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1.  Long term effectiveness of once-daily unboosted atazanavir plus abacavir/lamivudine as a switch strategy in subjects with virological suppression 
Journal of the International AIDS Society  2014;17(4Suppl 3):19810.
Use of unboosted atazanavir (ATV400) is approved in the US but not in Europe [1]. Due to pharmacokinetic interactions it should not be used with tenofovir but can be used with abacavir/lamivudine (ABC/3TC) [1, 2,3]. Effectiveness data of ATV400+ABC/3TC as a switch strategy in clinical routine however are scant.
We evaluated treatment outcomes of ATV400+ABC/3TC in pre-treated subjects in the EuroSIDA cohort with undetectable HIV-1 RNA, and previous ABC experience or assumed previous HLA B57*01 testing. We performed a time to loss of virologic response (TLOVR below 50 c/mL) and a snapshot analysis at 48, 96 and 144 weeks. Virological failure (VF) was defined as a confirmed plasma HIV-1 RNA >50 c/mL.
We included 258 subjects: 176 (68%) male, median age 46 (IQR 41, 53) y, 225 (87.2%) white, hepatitis virus co-infection 36%, median baseline CD4 at switch 540 cells (360, 700), time with VL≤ 50 c/mL 45 (24, 69) months. The median calendar year of switching was 2008 (2006, 2010). The 3rd drug in previous regimen was ATV/r in 70 (27.1%), other PI/r in 25 (9.7%), and other 163 (63.2%); 85 (32.9%) had previously failed with a PI. The virological response at 48/96/144 weeks was, respectively, 89.5 [95% CI 85.1, 92.9]/88 [83.4, 91.7]/86.3% [81.6, 90.4] (TLOVR, composite endpoint failure or stop for any reason) and the risk of VF was 8.3/7.6/7.6%. In the snapshot analysis HIV-RNA was below 50 c/mL in 72.5/65.9/51.6%, respectively, and >50 c/mL in 6.6/5.4/4.3%. Only 0.8/1.9/3.5% discontinued due to adverse events. There was a high rate of discontinuations due to other reasons or with VL missing in window. In a multivariate adjusted analysis, we observed an association between VF and nadir CD4 count (RH 0.60 [0.39, 0.93] per 100 cells higher), time with VL≤50 c/mL (RH 0.89 [0.81, 0.98] per 6 months longer) and previous failure with a PI (3.04 [1.36, 6.80]). There was no association with gender, age, hepatitis virus co-infection, CD4 count at time of switching or third drug used in the previous regimen.
A switch to ATV400+ABC/3TC in selected subjects with HIV-RNA below 50 c/mL is associated with relatively low rates of VF and discontinuation due to adverse events. Use might be considered in those with long-term suppression and without prior PI failure. Larger cohorts are required to further define the appropriate selection criteria.
PMCID: PMC4225315  PMID: 25397554
2.  Comparison of Dorsocervical With Abdominal Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue in Patients With and Without Antiretroviral Therapy–Associated Lipodystrophy 
Diabetes  2011;60(7):1894-1900.
Combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) is associated with lipodystrophy, i.e., loss of subcutaneous adipose tissue in the abdomen, limbs, and face and its accumulation intra-abdominally. No fat is lost dorsocervically and it can even accumulate in this region (buffalo hump). It is unknown how preserved dorsocervical fat differs from abdominal subcutaneous fat in HIV-1–infected cART-treated patients with (cART+LD+) and without (cART+LD−) lipodystrophy.
We used histology, microarray, PCR, and magnetic resonance imaging to compare dorsocervical and abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue in cART+LD+ (n = 21) and cART+LD− (n = 11).
Albeit dorsocervical adipose tissue in cART+LD+ seems spared from lipoatrophy, its mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA; copies/cell) content was significantly lower (by 62%) than that of the corresponding tissue in cART+LD−. Expression of CD68 mRNA, a marker of macrophages, and numerous inflammatory genes in microarray were significantly lower in dorsocervical versus abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue. Genes with the greatest difference in expression between the two depots were those involved in regulation of transcription and regionalization (homeobox genes), irrespective of lipodystrophy status. There was negligible mRNA expression of uncoupling protein 1, a gene characteristic of brown adipose tissue, in either depot.
Because mtDNA is depleted even in the nonatrophic dorsocervical adipose tissue, it is unlikely that the cause of lipoatrophy is loss of mtDNA. Dorsocervical adipose tissue is less inflamed than lipoatrophic adipose tissue. It does not resemble brown adipose tissue. The greatest difference in gene expression between dorsocervical and abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue is in expression of homeobox genes.
PMCID: PMC3121420  PMID: 21602514
3.  Markers of Inflammation, Coagulation and Renal Function Are Elevated in Adults with HIV Infection 
The Journal of infectious diseases  2010;201(12):1788-1795.
HIV replication and immune activation may increase inflammation and coagulation biomarkers. Limited data exist comparing such biomarkers for those with and without HIV infection.
For those aged 45–76, high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), D-dimer, and cystatin C were compared for 494 HIV-infected individuals in the Strategies for Management of Anti-Retroviral Therapy (SMART) study with 5,386 participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). For those aged 33–44, hsCRP and IL-6 were compared for 287 participants in SMART with 3,231 participants in the Coronary Artery Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study.
hsCRP and IL-6 were 55% (p<0.001) and 62% (p<0.001) higher among HIV-infected participants compared to CARDIA. Compared to MESA, hsCRP, IL-6, D-dimer and cystatin C were 50%, 152%, 94%, and 27% higher (p<0.001 for each). For HIV-infected participants on ART with HIV-RNA levels ≤400 copies/mL, levels were higher (p<0.001) than the general population for all biomarkers (by 21% to 60%).
hsCRP, IL-6, D-dimer and cystatin C are elevated with HIV infection and remain so even after HIV-RNA levels are suppressed with ART. Further research is needed on the pathophysiology of HIV-induced activation of inflammatory and coagulation pathways in order to guide potential interventions.
PMCID: PMC2872049  PMID: 20446848
Inflammation; coagulation; renal function; HIV infection; cardiovascular disease
4.  Serodiagnosis of Primary Infections with Human Parvovirus 4, Finland 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2011;17(1):79-82.
To determine the prevalence of parvovirus 4 infection and its clinical and sociodemographic correlations in Finland, we used virus-like particle–based serodiagnostic procedures (immunoglobulin [Ig] G, IgM, and IgG avidity) and PCR. We found 2 persons with parvovirus 4 primary infection who had mild or asymptomatic clinical features among hepatitis C virus–infected injection drug users.
PMCID: PMC3204632  PMID: 21192859
Parvovirus; viruses; hepatitis C virus; HIV; antibodies; serodiagnosis; primary infection; injection drug users; Finland; dispatch
5.  Zidovudine/Lamivudine for HIV-1 Infection Contributes to Limb Fat Loss 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(5):e5647.
Lipoatrophy is known to be associated with stavudine as part of the treatment for HIV infection, but it is less clear if this serious side effect is also related to other nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors like zidovudine. We aimed to determine whether zidovudine-sparing first-line antiretroviral therapy would lead to less lipoatrophy and other metabolic changes than zidovudine-containing therapy.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Fifty antiretroviral therapy-naïve HIV-1 infected men with an indication to start antiretroviral therapy were included in a randomized single blinded clinical trial. Randomisation was between zidovudine-containing therapy (zidovudine/lamivudine+lopinavir/ritonavir) and zidovudine-sparing therapy (nevirapine+lopinavir/ritonavir). Main outcome measures were body composition assessed by computed tomography and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan and lipid profile before and after 3, 12, 24 months of antiretroviral therapy. In the zidovudine/lamivudine+lopinavir/ritonavir group, from 3 months onward limb fat decreased progressively by 684±293 grams (estimated mean±standard error of the mean)(p = 0.02) up to 24 months whereas abdominal fat increased, but exclusively in the visceral compartment (+21.9±8.1 cm2, p = 0.008)). In contrast, in the nevirapine+lopinavir/ritonavir group, a generalized increase in fat mass was observed. After 24 months no significant differences in high density lipoprotein and total/high density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio were found between both treatment groups, but total and low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were higher in the nevirapine+lopinavir/ritonavir group (6.1±0.2 versus 5.3±0.2 and 3.6±0.1 versus 2.8±0.1 mmol/l respectively, p<0.05). Virologic response and safety were comparable in both groups.
Zidovudine/lamivudine+lopinavir/ritonavir, but not nevirapine+lopinavir/ritonavir in antiretroviral therapy-naïve patients, is associated with lipoatrophy and greater relative intraabdominal lipohypertrophy, suggesting that zidovudine/lamivudine contributes to both these features of lipodystrophy. These findings support to no longer consider zidovudine/lamivudine as one of the preferred possible components of first-line antiretroviral therapy where alternative treatments are available.
Trial Registration NCT 00122226
PMCID: PMC2682584  PMID: 19479079

Results 1-5 (5)