In recent years, the population of men who have sex with men (MSM) have become the most significant increasing group of HIV-1 transmission in China. To identify new recombinant strains and transmission patterns of HIV-1 in Chinese MSM population, a cross-sectional investigation of MSM in Anhui Province (in south-eastern China) was performed in 2011. The diagnosed AIDS case rate, CD4 T-cell counts, HIV subtypes, and origin of the recombinant strains were investigated in 138 collected samples. The phylogenetic and bootscan analyses demonstrated that, apart from three previously reported circulating strains (CRF07_BC, CRF01_AE, subtype B), various recombinant strains among subtype B, subtype C, CRF01_AE, and CRF07_BC were simultaneously identified in Chinese MSM for the first time. The introducing time of B subtype in Chinese MSM populations was estimated in 1985, CRF01_AE in 2000, and CRF07_BC in 2003; the latter two account for more than 85% of MSM infections. Notably, in comparison with B subtype infections in Anhui MSM, CRF01_AE, with the highest prevalence rate, may accelerate AIDS progression. Over half of patients (56%) infected with new recombinant strains infection are diagnosed as progression into AIDS. Both Bayes and phylogenetic analyses indicated that there was active HIV transmission among MSM nationwide, which may facilitate the transmission of the new 01B recombinant strains in MSM. In conclusion, new recombinant strains and active transmission were identified in the Chinese MSM population, which may lead to a new alarming HIV pandemic in this population due to the increased pathogenesis of the newly emerging strains.
The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 viruses, especially the laboratory-generated H5N1 mutants, have demonstrated the potential to cross the species barrier and infect mammals and humans. Consequently, the design of an effective and safe anti-H5N1 vaccine is essential. We previously demonstrated that the full-length hemagglutinin 1 (HA1) could induce significant neutralizing antibody response and protection. Here, we intended to identify the critical neutralizing domain (CND) in an optimal conformation that can elicit strong cross-neutralizing antibodies and protection against divergent H5N1 strains. We thus constructed six recombinant proteins covering different regions of HA1 of A/Anhui/1/2005(H5N1), each of which was fused with foldon (Fd) and Fc of human IgG. We found that the critical fragment fused with Fd/Fc (HA-13–263-Fdc, H5 numbering) that could elicit the strongest neutralizing antibody response is located in the N-terminal region of HA1 (residues 13–263), which covers the receptor-binding domain (RBD, residues 112–263). We then constructed three additional recombinants fused with Fd plus His tag (HA-13–263-Fd-His), Fc only (HA-13–263-Fc), and His tag only (HA-13–263-His), respectively. We found that the HA-13–263-Fdc, which formed an oligomeric conformation, induced the strongest neutralizing antibody response and cross-protection against challenges of two tested H5N1 virus strains covering clade 1: A/VietNam/1194/2004 (VN/1194) or clade 2.3.4: A/Shenzhen/406H/06 (SZ/406H), while HA-13–263-Fc dimer and HA-13–263-Fd-His trimer elicited higher neutralizing antibody response and protection than HA-13–263-His monomer. These results suggest that the oligomeric form of the CND containing the RBD can be further developed as an effective and safe vaccine for cross-protection against divergent strains of H5N1 viruses.
As one of prevalence HIV-1 strains in IDUs in Asia, the origination and full transmission map of CRF07_BC is of great interested and remains unclear. In the study, we collected 769 CRF07_BC derived sequences (including 45 sequences generated in our laboratory) from 12 provinces in China for reconstructing transmission map. Meanwhile, ample historic epidemic evidences were also reviewed to assist sequences analysis.
In the study, we collected 769 CRF07_BC derived sequences and identified 138 independent sequences from 12 provinces in China for subsequent phylogeographic tree analysis, Bayes Factor test and the estimation of state tMRCA. The analyses demonstrated that CRF07_BC was originated in 1993 in IDU in Yunnan province and then initially spread to Guangxi (eastern neighbor to Yunnan) in 1994, to Xinjiang (northwest) in 1995 and to Sichuan (northern neighbor to Yunnan) in 1996. The subsequent transmissions occurred from Yunnan to Liaoning (northeast) in 1997 and to Jiangsu in 1998. Interestingly, after the early introduction of CRF07_BC into Guangxi, Xinjiang and Sichuan, these three regions served as secondary epicenters for further spreading into Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai, Beijing and Hunan during 1999–2001. These analyzed results are in accordance with early epidemic investigations.
Our data not just reconstructed the migration map of CRF07_BC, but also firstly revealed the active roles of these secondary epicenters in the dynamic migration of CRF07_BC in China.
Vaccination has proven effective in controlling many infectious diseases. However, differential effectiveness with regard to pathogen genotype is a frequent reason for failures in vaccine development. Often, insufficient immune response is induced to prevent infection by the diversity of existing serotypes present in pathogenic populations of bacteria. These vaccines that target a too narrow spectrum of serotypes do not offer sufficient prevention of infections, and can also lead to undesirable strain replacements. Here, we examine a novel idea to specifically exploit the narrow spectrum coverage of some vaccines to combat specific, emerging multi- and pan-resistant strains of pathogens. Application of a narrow-spectrum vaccine could serve to prevent infections by some strains that are hard to treat, rather than offer the vaccinated individual protection against infections by the pathogenic species as such. We suggest that vaccines targeted to resistant serotypes have the potential to become important public health tools, and would represent a new approach toward reducing the burden of particular multi-resistant strains occurring in hospitals. Vaccines targeting drug-resistant serotypes would also be the first clinical intervention with the potential to drive the evolution of pathogenic populations toward drug-sensitivity. We illustrate the feasibility of this approach by modeling a hypothetical vaccine that targets a subset of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) genotypes, in combination with drug treatment targeted at drug-sensitive genotypes. We find that a combined intervention strategy can limit nosocomial outbreaks, even when vaccine efficacy is imperfect. The broader utility of vaccine-based resistance control strategies should be further explored taking into account population structure, and the resistance and transmission patterns of the pathogen considered.
For the diagnosis of seasonal influenza, clinicians rely on point-of-care testing (POCT) using commercially available kits developed against seasonal influenza viruses. However, POCT has not yet been established for the diagnosis of pandemic influenza A virus (H1N1pdm) infection due to the low sensitivity of the existing kits for H1N1pdm.
An immunochromatography (IC) test kit was developed based on a monoclonal antibody against H1N1pdm, which does not cross-react with seasonal influenza A or B viruses. The efficacy of this kit (PDM-IC kit) for the diagnosis of H1N1pdm infection was compared with that of an existing kit for the detection of seasonal influenza viruses (SEA-IC kit). Nasal swabs (n = 542) were obtained from patients with flu-like syndrome at 13 clinics in Osaka, Japan during the winter of 2010/2011. Among the 542 samples, randomly selected 332 were further evaluated for viral presence by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The PDM-IC kit versus the SEA-IC kit showed higher sensitivity to and specificity for H1N1pdm, despite several inconsistencies between the two kits or between the kits and RT-PCR. Consequently, greater numbers of false-negative and false-positive cases were documented when the SEA-IC kit was employed. Significant correlation coefficients for sensitivity, specificity, and negative prediction values between the two kits were observed at individual clinics, indicating that the results could be affected by clinic-related techniques for sampling and kit handling. Importantly, many patients (especially influenza-negative cases) were prescribed anti-influenza drugs that were incongruous with their condition, largely due to physician preference for patient responses to questionnaires and patient symptomology, as opposed to actual viral presence.
Concomitant use of SEA-IC and PDM-IC kits increased the likelihood of correct influenza diagnosis. Increasing the credibility of POCT is anticipated to decrease the inappropriate dispensing of anti-influenza drugs, thereby minimizing the emergence of drug-resistant H1N1pdm strains.
In order to adequately assess the effectiveness of vaccination in helping to control vaccine-preventable infectious disease, it is important to identify the adherence and uptake of risk-based recommendations.
The current project includes data from five consecutive datasets of the National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS): 2007 through 2011. The NHWS is an annual, Internet-based health questionnaire, administered to a nationwide sample of adults (aged 18 or older) which included items on vaccination history as well as high-risk group status. Vaccination rates and characteristics of vaccinees were reported descriptively. Logistic regressions were conducted to predict vaccination behavior from sociodemographics and risk-related variables.
The influenza vaccination rate for all adults 18 years and older has increased significantly from 28.0% to 36.2% from 2007 to 2011 (ps<.05). Compared with those not at high risk (25.1%), all high-risk groups were vaccinated at a higher rate, from 36.8% (pregnant women) to 69.7% (those with renal/kidney disease); however, considerable variability among high-risk groups was observed. Vaccination rates among high-risk groups for other vaccines varied considerably though all were below 50%, with the exception of immunocompromised respondents (57.5% for the hepatitis B vaccine and 52.5% for the pneumococcal vaccine) and the elderly (50.4% for the pneumococcal). Multiple risk factors were associated with increased rate of vaccination for most vaccines. Significant racial/ethnic differences with influenza, hepatitis, and herpes zoster vaccination rates were also observed (ps<.05).
Rates of influenza vaccination have increased over time. Rates varied by high-risk status, demographics, and vaccine. There was a pattern of modest vaccination rate increases for individuals with multiple risk factors. However, there were relatively low rates of vaccination for most risk-based recommendations and all fell below national goals.
To examine the risk of adverse effects of special interest in persons vaccinated against seasonal influenza compared with unvaccinated persons aged 65 and above.
We retrospectively observed 41,986 vaccinated elderly persons and 50,973 unvaccinated elderly persons in Taiwan from October 1, 2008, through September 30, 2009, using the National Health Insurance database. Neurological and autoimmune disorders and one-year hospitalization rates and in-hospital mortality rates were analyzed according to the vaccination status. Propensity score analysis was used to assess the relationship between adverse outcomes, hospitalization rates, and vaccination status.
45% of the elderly received influenza vaccination. Multiple logistic regression showed that the probability of being vaccinated was related to more patients visiting for URI symptoms (odds ratio (OR), 1.03; 95% CI, 1.02–1.03), men (OR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.12–1.17), increased age (OR, 1.02; 95% CI, 1.02–1.03), and more comorbidities (OR, 1.2; 95% CI, 1.17–1.23). There were no statistical differences in neurological and autoimmune diseases between the vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals using propensity score analysis, but vaccinated persons had a reduced hospitalization rate of 19% (odds ratio [OR], 0.81; 95% CI, 0.77–0.84) for the first six-months and 13% for one-year of follow-up (OR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.85–0.9).
Based on data from the one-year follow-ups among 93,049 elderly persons in Taiwan, reassuring results for selected neurological and autoimmune diseases were found among the vaccinated individuals after adjusting other factors. Influenza vaccination decreased the risk for hospitalization. Public health strategies must continue to improve the influenza vaccination rate among the elderly with information based upon tangible evidence.
Disseminated Candida albicans infection results in high morbidity and mortality despite treatment with existing antifungal drugs. Recent studies suggest that modulating the host immune response can improve survival, but specific host targets for accomplishing this goal remain to be identified. The extracellular matrix protein thrombospondin-1 is released at sites of tissue injury and modulates several immune functions, but its role in C. albicans pathogenesis has not been investigated. Here, we show that mice lacking thrombospondin-1 have an advantage in surviving disseminated candidiasis and more efficiently clear the initial colonization from kidneys despite exhibiting fewer infiltrating leukocytes. By examining local and systemic cytokine responses to C. albicans and other standard inflammatory stimuli, we identify a crucial function of phagocytes in this enhanced resistance. Subcutaneous air pouch and systemic candidiasis models demonstrated that endogenous thrombospondin-1 enhances the early innate immune response against C. albicans and promotes activation of inflammatory macrophages (inducible nitric oxide synthase+, IL-6high, TNF-αhigh, IL-10low), release of the chemokines MIP-2, JE, MIP-1α, and RANTES, and CXCR2-driven polymorphonuclear leukocytes recruitment. However, thrombospondin-1 inhibited the phagocytic capacity of inflammatory leukocytes in vivo and in vitro, resulting in increased fungal burden in the kidney and increased mortality in wild type mice. Thus, thrombospondin-1 enhances the pathogenesis of disseminated candidiasis by creating an imbalance in the host immune response that ultimately leads to reduced phagocytic function, impaired fungal clearance, and increased mortality. Conversely, inhibitors of thrombospondin-1 may be useful drugs to improve patient recovery from disseminated candidiasis.
Previous studies suggested that both the frequency and the mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) of cytokine secreting T cells could be of great value for immunogenicity evaluation of a vaccine. In this study, by constructing epitope-based DNA vaccines encoding a previously identified CD8+ T cell epitope, we investigated the influence of multiplying epitope copies on both the frequency and the MFI of specific IFN-γ secreting CD8+ T cells. We found that frequencies of specific CD8+ T cell could be improved by multiplying epitope copies, while the MFI of IFN-γ secreted by epitope-specific CD8+ T cells decreased synchronously. And further analysis showed that the decrease of MFI was not caused by the functional avidity variation of CD8+ T cell receptor.
The ability of Notch signaling to regulate T helper cell development and differentiation has been widely accepted. Fringe, O-fucose-β1,3-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferases modulate Notch receptor expression and promote the Notch signaling pathway through receptor-ligand binding. In this study, we assayed the expression levels of three Fringe homologs in naive CD4+T cells in asthmatic rats. We found that Radical Fringe (Rfng) was highly expressed, whereas both Lunatic Fringe (Lfng) and Manic Fringe (Mfng) were expressed at low levels. Down-regulation of Rfng using siRNA, and overexpression of Lfng or Mfng enhanced Th1 subset lineages and diminished Th2 subset lineages. Notch signaling was more activated in asthmatic naïve CD4+T cells than in control cells, and Lfng, but not Mfng or Rfng, partly inhibited Notch signaling in asthmatic naïve CD4+T lymphocytes. Lfng overexpression resulted in significantly decreased Th2 cytokine production in asthma, which was the same effect as the GSI (γ-secretase inhibitor) treatment alone, but had an increased effect on Th1 cytokines than GSI treatment. Collectively, these data identify the essential role of Fringe modulating naïve CD4+T cells differentiation through Notch signaling. Lfng regulated Th2 cells differentiation via a Notch-dependent manner and Th1 cells differentiation via a Notch-independent manner. Fringe could be a therapeutic strategy for the management and prevention of allergic asthma.
We report the rational design and in vivo testing of mosaic proteins for a polyvalent pan-filoviral vaccine using a computational strategy designed for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus type 1 (HIV-1) but also appropriate for Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and potentially other diverse viruses. Mosaics are sets of artificial recombinant proteins that are based on natural proteins. The recombinants are computationally selected using a genetic algorithm to optimize the coverage of potential cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) epitopes. Because evolutionary history differs markedly between HIV-1 and filoviruses, we devised an adapted computational technique that is effective for sparsely sampled taxa; our first significant result is that the mosaic technique is effective in creating high-quality mosaic filovirus proteins. The resulting coverage of potential epitopes across filovirus species is superior to coverage by any natural variants, including current vaccine strains with demonstrated cross-reactivity. The mosaic cocktails are also robust: mosaics substantially outperformed natural strains when computationally tested against poorly sampled species and more variable genes. Furthermore, in a computational comparison of cross-reactive potential a design constructed prior to the Bundibugyo outbreak performed nearly as well against all species as an updated design that included Bundibugyo. These points suggest that the mosaic designs would be more resilient than natural-variant vaccines against future Ebola outbreaks dominated by novel viral variants. We demonstrate in vivo immunogenicity and protection against a heterologous challenge in a mouse model. This design work delineates the likely requirements and limitations on broadly-protective filoviral CTL vaccines.
In recent years, the prevalence of HIV-1 infection has been rapidly increasing among men who have sex with men (MSM). However, it remains unknown how the host immune system responds to the infection in this population. We assessed the quantity of HIV-specific CD8+ T-cell responses by using Elispot assay and their functionalities by measuring 5 CD8+ T-cell evaluations (IL-2, MIP-1β, CD107a, TNF-α, IFN-γ) with flow cytometry assays among 18 primarily and 37 early chronically HIV-infected MSM. Our results demonstrated that subjects at early chronic phase developed HIV-specific CD8+ T-cell responses with higher magnitudes and more diversified functionalities in comparison with those at primary infection. However, populations with IL-2+ CD107a+ or in combination with other functionality failed to develop in parallel. The multifunctional but not monofunctional HIV-specific CD8+ T cells were associated with higher CD4+ T -cell counts and lower viral loads. These data revealed that prolonged infection from primary to early chronic infection could selectively increase the functionalities of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells in HIV-infected MSM population, the failure to develop IL-2 and cytotoxic functionalities in parallel may explain why the increased HIV-specific CD8+ T cells were unable to enhance the containment of HIV-1 replication at the early chronic stage.
An effective anti-human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) microbicide should exert its action in the absence of causing aberrant activation of topical immunity that will increase the risk of HIV acquisition. In the present study, we demonstrated that the vaginal application of cellulose sulfate (CS) gel induced topical mucosal inflammatory responses; the addition of minocycline to CS gel could significantly attenuate the inflammation in a mice model. The combined gel of CS plus minocycline not only reduced the production of inflammatory cytokines in cervicovaginal lavages (CVLs), also down-regulated the activation of CD4+ T cells and the recruitment of other immune cells including HIV target cells into vaginal tissues. Furthermore, an In vitro HIV-1 pseudovirus infection inhibition assay showed that the combined gel decreased the infection efficacy of different subtypes of HIV-1 pseudoviruses compared with that of CS gel alone. These results implicate that minocycline could be integrated into microbicide formulation to suppress the aberrant activation of topical mucosal immunity and enhance the safety profile during the application of microbicides.
Advances in HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART) has reduced mortality in people living with HIV (PLHIV), resulting in an ageing population of PLHIV. Knowledge of demographic details such as age, geographical location and sex, will aid in the planning of training and resource allocation to effectively care for the future complex health needs of PLHIV.
An agent-based, stochastic, geographical model was developed to determine the current and future demographic of PLHIV in Australia. Data and parameters were sourced from Australia's National HIV Registry and peer reviewed literature. Processes that were simulated include progression to AIDS, mortality and internal migration.
The model estimates the mean age of PLHIV in Australia is increasing at a rate of 0.49 years each year. The expected proportion of PLHIV in over 55 years is estimated to increase from 25.3% in 2010 to 44.2% in 2020. Median age is lower in inner-city areas of the capital cities than in rural areas. The areas with the highest prevalence of HIV will continue to be capital cities; however, other areas will have greater percentage growth from 2010 to 2020.
The age of the population of people living with HIV is expected to increase considerably in the future. As the population of PLHIV ages, specialist clinical training and resource provision in the aged care sector will also need to be addressed.
H3N2 influenza viruses have now circulated in the human population for 43 years since the pandemic of 1968, accumulating sequence changes in the hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) that are believed to be predominantly due to selection for escape from antibodies. Examination of mutations that persist and accumulate led to identification of antigenically significant mutations that are contained in five antigenic sites (A–E) mapped on to the H3 HA. In early H3N2 isolates, antigenic site A appeared to be dominant while in the 1990s site B seemed more important. To obtain experimental evidence for dominance of antigenic sites on modern H3 HAs, we have measured antibodies in plasma of human subjects who received the 2006–07 trivalent subunit influenza vaccine (H3 component A/Wisconsin/67/05) or the 2008–09 formulation (H3 component A/Uruguay/716/07). Plasmas were tested against expressed HA of Wisconsin-like influenza A/Oklahoma/309/06 and site-directed mutants in antigenic site A (NNES121-124ITEG, N126T, N133D, TSSS135-138GSNA, K140I, RSNNS142-146PGSG), and antigenic site B (HL156-157KS, KFK158-160GST, NDQI189-192QEQT, A196V). “Native ELISA” analysis and escape mutant selection with two human monoclonal antibodies demonstrated that antibody E05 binds to antigenic site A and 1_C02 binds to site B. We find that most individuals, after vaccination in seasons 2006–07 and/or 2008–09, showed dominance of antigenic site B recognition over antigenic site A. A minority showed dominance of site A in 2006 but these were reduced in 2008 when the vaccine virus had a site A mutation. A better understanding of immunodominance may allow prediction of future antigenic drift and assist in vaccine strain selection.
Cytotoxic T lymphocyte associated antigen-4 (CTLA-4) is involved in the activation pathways of T lymphocytes. It has been shown that the circulating form of CTLA-4 is elevated in patients with hymenoptera allergy and can be down regulated by immunotherapy.
to assess the effects on CTLA-4 of venom immunotherapy, given with different induction protocols: conventional (6 weeks), rush (3 days) or ultra rush (1 day).
Sera from patients with hymenoptera allergy were collected at baseline and at the end of the induction phase. CTLA-4 and IL-10 were assayed in the same samples. A subset of patients were assayed also after 12 months of VIT maintenance.
Ninety-four patients were studied. Of them, 50 underwent the conventional induction, 20 the rush and 24 the ultra-rush. Soluble CTLA-4 was detectable in all patients at baseline, and significantly decreased at the end of the induction, irrespective of its duration. Of note, a significant decrease of sCTLA-4 could be seen already at 24 hours. In parallel, IL-10 significantly increased at the end of the induction. At 12 months, sCTLA-4 remained low, whereas IL-10 returned to the baseline values.
Serum CTLA4 is an early marker of the immunological effects of venom immunotherapy, and its changes persist after one year of maintenance treatment.
To determine the capacity of dendritic cells (DCs) loaded with single or multiple-peptide mixtures of novel hepatitis C virus (HCV) epitopes to stimulate HCV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) effector functions.
A bioinformatics approach was used to predict HLA-A2-restricted HCV-specific CTL epitopes, and the predicted peptides identified from this screen were synthesized. Subsequent IFN-γ ELISPOT analysis detected the stimulating function of these peptides in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from both chronic and self-limited HCV infected subjects (subjects exhibiting spontaneous HCV clearance). Mature DCs, derived in vitro from CD14+ monocytes harvested from the study subjects by incubation with appropriate cytokine cocktails, were loaded with novel peptide or epitope peptide mixtures and co-cultured with autologous T lymphocytes. Granzyme B (GrB) and IFN-γ ELISPOT analysis was used to test for epitope-specific CTL responses. T-cell-derived cytokines contained in the co-cultured supernatant were detected by flow cytometry.
We identified 7 novel HLA-A2-restricted HCV-specific CTL epitopes that increased the frequency of IFN-γ-producing T cells compared to other epitopes, as assayed by measuring spot forming cells (SFCs). Two epitopes had the strongest stimulating capability in the self-limited subjects, one found in the E2 and one in the NS2 region of HCV; five epitopes had a strong stimulating capacity in both chronic and self-limited HCV infection, but were stronger in the self-limited subjects. They were distributed in E2, NS2, NS3, NS4, and NS5 regions of HCV, respectively. We also found that mDCs loaded with novel peptide mixtures could significantly increase GrB and IFN-γ SFCs as compared to single peptides, especially in chronic HCV infection subjects. Additionally, we found that DCs pulsed with multiple epitope peptide mixtures induced a Th1-biased immune response.
Seven novel and strongly stimulating HLA-A2-restricted HCV-specific CTL epitopes were identified. Furthermore, DCs loaded with multiple-epitope peptide mixtures induced epitope-specific CTLs responses.
Sifuvirtide is a proven effective HIV-1 entry inhibitor and its safety profile has been established for systemic administration. The present study evaluated the potential of sifuvirtide formulated in a universal gel for topical use as a microbicide candidate for preventing sexual transmission of HIV. Our data showed that sifuvirtide formulated in HEC gel is effective against HIV-1 B, C subtypes, CRF07_BC and CRF01_AE, the latter two recombinants represents the most prevalent strains in China. In addition, we demonstrated that sifuvirtide in gel is stable for at least 8 weeks even at 40°C, and did not cause the disruption of integrity of mucosal epithelial surface, or the up-regulation of inflammatory cytokines both in vitro or in vivo. These results suggest that sifuvirtide gel is an effective, safe and stable product, and should be further tested as a vaginal or rectal microbicide in pre-clinical model or clinical trial for preventing HIV sexual transmission.
Our data demonstrated that the inoculation with vaccine derived from the 2009 pandemic influenza raised vigorous neutralization antibodies against both cognate H1N1 and heterotypic influenza viruses. This observation has important implication for vaccine development.
Background. A mass vaccination has been implemented to prevent the spread of 2009 pandemic influenza virus in China. Highly limited information is available on whether this vaccine induces cross-reactive neutralization antibodies against other subtypes of influenza viruses.
Methods. We employed pseudovirus-based assays to analyze heterosubtypic neutralization responses in serum samples of 23 recipients of 2009 pandemic influenza vaccine.
Results. One dose of pandemic vaccine not only stimulated good neutralization antibodies against cognate influenza virus 2009 influenza A (H1N1), but also raised broad cross-reactive neutralization activities against seasonal H3N2 and highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N1 and lesser to H2N2. The cross-reactive neutralization activities were completely abolished after the removal of immunoglobin G (IgG). In contrast, H1N1 vaccination alone in influenza-naive mice elicited only vigorous homologous neutralizing activities but not cross-reactive neutralization activities.
Conclusions. Our data suggest that the cross-reactive neutralization epitopes do exist in this vaccine and could elicit significant cross-reactive neutralizing IgG antibodies in the presence of preexisting responses. The exposure to H1N1 vaccine is likely to modify the hierarchical order of preexisting immune responses to influenza viruses. These findings provide insights into the evolution of human immunity to influenza viruses after experiencing multiple influenza virus infections and vaccinations.
Few studies on the humoral immune responses in human during natural influenza infection have been reported. Here, we used serum samples from pandemic 2009 H1N1 influenza infected patients to characterize the humoral immune responses to influenza during natural infection in humans. We observed for the first time that the pandemic 2009 H1N1 influenza induced influenza A-specific IgM within days after symptoms onset, whereas the unit of IgG did not changed. The magnitude of influenza A-specific IgM antibodies might have a value in predicting the rate of virus clearance to some degree. However, the newly developed IgM was not associated with hemagglutination inhibition (HI) activities in the same samples but correlated with HI activities of subsequently collected sera which were mediated by IgG antibodies, indicating that IgM was critical for influenza infection and influences subsequent IgG antibody responses. These findings provide new important insights on the human immunity to natural influenza infection.
It remains controversial how HCV coinfection influences the disease progression during HIV-1 infection. This study aims to define the influence of HCV infection on the replication of HIV-1 and the disease progression in HIV-infected former plasma donors (FPDs) naïve to ART.
168 HIV-1-infected FPDs were enrolled into a cohort study from Anhui province in central China, and thereafter monitored at month 3, 9, 15, 21 and 33. Fresh whole blood samples were used for CD4+ T-cell counting. Their plasma samples were collected and stored for quantification of HIV-1 viral loads and for determination of HCV and Toxoplasma. Out of 168 HIV-infected FBDs, 11.9% (20 cases), 80.4% (135 cases) and 7.7% (13 cases) were infected with HIV-1 alone, HIV-1/HCV and HIV/HCV/Toxoplasma, respectively. During the 33-month follow-up, only 35% (7 out of 20 cases) HIV-1 mono-infected subjects remained their CD4+ T-cell counts above 200 cells/µl and retained on the cohort study, which was significantly lower than 56% (75 out of 135 cases) for HIV/HCV group and 69% (9 out of 13 cases) for HIV/HCV/Toxoplasma group (p<0.05). CD4+ T cells in HIV mono infection group were consistently lower than that in HIV/HCV group (p = 0.04, 0.18, 0.03 and 0.04 for baseline, month 9, month 21 and month 33 visit, respectively). In accordance with those observations, HIV viral loads in HIV mono-infection group were consistently higher than that in HIV/HCV group though statistical significances were only reached at baseline (p = 0.04).
These data indicated HCV coinfection with HIV-1 is associated with the slower disease progression at the very late stage when comparing with HIV-1 mono-infection. The coinfection of Toxoplasma with HIV and HCV did not exert additional influence on the disease progression. It will be highly interesting to further explore the underlying mechanism for this observation in the future.
HIV-1 pandemic posed an unprecedent challenge to the global health and it is believed that an effective vaccine will be the final solution against HIV-1. HIV-1 envelope is the primary immunogen in developing neutralization antibody based HIV vaccine. To define the suitable Env derived immunogen, we systemically compared the immunogenicity of gp140 and gp145 in a DNA vaccination alone and a prime-boost modalities. 2 DNA vaccines and 2 recombinant Tiantan vaccinia vaccines (rTTV) were constructed for vaccination of female Balb/c mice. Elispot assay was used to read out the T cell immunity and ELISA assay was used to quantify antibody immunity. PLL (poly-L-Leucine)-ELISA assay was used in linear antibody epitope mapping. Mice primed with gp145 tended to elicit more Env-specific T cells responses than those primed with gp140, significant difference was observed in DNA immunization alone. The ultimate T cell responses in prime-boost regimen tends to be determined mainly by the priming efficacy. Linear antibody epitope mapping displayed that sera raised by gp145 priming were vigorously reactive to more peptides than that by gp140. Our data demonstrated HIV-1 Thailand B-derived gp145 may raise higher T-cell responses and broader linear peptide-specific antibody responses than gp140 does. However, it remains to be determined that how these observations are relevant to neutralization antibody activities.
HIV-1; Vaccine; Envelope; Immunogen design
A novel technology combining replication- and integration-defective human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) vectors with genetically modified dendritic cells was developed in order to induce T-cell immunity. We introduced the vector into dendritic cells as a plasmid DNA using polyethylenimine as the gene delivery system, thereby circumventing the problem of obtaining viral vector expression in the absence of integration. Genetically modified dendritic cells (GMDC) presented viral epitopes efficiently, secreted interleukin 12, and primed both CD4+ and CD8+ HIV-specific T cells capable of producing gamma interferon and exerting potent HIV-1-specific cytotoxicity in vitro. In nonhuman primates, subcutaneously injected GMDC migrated into the draining lymph node at an unprecedentedly high rate and expressed the plasmid DNA. The animals presented a vigorous HIV-specific effector cytotoxic-T-lymphocyte (CTL) response as early as 3 weeks after a single immunization, which later developed into a memory CTL response. Interestingly, antibodies did not accompany these CTL responses, indicating that GMDC can induce a pure Th1 type of immune response. Successful induction of a broad and long-lasting HIV-specific cellular immunity is expected to control virus replication in infected individuals.