The duration of protection conferred by prophylactic human papillomavirus (HPV) L1 virus-like particle vaccines is a critical determinant of their public health impact. A feature of vaccines that confer long-term immunity is their ability to induce immune memory.
We evaluated antibody responses against HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18 following administration of the quadrivalent HPV-6/11/16/18 vaccine to women who had previously received a monovalent HPV-16 vaccine.
As part of an extended follow-up study conducted between 2006 and 2009 in Seattle, Washington, we administered the quadrivalent HPV-6/11/16/18 vaccine to 52 women (19 vaccine and 33 placebo recipients) who had participated in a monovalent HPV-16 vaccine trial 8.5 years earlier. Serum samples were tested for anti-HPV antibodies using competitive Luminex immunoassay.
Following administration of the first dose of the quadrivalent HPV-6/11/16/18 vaccine, the anti-HPV-16 geometric mean titer among monovalent HPV-16 vaccine recipients (GMT = 5024.0 milli-Merck units per milliliter [mMU/mL]; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2710.1, 9313.6 mMU/mL) substantially exceeded that among the placebo recipients (GMT = 136.1; 95% CI: 78.5, 235.8 mMU/mL; p < 0.01) and their own highest anti-HPV-16 response observed during the original trial (GMT at month 7 of the original trial = 1552.7 mMU/mL; 95% CI: 1072.6, 2247.7 mMU/mL; p < 0.01).
The findings suggest that the administration of the three-dose regimen of the monovalent HPV-16 vaccine had produced memory lymphocytes, characterized by a heightened immune response following administration of the quadrivalent HPV-6/11/16/18 vaccine that effectively served as an antigen challenge.
Human papillomavirus type 16; Vaccines; Immune memory
MicroRNA (miRNA) expression is known to be deregulated in ovarian carcinomas. However, limited data is available about the miRNA expression pattern for the benign or borderline ovarian tumors as well as differential miRNA expression pattern associated with histological types, grades or clinical stages in ovarian carcinomas. We defined patterns of microRNA expression in tissues from normal, benign, borderline, and malignant ovarian tumors and explored the relationship between frequently deregulated miRNAs and clinicopathologic findings, response to therapy, survival, and association with Her-2/neu status in ovarian carcinomas.
We measured the expression of nine miRNAs (miR-181d, miR-30a-3p, miR-30c, miR-30d, miR-30e-3p, miR-368, miR-370, miR-493-5p, miR-532-5p) in 171 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded ovarian tissue blocks as well as six normal human ovarian surface epithelial (HOSE) cell lines using Taqman-based real-time PCR assays. Her-2/neu overexpression was assessed in ovarian carcinomas (n = 109 cases) by immunohistochemistry analysis.
Expression of four miRNAs (miR-30c, miR-30d, miR-30e-3p, miR-370) was significantly different between carcinomas and benign ovarian tissues as well as between carcinoma and borderline tissues. An additional three miRNAs (miR-181d, miR-30a-3p, miR-532-5p) were significantly different between borderline and carcinoma tissues. Expression of miR-532-5p was significantly lower in borderline than in benign tissues. Among ovarian carcinomas, expression of four miRNAs (miR-30a-3p, miR-30c, miR-30d, miR-30e-3p) was lowest in mucinous and highest in clear cell samples. Expression of miR-30a-3p was higher in well-differentiated compared to poorly differentiated tumors (P = 0.02), and expression of miR-370 was higher in stage I/II compared to stage III/IV samples (P = 0.03). In multivariate analyses, higher expression of miR-181d, miR-30c, miR-30d, and miR-30e-3p was associated with significantly better disease-free or overall survival. Finally, lower expression of miR-30c, miR-30d, miR-30e-3p and miR-532-5p was significantly associated with overexpression of Her-2/neu.
Aberrant expression of miRNAs is common in ovarian tumor suggesting involvement of miRNA in ovarian tumorigenesis. They are associated with histology, clinical stage, survival and oncogene expression in ovarian carcinoma.
miRNA; Ovarian tumor; Her2/neu; Survival
The serologic testing algorithm for recent HIV seroconversion (STARHS) calculates incidence using the proportion of testers who produce a level of HIV antibody high enough to be detected by ELISA but low enough to suggest recent infection. The validity of STARHS relies on independence between dates of HIV infection and dates of antibody testing. When subjects choose the time of their own test, testing may be motivated by risky behaviour or symptoms of infection and the criterion may not be met. This analysis was conducted to ascertain whether estimates of incidence derived using STARHS were consistent with estimates derived using a method more robust against motivated testing.
A cohort-based incidence estimator and two STARHS methods were applied to identical populations (n=3821) tested for HIV antibody at publicly funded sites in Seattle. Overall seroincidence estimates, demographically stratified estimates and incidence rate ratios were compared across methods. The proportion of low-antibody testers among HIV-infected individuals was compared with the proportion expected given their testing histories.
STARHS estimates generally exceeded cohort-based estimates. Incidence ratios derived using STARHS between demographic strata were not consistent across methods. The proportion of HIV-infected individuals with lower antibody levels exceeded that which would be expected under independence between infection and testing.
Incidence estimates and incidence rate ratios derived using methods that rely on the changing antibody level over the course of HIV infection may be vulnerable to bias when applied to populations who choose the time of their own testing.
We sought to determine whether oral fluid can be used to assess serum human papillomavirus (HPV) antibody status by enrolling women who had received a prophylactic HPV-16 vaccine in a new follow-up study. After the prophylactic HPV-6/11/16/18 vaccine was licensed in the United States, we administered it to consenting participants. The sensitivity of oral fluid, treating serology as the gold standard, before and after administration of the quadrivalent vaccine was 49.6% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 42.0%–57.3%) and 100% (95% CI: 92.0%–100%), respectively. Oral fluid may have the potential to be used for monitoring of prophylactic HPV vaccines in the future.
Human papillomavirus; Prophylactic vaccines; Antibodies; Oral fluid
To measure the risk of preterm delivery, premature rupture of membranes, infant low birth weight and infant mortality, by a population‐based retrospective cohort study using Washington State birth certificate data.
All women diagnosed with Chlamydia trachomatis infection (n = 851), noted with a check box on the birth certificate from 2003, and a randomly selected sample of women not diagnosed with C trachomatis (n = 3404) were identified. To assess the RR between chlamydia infection and pregnancy outcomes, multivariable logistic regression analysis was used.
Women with chlamydia infection were younger, more likely to be non‐white and had less years of education compared with women without chlamydia. Additionally, they were more likely to have inadequate prenatal care and coinfections with other sexually transmitted infections. After adjusting for age and education, chlamydia‐infected women were at an increased risk of preterm delivery (RR 1.46, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.99) and premature rupture of membranes (RR 1.50, 95% CI 1.03 to 2.17) compared with non‐infected women. However, no increased risk of infant death (RR 1.02, 95% CI 0.37 to 2.80) or low birth weight (RR 1.12, 95% CI 0.74 to 1.68) associated with chlamydia infection was observed.
This study suggests that C trachomatis is associated with an increased risk of preterm delivery and premature rupture of membranes, but not with infant death and low birth weight. Routine screening and opportune treatment for C trachomatis should be considered a necessary part of prenatal care to reduce these adverse pregnancy outcomes.
The presence of certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) is a known risk factor for the development of anogenital squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs). A similar association has been hypothesized for cutaneous SCCs, although, to our knowledge, no studies to date have combined sensitive HPV DNA detection techniques with epidemiologic data controlling for known risk factors to explore the association. We designed a case–control study examining HPV prevalence using highly sensitive PCR-detection assays in tissue samples from 85 immunocompetent patients with histologically confirmed SCCs and 95 age-matched individuals without a prior history of skin cancer. A standardized interview was administered to all study subjects to collect information pertaining to potential confounding variables. The overall detection rate of HPV DNA was high in case lesions (54%) and perilesions (50%) and in both sun-exposed normal tissue (59%) and non-sun-exposed normal tissue (49%) from controls. In comparing case tissue to control tissue, there was no differential detection of HPV DNA across various HPV species. However, HPV DNA from β-papillomavirus species 2 was more likely to be identified in tumors than in adjacent healthy tissue among cases (paired analysis, odds ratio = 4.0, confidence interval = 1.3–12.0). The high prevalence of HPV DNA detected among controls suggests that HPV DNA is widely distributed among the general population. However, the differential detection of HPV β-papillomavirus species in tumors among cases suggests that certain HPV types may be involved in the progression of cutaneous SCCs.
We previously identified a number of genes which were methylated significantly more frequently in the tumor compared to the non-cancerous lung tissues from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Detection of methylation profiles of genes in NSCLC could provide insight into differential pathways to malignancy and lead to strategies for better treatment of individuals with NSCLC.
We determined the DNA methylation status of 27 genes using quantitative MethyLight assays in lung tumor samples from 117 clinically well-characterized NSCLC patients.
Hypermethylation was detected in one of more of the genes in 106 (91%) of 117 cases and was detected at high levels (Percentage of Methylation Reference (PMR)≥4%) in 79% of NSCLC cases. Methylation of APC, CCND2, KCNH5 and, RUNX was significantly more frequent in adenocarcinomas compared to squamous cell carcinomas (SCC), while methylation of CDKN2A was more common in SCC. Hypermethylation of KCNH5, KCNH8, and RARB was more frequent in females compared to males. Hypermethylation of APC and CCND2 was inversely associated with proliferation score assessed by Ki-67 level.
Our findings of differential gene hypermethylation frequencies in tumor tissues from patients with adenocarcinoma or squamous cell cancers and in females compared to males suggests that further investigation is warranted in order to more fully understand the potential disparate pathways and/or risk factors for NSCLC associated with histologic type and gender.
hypermethylation; lung cancer; gender; histology
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.
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.
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.
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.
We sought to identify factors associated with delayed diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV; testing HIV-seropositive 6 months or more after HIV seroconversion), by comparing delayed testers to non-delayed testers (persons who were diagnosed within 6 months of HIV seroconversion), in King County, Washington among men who have sex with men (MSM). Participants were recruited from HIV testing sites in the Seattle area. Delayed testing status was determined by the Serologic Testing Algorithm for Recent HIV Seroconversion or a self-reported previous HIV-negative test. Quantitative data on sociodemographic characteristics, health history, and drug-use and sexual behaviors were collected via computer-assisted self-interviews. Qualitative semi-structured interviews regarding testing and risk behaviors were also conducted. Multivariate analysis was used to identify factors associated with delayed diagnosis. Content analysis was used to establish themes in the qualitative data. Out of the 77 HIV-seropositive MSM in this sample, 39 (51%) had evidence of delayed diagnosis. Factors associated with delayed testing included being African-American, homeless, “out” to 50% or less people about male-male sex, and having only one sex partner in the past 6 months. Delayed testers often cited HIV-related sickness as their reason for testing and fear and wanting to be in denial of their HIV status as reasons for not testing. Delayed testers frequently did not identify as part of the MSM community, did not recognize that they were at risk for HIV acquisition, and did not feel a responsibility to themselves or others to disclose their HIV status. This study illustrates the need to further explore circumstances around delayed diagnosis in MSM and develop outreach methods and prevention messages targeted specifically to this potentially highly marginalized population in order to detect HIV infections earlier, provide HIV care, and prevent new infections.
MSM; HIV/AIDS; HIV testing; Delayed diagnosis; Delayed testing
It remains unknown whether tobacco smoke induces DNA hypermethylation as an early event in carcinogenesis or as a late event, specific to overt cancer tissue. Using MethyLight assays, we analyzed 316 lung tissue samples from 151 cancer-free subjects (121 ever-smokers and 30 never-smokers) for hypermethylation of 19 genes previously observed to be hypermethylated in nonsmall cell lung cancers. Only APC (39%), CCND2 (21%), CDH1 (7%), and RARB (4%) were hypermethylated in >2% of these cancer-free subjects. CCND2 was hypermethylated more frequently in ever-smokers (26%) than in never-smokers (3%). CCND2 hypermethylation was also associated with increased age and upper lobe sample location. APC was frequently hypermethylated in both ever-smokers (41%) and never-smokers (30%). BVES, CDH13, CDKN2A (p16), CDKN2B, DAPK1, IGFBP3, IGSF4, KCNH5, KCNH8, MGMT, OPCML, PCSK6, RASSF1, RUNX, and TMS1 were rarely hypermethylated (<2%) in all subjects. Hypermethylation of CCND2 may reflect a smoking-induced precancerous change in the lung.
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.
A robust systematic review finds no evidence that such programmes reduce risky sexual behaviours, incidence of sexually transmitted infections, or pregnancy
We used MethyLight assays to analyze DNA methylation status of 27 genes on 49 paired cancerous and noncancerous tissue samples from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who underwent surgical resection. Seven genes (RARB, BVES, CDKN2A, KCNH5, RASSF1, CDH13, and RUNX) were found to be methylated significantly more frequently in tumor tissues than in noncancerous tissues. Only methylation of CCND2 and APC was frequently detected in both cancerous and noncancerous tissues, supporting the hypothesis that the methylation of these two genes is a preneoplastic change and may be associated with tobacco smoking exposure. Methylation of any one of eight genes (RASSF1, DAPK1, BVES, CDH13, MGMT, KCNH5, RARB, or CDH1) was present in 80% of NSCLC tissues but only in 14% of noncancerous tissues. Detection of methylation of these genes in blood might have utility in monitoring and detecting tumor recurrence in early-stage NSCLC after curative surgical resection.
To define patterns of aberrant DNA methylation, p53 mutation and Her-2/neu overexpression in tissues from benign (N=29), malignant (N=100), and border line malignant ovaries (N=10), as compared to normal (N=68) ovarian tissues. Further, to explore the relationship between the presence of genetic and epigenetic abnormalities in ovarian cancers, and assess the association between epigenetic changes and clinical stage of malignancy at presentation and response to therapy.
The methylation status of 23 genes that were previously reported associated with various epithelial malignancies was assessed in normal and abnormal ovarian tissues by methylation specific PCR. The presence of p53 mutation (N=82 cases) and Her-2/neu overexpression (N=51 cases) were assessed by DNA sequencing and immunohistochemistry, respectively.
Methylation of four genes (MINT31, HIC1, RASSF1, and CABIN1) was significantly associated with ovarian cancer but not other ovarian pathology. Her-2/neu overexpression was associated with aberrant methylation of three genes (MINT31, RASSF1, and CDH13), although aberrant methylation was not associated with p53 mutations. Methylation of RASSF1 and HIC1 was more frequent in early compared to late stage ovarian cancer, while methylation of CABIN1 and RASSF1 was associated with response to chemotherapy.
DNA methylation of tumor suppressor genes is a frequent event in ovarian cancer, and in some cases is associated with Her-2/neu overexpression. Methylation of CABIN1 and RASSF1 may have the utility to predict response to therapy.
hypermethylation; Her-2/neu overexpression; p53; ovarian cancer
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.
To determine the effect of HCV on selected maternal and infant birth outcomes.
This population-based cohort study using Washington State birth records from 2003–2005 compared a cohort of pregnant women identified as HCV-positive from birth certificate data (n=506) to randomly selected HCV-negative mothers (n=2022) and drug-using HCV-negative mothers (n=1439).
Infants of HCV-positive mothers were more likely to be low birth weight (OR, 2.17; 95% CI, 1.24, 3.80), small for gestational age (OR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.00, 2.13), need assisted ventilation (OR, 2.37; 95% CI, 1.46, 3.85), and require NICU admission (OR, 2.91; 95% CI, 1.86, 4.55). HCV-positive mothers with excess weight gain also had a greater risk of gestational diabetes (OR, 2.51; 95% CI, 1.04, 6.03). Compared to the drug-using cohort, NICU admission and need for assisted ventilation remained associated with HCV.
HCV-positive pregnant women appear to be at-risk for adverse neonatal and maternal outcomes.
Hepatitis C; Gestational Diabetes; Drug use; Pregnancy complications
Unique viral variants and resistance mutations may occur in the genital tract of HIV-2 ARV-naive infected women. We sequenced and phylogenetically analyzed protease (PR), reverse transcriptase (RT), and envelope (ENV) from PBMC and genital tract samples from four ARV-naive women in Senegal. HIV-2 protease polymorphisms that predict HIV-1 protease inhibitor (PI) resistance were common. Two subjects had protease mutations (T77I and I64V) in genital tract samples that were not found in PBMCs. One subject had the HIV-2 reverse transcriptase M184I mutation in CVL DNA (but not PBMCs) that is known to confer 3TC/FTC resistance in HIV-2. In another subject, the reverse transcriptase A62V mutation was also found in CVL-RNA but not PBMCs. We found no significant difference in ENV variants between PBMCs and the genital tract. HIV-2 RT and PR mutations in the genital tract of ARV-naive females may have implications for transmitted HIV-2 resistance and ARV therapy.
Acquisition of more than one strain of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) has been reported to occur both during and after primary infection, but the risks and repercussions of dual and superinfection are incompletely understood. In this study, we evaluated a longitudinal cohort of chronically HIV-infected men who were sexual partners to determine if individuals acquired their partners' viral strains.
Our cohort of HIV-positive men consisted of 8 couples that identified themselves as long-term sexual partners. Viral sequences were isolated from each subject and analyzed using phylogenetic methods. In addition, strain-specific PCR allowed us to search for partners' viruses present at low levels. Finally, we used computational algorithms to evaluate for recombination between partners' viral strains.
All couples had at least one factor associated with increased risk for acquisition of new HIV strains during the study, including detectable plasma viral load, sexually transmitted infections, and unprotected sex. One subject was dually HIV-1 infected, but neither strain corresponded to that of his partner. Three couples' sequences formed monophyletic clusters at the entry visit, with phylogenetic analysis suggesting that one member of the couple had acquired an HIV strain from his identified partner or that both had acquired it from the same source outside their partnership. The 5 remaining couples initially displayed no evidence of dual infection, using phylogenetic analysis and strain-specific PCR. However, in 1 of these couples, further analysis revealed recombinant viral strains with segments of viral genomes in one subject that may have derived from the enrolled partner. Thus, chronically HIV-1 infected individuals may become superinfected with additional HIV strains from their seroconcordant sexual partners. In some cases, HIV-1 superinfection may become apparent when recombinant viral strains are detected.
Sexual intercourse increases the risk of symptomatic urinary tract infections (UTI) in young women, but its role among post-menopausal women is unclear.
To determine whether recent sexual intercourse, as documented by daily diaries, is associated with an increased risk of symptomatic UTI in post-menopausal women.
A 2-year prospective cohort study conducted from 1998 to 2002.
One thousand and seventeen randomly selected post-menopausal women enrolled at Group Health Cooperative (GHC), a Washington State HMO.
Measurements and Main Results
Women were asked to enter daily diary information on vaginal intercourse, medication use, and genito-urinary symptoms. The outcome of interest, symptomatic UTI, was defined as a positive urine culture ≥105 CFU/mL of a uropathogen and the presence of ≥2 acute urinary symptoms. Nine hundred thirteen women returned diaries and were included in this study. Seventy-eight women experienced 108 symptomatic UTIs, and 361 (40%) reported sexual intercourse in their diaries. There was an increased hazard for UTI 2 calendar days after the reporting of sexual intercourse in the diaries (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 3.42, 95% CI 1.49–7.80), while there was no evidence for an increased hazard associated with intercourse at other times. When the UTI criterion was relaxed from ≥105 CFU/mL to ≥104 CFU/mL, adding 9 UTI events to the analysis, the HR for UTI 2 days after intercourse changed slightly to 3.26 (95% CI 1.43–7.43).
Our data suggest that, as with younger women, recent sexual intercourse is strongly associated with incident UTI in generally healthy post-menopausal women.
coitus; diaries; postmenopause; urinary tract infections
The aim of this study was to analyze the utility of a mammaglobin multigene RT-PCR assay and a mammaglobin sandwich ELISA to detect peripheral blood samples of breast cancer patients.
Peripheral blood samples of 147 untreated Senegalese women with biopsy confirmed breast cancer were collected. The samples were tested for mammaglobin and 3 breast cancer associated gene transcripts using a multigene real-time RT-PCR assay and for secreted mammaglobin protein using a sandwich ELISA format. Patient information regarding demographic and clinical staging of disease was also collected.
In 77 % of the breast cancer blood samples a positive expression signal was found using the multigene RT-PCR assay detecting mammaglobin and three complementary transcribed genes. 50 samples from healthy female donors tested negative. Circulating mammaglobin protein was found in 68 % of the breast cancer sera, whereas 38 % showed significantly elevated protein levels in comparison to a mixed control population. Statistical correlations were found between the detection of mammaglobin protein in serum, presence of mammaglobin mRNA expressing cells in blood, stage of disease and tumor size.
The multigene mammaglobin RT-PCR assay and mammaglobin sandwich ELISA could be valuable tools to detect metastatic disease and to monitor therapeutic efficiency. Both assays together provided a diagnostic sensitivity of 83 %. Use of the multigene RT-PCR increased detection sensitivity from 61 to 77 % in comparison to mammaglobin expression alone.
multigene RT-PCR; circulating tumor cell detection; breast cancer
Progressive immune dysfunction and AIDS develop in most cases of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection but in only 25 to 30% of persons with HIV-2 infection. However, the natural history and immunologic responses of individuals with dual HIV-1 and HIV-2 infection are largely undefined. Based on our previous findings, we hypothesized that among patients with dual infection the control of HIV-1 is associated with the ability to respond to HIV-2 Gag epitopes and to maintain HIV-specific CD4+ T-cell responses. To test this, we compared the HIV-specific ex vivo IFN-γ enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assay responses of 19 dually infected individuals to those of persons infected with HIV-1 or HIV-2 only. Further, we assessed the functional profile of HIV Gag-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells from nine HIV dually infected patients by using a multicolor intracellular cytokine staining assay. As determined by ELISPOT assay, the magnitude and frequency of IFN-γ-secreting T-cell responses to gene products of HIV-1 were higher than those to gene products of HIV-2 (2.64 versus 1.53 log10 IFN-γ spot-forming cells/106 cells [90% versus 63%, respectively].) Further, HIV-1 Env-, Gag-, and Nef- and HIV-2 Gag-specific responses were common; HIV-2 Nef-specific responses were rare. HIV-specific CD4+ T helper responses were detected in nine of nine dually infected subjects, with the majority of these T cells producing gamma interferon (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and, to a lesser extent, interleukin-2. The HIV-1 plasma viral load was inversely correlated with HIV-2 Gag-specific IFN-γ-/TNF-α-secreting CD4+ and HIV-2 Gag-specific IFN-γ-secreting CD8+ T cells. In conclusion, the T-cell memory responses associated with containment of single HIV-1 and HIV-2 infection play a similar significant role in the immune control of dual HIV-1 and HIV-2 infection.
BACKGROUND: Despite recommendations by Centers for Disease Control and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, pH testing is infrequently performed during the evaluation of vaginitis. Consequently, little information exists on its use in a primary care setting. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to describe our experience with routine pH testing, particularly the relationship between symptoms, pH and wet-mount microscopy. METHOD: A retrospective chart review was performed on 203 consecutive cases evaluated for vaginitis by wet-mount microscopy. RESULTS: Of the 203 cases, 21 had normal pH and no symptoms and 182 had symptoms, elevated pH or both; 85% of cases had abnormal wet-mount findings, including 75% with clue cells, 14% with Trichomonas vaginalis, 13% with yeast and 14% with mixed infections. Asymptomatic infection was present in 42% of cases with clue cells alone, 44% of cases with Trichomonas vaginalis alone, 38% of all trichomoniasis cases and 33% of cases with mixed infections. Elevated pH was associated with clue cells (p < 0.001), trichomoniasis (p = 0.01) and mixed infections (p = 0.003). Normal pH was associated with negative wet mount (p < 0.001) and to a lesser degree with uncomplicated vulvovaginal candidiasis (p = 0.06). CONCLUSION: Routine pH testing increased detection of trichomoniasis and bacterial vaginosis by prompting microscopy in a significant proportion of asymptomatic cases.
Non-melanoma skin cancers are one of the most common human malignancies accounting for 2–3% of tumors in the US and represent a significant health burden. Epidemiology studies have implicated Tp53 mutations triggered by UV exposure, and human papilloma virus (HPV) infection to be significant causes of non-melanoma skin cancer. However, the relationship between Tp53 and cutaneous HPV infection is not well understood in skin cancers. In this study we assessed the association of HPV infection and Tp53 polymorphisms and mutations in lesional specimens with squamous cell carcinomas.
We studied 55 cases of histologically confirmed cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and 41 controls for the presence of HPV infection and Tp53 genotype (mutations and polymorphism).
We found an increased number of Tp53 mutations in the squamous cell carcinoma samples compared with perilesional or control samples. There was increased frequency of homozygous Tp53-72R polymorphism in cases with squamous cell carcinomas, while the Tp53-72P allele (Tp53-72R/P and Tp53-72P/P) was more frequent in normal control samples. Carcinoma samples positive for HPV showed a decreased frequency of Tp53 mutations compared to those without HPV infection. In addition, carcinoma samples with a Tp53-72P allele showed an increased incidence of Tp53 mutations in comparison carcinomas samples homozygous for Tp53-72R.
These studies suggest there are two separate pathways (HPV infection and Tp53 mutation) leading to cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas stratified by the Tp53 codon-72 polymorphism. The presence of a Tp53-72P allele is protective against cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, and carcinoma specimens with Tp53-72P are more likely to have Tp53 mutations. In contrast Tp53-72R is a significant risk factor for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and is frequently associated with HPV infection instead of Tp53 mutations. Heterozygosity for Tp53-72R/P is protective against squamous cell carcinomas, possibly reflecting a requirement for both HPV infection and Tp53 mutations.
MicroRNA expression is severely disrupted in carcinogenesis, however limited evidence is available validating results from cell-line models in human clinical cancer specimens. MicroRNA-21 (mir-21) and microRNA-143 (mir-143) have previously been identified as significantly deregulated in a range of cancers including cervical cancer. Our goal was to investigate the expression patterns of several well-studied microRNA species in cervical samples and compare the results to cell line samples.
We measured the expression of mir-21 and mir-143 in 142 formalin-fixed, paraffin embedded (FFPE) cervical biopsy tissue blocks, collected from Dantec Oncology Clinic, Dakar, Senegal. MicroRNA expression analysis was performed using Taqman-based real-time PCR assays. Protein immunohistochemical staining was also performed to investigate target protein expression on 72 samples. We found that mir-21 expression increased with worsening clinical diagnosis but that mir-143 was not correlated with histology. These observations were in stark contrast to previous reports involving cervical cancer cell lines in which mir-143 was consistently down-regulated but mir-21 largely unaffected. We also identified, for the first time, that cytoplasmic expression of Programmed Cell Death Protein 4 PDCD4; a known target of mir-21) was significantly lower in women with invasive cervical carcinoma (ICC) in comparison to those with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (2–3) or carcinoma in situ (CIN2-3/CIS), although there was no significant correlation between mir-21 and PDCD4 expression, despite previous studies identifying PDCD4 transcript as a known mir-21 target.
Whilst microRNA biomarkers have a number of promising features, more studies on expression levels in histologically defined clinical specimens are required to investigate clinical relevance of discovery-based studies. Mir-21 may be of some utility in predictive screening, given that we observed a significant correlation between mir-21 expression level and worsening histological diagnosis of cervical cancer.
The V3 loop of the HIV-1 Env protein is the primary determinant of viral coreceptor usage, whereas the V1V2 loop region is thought to influence coreceptor binding and participate in shielding of neutralization-sensitive regions of the Env glycoprotein gp120 from antibody responses. The functional properties and antigenicity of V1V2 are influenced by changes in amino acid sequence, sequence length and patterns of N-linked glycosylation. However, how these polymorphisms relate to HIV pathogenesis is not fully understood. We examined 5185 HIV-1 gp120 nucleotide sequence fragments and clinical data from 154 individuals (152 were infected with HIV-1 Subtype B). Sequences were aligned, translated, manually edited and separated into V1V2, C2, V3, C3, V4, C4 and V5 subregions. V1-V5 and subregion lengths were calculated, and potential N-linked glycosylation sites (PNLGS) counted. Loop lengths and PNLGS were examined as a function of time since infection, CD4 count, viral load, and calendar year in cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. V1V2 length and PNLGS increased significantly through chronic infection before declining in late-stage infection. In cross-sectional analyses, V1V2 length also increased by calendar year between 1984 and 2004 in subjects with early and mid-stage illness. Our observations suggest that there is little selection for loop length at the time of transmission; following infection, HIV-1 adapts to host immune responses through increased V1V2 length and/or addition of carbohydrate moieties at N-linked glycosylation sites. V1V2 shortening during early and late-stage infection may reflect ineffective host immunity. Transmission from donors with chronic illness may have caused the modest increase in V1V2 length observed during the course of the pandemic.
The HIV envelope gene (env) encodes viral surface proteins (Env) that are vital to the basic processes used by the virus to infect and cause disease in humans. Adaptations in env determine which cells the virus can infect, and permit the virus to avoid elimination by the immune system. Env is one of the most variable genes known, and it can change dramatically over time in a single individual. However, Env-host cell interactions are complex and incompletely understood, and changes in this viral protein during infection have not yet been systematically described. We examined a large number of env sequences from 154 individuals at various stages of HIV infection but who had never received antiretroviral treatment. We found that the env V1V2 region lengthens during chronic infection and becomes more heavily glycosylated. However, these changes partially reverse during late-stage illness, possibly in response to a weakening host immune system. V1V2 lengths are also increasing over time in the epidemic at large, possibly related to the epidemiology of HIV transmission within the subtype B epidemic. These results provide fundamental insights into the biology of HIV.