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1.  Validation for Clinical Use of a Novel HIV-2 Plasma RNA Viral Load Assay Using the Abbott m2000 Platform 
Background
Optimal care of persons infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 2 (HIV-2) requires an accurate assessment of HIV-2 plasma viral load (VL), but no clinically-approved quantitative HIV-2 RNA VL assay exists.
Objectives
To validate a novel quantitative HIV-2 RNA assay for clinical and research use.
Study Design
The Abbott m2000sp/rt platform was adapted for quantification of HIV-2 RNA in plasma. Amplification targeted a region of the long terminal repeat conserved in Group A and B HIV-2. Electron microscopy-counted-HIV-2 standards, the WHO/NIBSC HIV-2 International Standard and clinical specimens (N=162) were used to determine the precision, sensitivity, specificity, linear range, accuracy, and clinical performance of the assay.
Results
The quantitative linear range of the HIV-2 RNA assay was 10–1,000,000 copies/mL (R2 >0.99), with a limit of detection of 8 copies/mL (95% CI, 5–18 copies/ml). The assay did not cross-react with HIV-1, and quantification of HIV-2 RNA was not affected by the presence of >5 log10 HIV-1 RNA copies/mL. The total standard deviation (SD) and intra- and inter- run SD were 0.095, 0.093 and 0.162, respectively, at nominal inputs of 3.7, 1.7 and 1.0 log10 HIV-2 RNA copies/mL. The HIV-2 WHO/NIBSC International Standard (1000 IU) was shown to contain 152 RNA copies/mL (95% CI 141–163). Overall, HIV-2 RNA was quantified at ≥ 10 copies/mL from 86 (53%) clinical specimens (median, 2.24 log10copies/mL; range 10–16870), and nine specimens (6%) had HIV-2 RNA detected at <10 copies/mL.
Conclusions
We developed and validated a highly-sensitive HIV-2 VL assay that is suitable for clinical and research use.
doi:10.1016/j.jcv.2012.06.024
PMCID: PMC3444162  PMID: 22832059
HIV-2; PCR; Real-time; diagnostic; plasma viral loads
2.  Emergence of Multiclass Drug–Resistance in HIV-2 in Antiretroviral-Treated Individuals in Senegal: Implications for HIV-2 Treatment in Resouce-Limited West Africa 
Background
The efficacy of various antiretroviral (ARV) therapy regimens for human immunodeficiency virus type 2 (HIV-2) infection remains unclear. HIV-2 is intrinsically resistant to the nonnucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitors and to enfuvirtide and may also be less susceptible than HIV-1 to some protease inhibitors (PIs). However, the mutations in HIV-2 that confer ARV resistance are not well characterized.
Methods
Twenty-three patients were studied as part of an ongoing prospective longitudinal cohort study of ARV therapy for HIV-2 infection in Senegal. Patients were treated with nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI)– and PI (indinavir)–based regimens. HIV-2 pol genes from these patients were genotyped, and the mutations predictive of resistance in HIV-2 were assessed. Correlates of ARV resistance were analyzed.
Results
Multiclass drug–resistance mutations (NRTI and PI) were detected in strains in 30% of patients; 52% had evidence of resistance to at least 1 ARV class. The reverse-transcriptase mutations M184V and K65R, which confer high-level resistance to lamivudine and emtricitabine in HIV-2, were found in strains from 43% and 9% of patients, respectively. The Q151M mutation, which confers multinucleoside resistance in HIV-2, emerged in strains from 9% of patients. HIV-1–associated thymidine analogue mutations (M41L, D67N, K70R, L210W, and T215Y/F) were not observed, with the exception of K70R, which was present together with K65R and Q151M in a strain from 1 patient. Eight patients had HIV-2 with PI mutations associated with indinavir resistance, including K7R, I54M, V62A, I82F, L90M, L99F; 4 patients had strains with multiple PI resistance–associated mutations. The duration of ARV therapy was positively associated with the development of drug resistance (P = .02). Nine (82%) of 11 patients with HIV-2 with detectable ARV resistance had undetectable plasma HIV-2 RNA loads (<1.4 log10 copies/mL), compared with 3 (25%) of 12 patients with HIV-2 with detectable ARV resistance (P = .009). Patients with ARV-resistant virus had higher plasma HIV-2 RNA loads, compared with those with non–ARV-resistant virus (median, 1.7 log10 copies/mL [range, <1.4 to 2.6 log10 copies/mL] vs. <1.4 log10 copies/mL [range, <1.4 to 1.6 log10 copies/mL]; P = .003).
Conclusions
HIV-2–infected individuals treated with ARV therapy in Senegal commonly have HIV-2 mutations consistent with multiclass drug resistance. Additional clinical studies are required to improve the efficacy of primary and salvage treatment regimens for treating HIV-2 infection.
doi:10.1086/596504
PMCID: PMC3671065  PMID: 19143530
3.  EARLY NATURAL HISTORY OF INCIDENT TYPE-SPECIFIC HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS INFECTIONS IN NEWLY SEXUALLY ACTIVE YOUNG WOMEN 
BACKGROUND
Characterizing short-term detection patterns of young women’s incident alpha-genus human papillomavirus (HPV) infections may further understanding of HPV transmission.
METHODS
Between 2000–2007, we followed 18–22 year old female university students with triannual HPV DNA and Papanicolau testing. Using Kaplan-Meier methods, we estimated: duration of detectable, type-specific incident infections; time to re-detection (among infections that became undetectable); and time to cervical lesion development after incident infection. We evaluated risk factors for short-term persistent versus transient infection with logistic regression.
RESULTS
303 incident type-specific infections were detected in 85 sexually active women. Median time to first negative test after incident infection was 9.4 (95%CI:7.8–11.2) months; 90.6% of infections became undetectable within two years. 19.4% of infections that became undetectable were re-detected within one year. Cervical lesions were common, and 60% were positive for multiple HPV types in concurrent cervical swabs. Incident HPV detection in the cervix only (versus the vulva/vagina only or both sites) was associated with short-term transience.
CONCLUSIONS
While most incident infections became undetectable within two years, re-detection was not uncommon. Cervical lesions were a common early manifestation of HPV infection.
IMPACT
It remains unclear whether potentially modifiable risk factors can be identified to reduce infection duration (and transmission likelihood).
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-10-1108
PMCID: PMC3078690  PMID: 21173170
human papillomavirus; incidence; duration; persistence; women; epidemiology
4.  HIV-2 Integrase Variation in Integrase Inhibitor-Naïve Adults in Senegal, West Africa 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(7):e22204.
Background
Antiretroviral therapy for HIV-2 infection is hampered by intrinsic resistance to many of the drugs used to treat HIV-1. Limited studies suggest that the integrase inhibitors (INIs) raltegravir and elvitegravir have potent activity against HIV-2 in culture and in infected patients. There is a paucity of data on genotypic variation in HIV-2 integrase that might confer intrinsic or transmitted INI resistance.
Methods
We PCR amplified and analyzed 122 HIV-2 integrase consensus sequences from 39 HIV-2–infected, INI-naive adults in Senegal, West Africa. We assessed genetic variation and canonical mutations known to confer INI-resistance in HIV-1.
Results
No amino acid-altering mutations were detected at sites known to be pivotal for INI resistance in HIV-1 (integrase positions 143, 148 and 155). Polymorphisms at several other HIV-1 INI resistance-associated sites were detected at positions 72, 95, 125, 154, 165, 201, 203, and 263 of the HIV-2 integrase protein.
Conclusion
Emerging genotypic and phenotypic data suggest that HIV-2 is susceptible to the new class of HIV integrase inhibitors. We hypothesize that intrinsic HIV-2 integrase variation at “secondary” HIV-1 INI-resistance sites may affect the genetic barrier to HIV-2 INI resistance. Further studies will be needed to assess INI efficacy as part of combination antiretroviral therapy in HIV-2–infected patients.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022204
PMCID: PMC3134476  PMID: 21765953
5.  DETECTION OF GENITAL HPV TYPES IN FINGERTIP SAMPLES FROM NEWLY SEXUALLY ACTIVE FEMALE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS 
Background
Little is known about detection of genital human papillomavirus (HPV) types in women’s fingertips. The study objectives were to determine the presence of genital HPV types in fingertip samples and agreement between fingertip and genital samples for detecting HPV.
Methods
At tri-annual visits, genital and fingertip samples were collected from female university students and tested for 37 HPV genotypes by PCR-based assay. Type-specific concordance between paired fingertip and genital samples was evaluated using a kappa statistic for percent positive agreement (“kappa +”). Paired samples with type-specific concordant fingertip and genital results were selected for variant characterization.
Results
A total of 357 fingertip samples were collected from 128 women. HPV prevalence in fingertip samples was 14.3%. Although percent positive agreement between fingertips and genitals for detecting type-specific HPV was low (17.8%; kappa+=0.17, 95%CI:0.10–0.25), 60.4% of type-specific HPV detected in the fingertips was detected in a concurrent genital sample. All but one of 28 paired concordant samples were positive for the same type-specific variant in the fingertip and genital sample. Re-detection of HPV types at the subsequent visit was more common in genital samples (73.3%) than in fingertip samples (14.5%) (p<.001).
Conclusions
Detection of genital HPV types in the fingertips was not uncommon. While impossible to distinguish between deposition of DNA from the genitals to the fingertips and true fingertip infection, the rarity of repeat detection in the fingertips suggests that deposition is more common.
Impact
Finger-genital transmission is plausible, but unlikely to be a significant source of genital HPV infection.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-10-0226
PMCID: PMC2901391  PMID: 20570905
human papillomavirus; fingertip; genital; women; epidemiology
6.  Evaluation of Transported Dry and Wet Cervical Exfoliated Samples for Detection of Human Papillomavirus Infection▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2010;48(9):3068-3072.
We determined the feasibility of human papillomavirus (HPV) detection in cervical exfoliated cells collected as dry swab samples. Both dry cervical swab and specimen transport medium (STM) cervical swab samples were collected from 135 patients attending either colposcopy or women's clinics in Guayaquil, Ecuador, who had a cytology diagnosis within 6 months. HPV was detected by dot blot hybridization and genotyped by the liquid bead microarray assay (LBMA). Overall, 23.1% of dry samples were positive for any high-risk HPV types, and 24.6% of STM samples were positive for any high-risk HPV types. Of 125 paired samples, the type-specific high-risk HPV proportion positive agreement was 60.7% (kappa, 0.69; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.53 to 0.82). Of six women with cytological evidence of invasive cervical cancer, high-risk HPV DNA was detected in three of their STM samples and in five of their dry samples. Dry samples were more likely to be insufficient for HPV testing than STM samples. Consistent with this observation, the amount of genomic DNA quantitated with the β-actin gene was almost 20 times lower in dry samples than in STM samples when detected by the real-time TaqMan assay; however, HPV DNA viral loads in dry samples were only 1.6 times lower than those in matched STM samples. We concluded that exfoliated cervical cells could be collected as dry swab samples for HPV detection.
doi:10.1128/JCM.00736-10
PMCID: PMC2937663  PMID: 20610686
7.  Human Papillomavirus Types 16 and 18 DNA Load in Relation to Coexistence of Other Types, Particularly Those in the Same Species 
Background
Infection with multiple human papillomavirus (HPV) types is common. However, it is unknown whether viral DNA load is related to the coexistence of other types.
Methods
Study subjects were 802 and 303 women who were positive for HPV16 and HPV18, respectively, at enrollment into the Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance and Low-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion Triage Study. HPV16 and HPV18 E7 copies per nanogram of cellular DNA in cervical swab samples were measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction in triplicate.
Results
Concurrent coinfection was common in this population of women with minor cervical lesions; multiple HPV types were detected in 573 (71.4%) of 802 HPV16-positive women and 227 (74.9%) of 303 HPV18-positive women. The adjusted odds ratio associating coinfection with per 1 log unit increase in HPV16 DNA load was 0.78 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.68-0.89); it was 0.64 (95% CI, 0.52-0.79) for a similar analysis of HPV18 DNA load. Women with, compared to without, coinfection of A9 species possessed a significantly lower HPV16 DNA load (p < 0.001) whereas women with, compared to without, coinfection of A7 species types possessed a significantly lower HPV18 DNA load (p = 0.001). A trend of decrease in HPV16 DNA load with increasing number of the coexisting non-HPV16 A9 species types was statistically significant (p for trend = 0.001).
Conclusion
Coinfection with other types was associated with lower HPV16 and HPV18 DNA load. The extent of reduction was correlated to phylogenetic distance of the coexisting types to HPV16 and HPV18, respectively.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-09-0482
PMCID: PMC2745080  PMID: 19690188
Human Papillomavirus; Viral Load; Coinfection
8.  Development and Evaluation of a Liquid Bead Microarray Assay for Genotyping Genital Human Papillomaviruses▿ †  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2009;47(3):547-553.
We developed a liquid bead microarray (LBMA) assay for genotyping genital human papillomaviruses (HPVs) based on the MY09-MY11-HMB01 PCR system and the reverse line blot (RLB) assay probe sequences. Using individual HPV plasmids, we were able to detect as few as 50 copies per reaction. In two separate retrospective studies, the LBMA assay was compared to the RLB assay and to the Hybrid Capture II (hc2) assay. Testing was performed without knowledge of other assay results. In the first study, 614 cervical swab samples (enriched for HPV infection) from 160 young women were tested for HPV DNA, and 360 (74.8%) type-specific HPV infections were detected by both assays, 71 (14.8%) by the LBMA assay only, and 50 (10.4%) by the RLB assay only. Type-specific agreement for the two assays was excellent (99.1%; kappa = 0.85; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.82 to 0.88). Samples with discrepant LBMA and RLB test results tended to have low viral loads by a quantitative type-specific PCR assay. In the second study, cervical swab samples from 452 women (including 54 women with histologically confirmed cervical-intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or worse [≥CIN2]) were tested initially by the hc2 and subsequently by the LBMA assay. The estimated sensitivities for ≥CIN2 were similar for the LBMA and hc2 assays (98.4% [95% CI, 95.0 to 100%] and 95.6% [95% CI, 89.2 to 100%], respectively). The percentages of negative results among 398 women without ≥CIN2 were similar for the LBMA and hc2 assays (45% and 50%, respectively). The repeat test reproducibility for 100 samples was 99.1% (kappa = 0.92; 95% CI, 0.90 to 0.95). We conclude that the new LBMA assay will be useful for clinical and epidemiological research.
doi:10.1128/JCM.01707-08
PMCID: PMC2650937  PMID: 19144800

Results 1-8 (8)