+ T cells, time-to-AIDS-defining events and overall survival. NKp30 isoforms do not seem to play a major role in the outcome of HIV-1 infection, but the heterogeneity of the immuno-virological status of patients at enrollment could have to be taken into account.
HIV-1; immunosurveillance; natural course of infection; NK; NKp30 isoforms
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.