Background. To date, only mutations in CCR5 have been shown to confer resistance to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection, and these explain only a small fraction of the observed variability in HIV susceptibility.
Methods. We performed a meta-analysis between 2 independent European genomewide association studies, each comparing HIV-1 seropositive cases with normal population controls known to be HIV uninfected, to identify single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with the HIV-1 acquisition phenotype. SNPs exhibiting P < 10−5 in this first stage underwent second-stage analysis in 2 independent US cohorts of European descent.
Results. After the first stage, a single highly significant association was revealed for the chromosome 8 rs6996198 with HIV-1 acquisition and was replicated in both second-stage cohorts. Across the 4 groups, the rs6996198-T allele was consistently associated with a significant reduced risk of HIV-1 infection, and the global meta-analysis reached genomewide significance: Pcombined = 7.76 × 10−8.
Conclusions. We provide strong evidence of association for a common variant with HIV-1 acquisition in populations of European ancestry. This protective signal against HIV-1 infection is the first identified outside the CCR5 nexus. First clues point to a potential functional role for a nearby candidate gene, CYP7B1, but this locus warrants further investigation.
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is an epithelial malignancy facilitated by Epstein-Barr Virus infection. Here we resolve the major genetic influences for NPC incidence using a genome-wide association study (GWAS), independent cohort replication, and high-resolution molecular HLA class I gene typing including 4,055 study participants from the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Guangdong province of southern China. We detect and replicate strong association signals involving SNPs, HLA alleles, and amino acid (aa) variants across the major histocompatibility complex-HLA-A, HLA –B, and HLA -C class I genes (PHLA-A-aa-site-62 = 7.4×10−29; P HLA-B-aa-site-116 = 6.5×10−19; P HLA-C-aa-site-156 = 6.8×10−8 respectively). Over 250 NPC-HLA associated variants within HLA were analyzed in concert to resolve separate and largely independent HLA-A, -B, and -C gene influences. Multivariate logistical regression analysis collapsed significant associations in adjacent genes spanning 500 kb (OR2H1, GABBR1, HLA-F, and HCG9) as proxies for peptide binding motifs carried by HLA- A*11:01. A similar analysis resolved an independent association signal driven by HLA-B*13:01, B*38:02, and B*55:02 alleles together. NPC resistance alleles carrying the strongly associated amino acid variants implicate specific class I peptide recognition motifs in HLA-A and -B peptide binding groove as conferring strong genetic influence on the development of NPC in China.
NPC is a deadly throat cancer in China that is dependent on EBV infection. Here, we performed a 1 M SNP genome-wide association study using a large cohort of Chinese study participants at risk for NPC. Although several putative gene regions show significant associations, the strongest statistical signals involved scores of variants within the HLA region on chromosome 6. HLA poses a formidable association-genetics challenge because of extensive linkage disequilibrium, rather low allele frequencies, and multiple physically close interacting genes of diverse function. We examined over 250 NPC-HLA associated variants detected with sequence-based nucleotide alleles and amino acid variants. The multiple associations were collapsed to implicate causal signals by multivariate logistical regression to resolve allele association interaction. One operative variant was identified as the HLA-A*11:01 allele motif, specifically in the peptide binding groove, which recognizes invading antigens; a second involved two aa sites with HLA-B tracking B*13:01 and B*55:02 alleles. We synthesize these new and previous discoveries to help resolve the important gene influences on this disease.
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) infects domestic cats and at least 20 additional species of non-domestic felids throughout the world. Strains specific to domestic cat (FIVFca) produce AIDS-like disease progression, sequelae and pathology providing an informative model for HIV infection in humans. Less is known about the immunological and pathological influence of FIV in other felid species although multiple distinct strains of FIV circulate in natural populations. As in HIV-1 and HIV-2, multiple diverse cross-species infections may have occurred. In the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, three divergent subtypes of lion FIV (FIVPle) are endemic, whereby 100% of adult lions are infected with one or more of these strains. Herein, the relative distribution of these subtypes in the population are surveyed and, combined with observed differences in lion mortality due to secondary infections based on FIVPle subtypes, the data suggest that FIVPle subtypes may have different patterns of pathogenicity and transmissibility among wild lion populations.
FIVPle; lions; CDV; Babesia
Guidelines recommend that sepsis be treated with an early resuscitation protocol, such as early goal directed therapy (EGDT). Our objective was to assess the cost-effectiveness of implementing EGDT as a routine protocol.
Prospective before and after study.
Large urban hospital ED with >110,000 visits/year.
The target population was patients with consensus criteria for septic shock. We excluded those with age <18 yrs, no aggressive care desired, or need for immediate surgery.
Clinical and cost data were prospectively collected on two groups: 1) patients from 1 yr before and 2) 2 yrs after implementing EGDT as standard-of-care. Before phase patients received nonprotocolized care at attending discretion. The primary outcomes were one year mortality, discounted life expectancy, and quality adjusted life years (QALYs). Using costs and QALYs, we constructed an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio and performed a net monetary benefit (NMB) analysis, producing the probability that the intervention was cost-effective given different values for the willingness to pay for a QALY.
285 subjects, 79 in the before and 206 in the after phases, were enrolled. Treatment with EGDT was associated with an increased hospital cost of $7028 and an increase in both discounted sepsis-adjusted life expectancy and QALYs of 1.5 and 1.3 yrs, respectively. EGDT use was associated with a cost of $5397 per QALY gained and the NMB analysis indicates a 98% probability (p = .038) that EGDT is cost-effective at a willingness to pay of $50,000 per QALY.
Implementation of EGDT in the ED care of severe sepsis patients is cost effective.
To evaluate the effects of previously reported host genetics factors that influence cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis incidence, progression to AIDS, and efficacy of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) for mortality, retinitis progression, and retinal detachment in patients with CMV retinitis and AIDS in the era of HAART.
Prospective, multicenter, observational study.
Cox proportional hazards model based genetic association tests examined the influence of IL-10R1_S420L, CCR5Δ32, CCR2-V64I, CCR5 P1, and SDF-3`A polymorphisms among patients with mortality, retinitis progression, and retinal detachment. Participants were 203 European American and 117 African American patients with AIDS and CMV retinitis.
European American patients with the CCR5 +.P1.+ promoter haplotype showed increased risk for mortality (HR=1.83; 95% CI: 1.00–3.40; P=0.05). Although the same haplotype also trended for increased risk for mortality in African American patients, the result was not significant (HR=2.28; 95% CI: 0.93–5.60; P=0.07). However, this haplotype was associated with faster retinitis progression in African Americans (HR=5.22; 95% CI: 1.54–17.71; P=0.007). Increased risk of retinitis progression was also evident for African American patients with the SDF1-3′A variant (HR=3.89; 95% CI: 1.42–10.60; P=0.008). In addition, the SDF1-3′A variant increased the retinal detachment risk in this patient group (HR=3.05; 95% CI: 1.01–9.16; P=0.05).
Besides overall immune health, host genetic factors influence mortality, retinitis progression, and retinal detachment in patients with AIDS and CMV retinitis that are receiving HAART.
Background. Host genetic variation influences human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and progression to AIDS. Here we used clinically well-characterized subjects from 5 pretreatment HIV/AIDS cohorts for a genome-wide association study to identify gene associations with rate of AIDS progression.
Methods. European American HIV seroconverters (n = 755) were interrogated for single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (n = 700,022) associated with progression to AIDS 1987 (Cox proportional hazards regression analysis, co-dominant model).
Results. Association with slower progression was observed for SNPs in the gene PARD3B. One of these, rs11884476, reached genome-wide significance (relative hazard = 0.3; P =3. 370 × 10−9) after statistical correction for 700,022 SNPs and contributes 4.52% of the overall variance in AIDS progression in this study. Nine of the top-ranked SNPs define a PARD3B haplotype that also displays significant association with progression to AIDS (hazard ratio, 0.3; P = 3.220 × 10−8). One of these SNPs, rs10185378, is a predicted exonic splicing enhancer; significant alteration in the expression profile of PARD3B splicing transcripts was observed in B cell lines with alternate rs10185378 genotypes. This SNP was typed in European cohorts of rapid progressors and was found to be protective for AIDS 1993 definition (odds ratio, 0.43, P = .025).
Conclusions. These observations suggest a potential unsuspected pathway of host genetic influence on the dynamics of AIDS progression.
The domestic cat is afflicted with multiple viruses that serve as powerful models for human disease including cancers, SARS and HIV/AIDS. Cat viruses that cause these diseases have been studied for decades revealing detailed insight concerning transmission, virulence, origins and pathogenesis. Here we review recent genetic advances that have questioned traditional wisdom regarding the origins of virulent Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) diseases, the pathogenic potential of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) in wild non-domestic Felidae species, and the restriction of Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) mediated immune impairment to domestic cats rather than other Felidae species. The most recent interpretations indicate important new evolutionary conclusions implicating these deadly infectious agents in domestic and non-domestic felids.
FIV; FCoV; FeLV; Felidae
Background. High-throughput genome-wide techniques have facilitated the identification of previously unknown host proteins involved in cellular human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Recently, 3 independent studies have used small interfering RNA technology to silence each gene in the human genome to determine the importance of each in HIV infection. Genes conferring a significant effect were termed HIV-dependency factors (HDFs).
Methods. We assembled high-density panels of 6380 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 278 HDF genes and tested for genotype associations with HIV infection and AIDS progression in 1633 individuals from clinical AIDS cohorts.
Results. After statistical correction for multiple tests, significant associations with HIV acquisition were found for SNPs in 2 genes, NCOR2 and IDH1. Weaker associations with AIDS progression were revealed for SNPs within the TM9SF2 and EGFR genes.
Conclusions. This study independently verifies the influence of NCOR2 and IDH1 on HIV transmission, and its findings suggest that variation in these genes affects susceptibility to HIV infection in exposed individuals.
Transmission of pathogens from domestic animals to wildlife populations (spill-over) has precipitated local wildlife extinctions in multiple geographic locations. Identifying such events before they cause population declines requires differentiating spillover from endemic disease, a challenge complicated by a lack of baseline data from wildlife populations that are isolated from domestic animals. We tested sera collected from 12 ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) native to Barro Colorado Island, Panama, which is free of domestic animals, for antibodies to feline herpes virus, feline calicivirus, feline corona virus, feline panleukopenia virus, canine distemper virus, and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), typically a species-specific infection. Samples also were tested for feline leukemia virus antigens. Positive tests results were only observed for FIV; 50% of the ocelots were positive. We hypothesize that isolation of this population has prevented introduction of pathogens typically attributed to contact with domestic animals. The high density of ocelots on Barro Colorado Island may contribute to a high prevalence of FIV infection, as would be expected with increased contact rates among conspecifics in a geographically restricted population.
Barro Colorado Island; FIV; Leopardus; ocelot; serology
Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) was not detected in Florida pumas (Puma concolor coryi) in almost 20 yr of surveillance; however, the finding of two FeLV antigen-positive pumas during the 2002–2003 capture season led to an investigation of FeLV in the population. Between January 1990 and April 2007, the proportion of pumas testing FeLV antibody positive increased, with antibody-positive pumas concentrated in the northern portion of puma range. Five of 131 (4%) pumas sampled between July 2000 and April 2007 were viremic, with all cases clustered in Okaloacoochee Slough (OKS). Clinical signs and clinical pathology at capture were absent or included lymphadenopathy, moderate-to-severe anemia, and lymphopenia. All viremic pumas died; causes of death were septicemia (n=2), intraspecific aggression (n=2), and anemia/dehydration (n=1). Outcome after FeLV exposure in pumas was similar to that in domestic cats, with evidence of regressive, latent, and persistent infections. Management of the epizootic included vaccination, and as of April 2007, 52 free-ranging pumas had received one or more inoculations. Vaccinations were concentrated in OKS and in a band between OKS and the remainder of the puma population. There have been no new cases since July 2004; however, the potential for reintroduction of the virus remains.
Feline leukemia virus; Florida panther; infectious disease; Puma concolor coryi; retrovirus; vaccination
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis is a common opportunistic infection among patients with AIDS and still causes visual morbidity despite the wide spread usage of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). The ubiquitous CMV pathogen contains a human interleukin-10 (IL-10) homolog in its genome and utilizes it to evade host immune reactions through an IL-10 receptor mediated immune-suppression pathway.
Effects of IL-10R1, IL-10 and previously described AIDS restriction gene variants are investigated on the development of CMV retinitis in the Longitudinal Study of the Ocular Complications of AIDS (LSOCA) cohort (n=1284).
In Europen Americans (n=750), a haplotype carrying an amino acid changing variation in the cytoplasmic domain (S420L) of IL-10R1 can be protective (OR = 0.14, CI: 0.02–0.94, P = 0.04) against, whereas another haplotype carrying an amino acid changing variation in the extracellular domain (I224V) of IL-10R1 can be more susceptible (OR = 6.21, CI: 1.22–31.54, P = 0.03) to CMV retinitis. In African Americans (n=534), potential effects of IL-10 variants are observed.
Host genetics may have a role in the occurrence of CMV retinitis in patients infected with HIV.
AIDS; CMV retinitis; HIV-1; host genetics; interleukin-10 receptor
Approximately 10 to 15% of patients with AIDS but without ocular opportunistic infections will have a presumed neuroretinal disorder (HIV-NRD), manifested by reduced contrast sensitivity and abnormal visual fields. The loss of contrast sensitivity often is sufficient to impair reading speed. To evaluate the effect of host genetics on HIV-NRD, we explored validated AIDS restriction gene variants CCR5Δ32, CCR2-64I, CCR5 P1, SDF-3`A, IL-10-5`A, RANTES -403A, RANTES -28G, RANTES-In1.1C, CX3CR1-249I, CX3CR1-280M, IFNG-179T, MDR1-3435T, and MCP-1364G, each of which has been implicated previously to influence HIV-1 infection, AIDS progression, therapy response, and antiviral drug metabolism, and an IL-10 receptor gene, IL-10R1, in the Longitudinal Study of the Ocular Complications of AIDS (LSOCA) cohort. In European Americans (cases=55, controls=290), IL-10-5`A variant and its promoter haplotype (HR=2.09, CI: 1.19–3.67, P = 0.01); in African Americans (cases=54, controls=180) RANTES-In1.1C and the associated haplotype (HR=2.72, CI: 1.48–5.00, P = 0.001), showed increased HIV-NRD susceptibility. While sample sizes are small and P values do not pass a strict Bonferroni correction, our results suggest that, in European Americans, an IL-10-related pathway, and, in African Americans, chemokine receptor ligand polymorphisms in RANTES are risk factors for HIV- NRD development. Clearly, further studies are warrented.
AIDS; HIV-1; host genetics; HIV-neuroretinal disorder
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), a feline lentivirus related to HIV, causes immune dysfunction in domestic and wild cats. The Pallas’ cat is the only species from Asia known to harbor a species-specific strain of FIV designated FIVOma in natural populations. Here, a 25% seroprevalence of FIV is reported from 28 wild Mongolian Pallas’ cats sampled from 2000-2008. Phylogenetic analysis of proviral RT-Pol from eight FIVOma isolates from Mongolia, Russia, China and Kazakhstan reveals a unique monophyletic lineage of the virus within the Pallas’ cat population, most closely related to the African cheetah and leopard FIV strains. Histopathological examination of lymph node and spleen from infected and uninfected Pallas’ cats suggests that FIVOma causes immune depletion in its’ native host.
FIV; Pallas’ cat; Evolution; Histopathology; Felidae
We attempted to refine the understanding of an association of Y-chromosomal haplogroup I (hg-I) with enhanced AIDS progression that had been previously reported. First, we compared the progression phenotype between hg-I and its phylogenetically closest haplogroup J (hg-J). Then, we took a candidate gene approach resequencing DDX3Y, a crucial autoimmunity gene, in hg-I and other common European Y- chromosome haplogroups looking for functional variants. We extended the genetic analyses to CD24L4 and compared and contrasted the roles of disease based selection, demographic history, and population structure shaping the contemporary genetic landscape of hg-I chromosomes. Our results confirmed and refined the AIDS progression signal to hg-I, though no gene variant was identified that can explain the disease association. Molecular evolutionary and genetic analyses of the examined loci suggested a unique evolutionary history in hg-I, probably shaped by complex interactions of selection, demographic history, and high geographical differentiation leading to the formation of distinct hg-I subhaplogroups that today are associated with HIV/AIDS onset. Clearly, further studies on Y chromosome candidate loci sequencing to discover functional variants and discern the roles of evolutionary factors are warranted.
AIDS progression; CD24L4; DDX3Y; population growth; population structure; selection; Y chromosome
As we enter an era when testing millions of SNPs in a single gene association study will become the standard, consideration of multiple comparisons is an essential part of determining statistical significance. Bonferroni adjustments can be made but are conservative due to the preponderance of linkage disequilibrium (LD) between genetic markers, and permutation testing is not always a viable option. Three major classes of corrections have been proposed to correct the dependent nature of genetic data in Bonferroni adjustments: permutation testing and related alternatives, principal components analysis (PCA), and analysis of blocks of LD across the genome. We consider seven implementations of these commonly used methods using data from 1514 European American participants genotyped for 700,078 SNPs in a GWAS for AIDS.
A Bonferroni correction using the number of LD blocks found by the three algorithms implemented by Haploview resulted in an insufficiently conservative threshold, corresponding to a genome-wide significance level of α = 0.15 - 0.20. We observed a moderate increase in power when using PRESTO, SLIDE, and simpleℳ when compared with traditional Bonferroni methods for population data genotyped on the Affymetrix 6.0 platform in European Americans (α = 0.05 thresholds between 1 × 10-7 and 7 × 10-8).
Correcting for the number of LD blocks resulted in an anti-conservative Bonferroni adjustment. SLIDE and simpleℳ are particularly useful when using a statistical test not handled in optimized permutation testing packages, and genome-wide corrected p-values using SLIDE, are much easier to interpret for consumers of GWAS studies.
The human mitochondrial genome includes only 13 coding genes while nuclear-encoded genes account for 99% of proteins responsible for mitochondrial morphology, redox regulation, and energetics. Mitochondrial pathogenesis occurs in HIV patients and genetically, mitochondrial DNA haplogroups with presumed functional differences have been associated with differential AIDS progression.
Here we explore whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within 904 of the estimated 1,500 genes that specify nuclear-encoded mitochondrial proteins (NEMPs) influence AIDS progression among HIV-1 infected patients. We examined NEMPs for association with the rate of AIDS progression using genotypes generated by an Affymetrix 6.0 genotyping array of 1,455 European American patients from five US AIDS cohorts. Successfully genotyped SNPs gave 50% or better haplotype coverage for 679 of known NEMP genes. With a Bonferroni adjustment for the number of genes and tests examined, multiple SNPs within two NEMP genes showed significant association with AIDS progression: acyl-CoA synthetase medium-chain family member 4 (ACSM4) on chromosome 12 and peroxisomal D3,D2-enoyl-CoA isomerase (PECI) on chromosome 6.
Our previous studies on mitochondrial DNA showed that European haplogroups with presumed functional differences were associated with AIDS progression and HAART mediated adverse events. The modest influences of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial genes found in the current study add support to the idea that mitochondrial function plays a role in AIDS pathogenesis.
A mean of 9–10 years of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection elapse before clinical AIDS develops in untreated persons, but this rate of disease progression varies substantially among individuals. To investigate host genetic determinants of the rate of progression to clinical AIDS, we performed a multistage genomewide association study.
The discovery stage comprised 156 individuals from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, enriched with rapid and long-term nonprogressors to increase statistical power. This was followed by replication tests of putatively associated genotypes in an independent population of 590 HIV-1–infected seroconverters.
Significant associations with delayed AIDS progression were observed in a haplotype located at 1q41, 36 kb upstream of PROX1 on chromosome 1 (relative hazard ratio, 0.69; Fisher’s combined P = 6.23 × 10−7). This association was replicated further in an analysis stratified by transmission mode, with the effect consistent in sexual or mucosal and parenteral transmission (relative hazard ratios, 0.72 and 0.63, respectively; combined P = 1.63 × 10−6).
This study identified and replicated a locus upstream of PROX1 that is associated with delayed progression to clinical AIDS. PROX1 is a negative regulator of interferon-γ expression in T cells and also mitigates the advancement of vascular neoplasms, such as Kaposi sarcoma, a common AIDS-defining malignancy. This study adds to the cumulative polygenic host component that effectively regulates the progression to clinical AIDS among HIV-1–infected individuals, raising prospects for potential new avenues for therapy and improvements in AIDS prognosis.
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) causes AIDS in the domestic cat (Felis catus) but has not been explicitly associated with AIDS pathology in any of the eight free-ranging species of Felidae that are endemic with circulating FIV strains. African lion (Panthera leo) populations are infected with lion-specific FIV strains (FIVple), yet there remains uncertainty about the degree to which FIV infection impacts their health. Reported CD4+ T-lymphocyte depletion in FIVple infected lions and anecdotal reports of lion morbidity associated with FIV sero-prevalence emphasize the concern as to whether FIVple is innocuous or pathogenic. Here we monitored clinical, biochemical, histological and serological parameters among FIVple-positive (N=47) as compared to FIVple negative (N=17) lions anesthetized and sampled on multiple occasions between 1999 and 2006 in Botswana. Relative to uninfected lions, FIVple infected lions displayed a significant elevation in the prevalence of AIDS defining conditions: lymphandenopathy, gingivitis, tongue papillomas, dehydration, and poor coat condition, as well as displaying abnormal red blood cell parameters and elevated liver enzymes and serum proteins. Spleen and lymph node laparoscopic biopsies from free-ranging FIVple infected lions (N=8) revealed evidence of lymphoid depletion, the hallmark pathology documented in immunodefieciency virus infections of humans (HIV-1), macaques, and domestic cats. We conclude that over time FIVple infections in free-ranging lions can lead to adverse clinical, immunological, and pathological outcomes in some individuals that parallel sequelae caused by lentivirus infection in humans (HIV), Asian macaques (SIV) and domestic cats (FIVfca).
Genetic analyses of feline immunodeficiency viruses provide significant insights on the worldwide distribution and evolutionary history of this emerging pathogen. Large-scale screening of over 3000 samples from all species of Felidae indicates that at least some individuals from most species possess antibodies that cross react to FIV. Phylogenetic analyses of genetic variation in the pol-RT gene demonstrate that FIV lineages are species-specific and suggest that there has been a prolonged period of viral-host co-evolution. The clinical effects of FIV specific to species other than domestic cat are controversial. Comparative genomic analyses of all full-length FIV genomes confirmed that FIV is host specific. Recently sequenced lion subtype E is marginally more similar to Pallas cat FIV though env is more similar to that of domestic cat FIV, indicating a possible recombination between two divergent strains in the wild. Here we review global patterns of FIV seroprevalence and endemnicity, assess genetic differences within and between species-specific FIV strains, and interpret these with patterns of felid speciation to propose an ancestral origin of FIV in Africa followed by interspecies transmission and global dissemination to Eurasia and the Americas. Continued comparative genomic analyses of full-length FIV from all seropositive animals, along with whole genome sequence of host species, will greatly advance our understanding of the role of recombination, selection and adaptation in retroviral emergence.
FIV; Evolution; Lion; Felidae
Coronavirus sequence analyses demonstrate distinctive circulating strains in natural populations.
Feline coronavirus (FCoV) is endemic in feral cat populations and cat colonies, frequently preceding outbreaks of fatal feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). FCoV exhibits 2 biotypes: the pathogenic disease and a benign infection with feline enteric coronavirus (FECV). Uncertainty remains regarding whether genetically distinctive avirulent and virulent forms coexist or whether an avirulent form mutates in vivo, causing FIP. To resolve these alternative hypotheses, we isolated viral sequences from FCoV-infected clinically healthy and sick cats (8 FIP cases and 48 FECV-asymptomatic animals); 735 sequences from 4 gene segments were generated and subjected to phylogenetic analyses. Viral sequences from healthy cats were distinct from sick cats on the basis of genetic distances observed in the membrane and nonstructural protein 7b genes. These data demonstrate distinctive circulating virulent and avirulent strains in natural populations. In addition, 5 membrane protein amino acid residues with functional potential differentiated healthy cats from cats with FIP. These findings may have potential as diagnostic markers for virulent FIP-associated FCoV.
Coronavirus; infectious peritonitis; feline; virulence; genetic; marker; viruses; Maryland; USA; research
Immune dysregulation initiated by a profound loss of CD4+ T-cells is fundamental to HIV-induced pathogenesis. Infection of domestic cats with a non-pathogenic lentivirus prevalent in the puma (puma lentivirus, PLV or FIVPCO) prevented peripheral blood CD4+ T-cell depletion caused by subsequent virulent FIV infection. Maintenance of this critical population was not associated with a significant decrease in FIV viremia, lending support to the hypothesis that direct viral cytopathic effect is not the primary cause of immunodeficiency. Although this approach was analogous to immunization with a modified live vaccine, correlates of immunity such as a serum-neutralizing antibody or virus-specific T-cell proliferative response were not found in protected animals. Differences in cytokine transcription profile, most notably in interferon gamma, were observed between the protected and unprotected groups. These data provide support for the importance of non-adaptive enhancement of the immune response in the prevention of CD4+ T-cell loss.
FIV; CD4+ T-cell; cross-species lentivirus infection; interferon; innate immunity
Feline and primate immunodeficiency viruses (FIVs, SIVs, and HIV) are transmitted via direct contact (e.g. fighting, sexual contact, and mother-offspring transmission). This dynamic likely poses a behavioral barrier to cross-species transmission in the wild. Recently, several host intracellular anti-viral proteins that contribute to species-specificity of primate lentiviruses have been identified revealing adaptive mechanisms that further limit spread of lentiviruses between species. Consistent with these inter-species transmission barriers, phylogenetic evidence supports the prediction that FIV transmission is an exceedingly rare event between free-ranging cat species, though it has occurred occasionally in captive settings. Recently we documented that puma and bobcats in Southern California share an FIV strain, providing an opportunity to evaluate evolution of both viral strains and host intracellular restriction proteins. These studies are facilitated by the availability of the 2X cat genome sequence annotation. In addition, concurrent viral and host genetic analyses have been used to track patterns of migration of the host species and barriers to transmission of the virus within the African lion. These studies illustrate the utility of FIV as a model to discover the variables necessary for establishment and control of lentiviral infections in new species.
FIV; lentiviruses; cross-species transmission
The lion Panthera leo is one of the world's most charismatic carnivores and is one of Africa's key predators. Here, we used a large dataset from 357 lions comprehending 1.13 megabases of sequence data and genotypes from 22 microsatellite loci to characterize its recent evolutionary history. Patterns of molecular genetic variation in multiple maternal (mtDNA), paternal (Y-chromosome), and biparental nuclear (nDNA) genetic markers were compared with patterns of sequence and subtype variation of the lion feline immunodeficiency virus (FIVPle), a lentivirus analogous to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In spite of the ability of lions to disperse long distances, patterns of lion genetic diversity suggest substantial population subdivision (mtDNA ΦST = 0.92; nDNA FST = 0.18), and reduced gene flow, which, along with large differences in sero-prevalence of six distinct FIVPle subtypes among lion populations, refute the hypothesis that African lions consist of a single panmictic population. Our results suggest that extant lion populations derive from several Pleistocene refugia in East and Southern Africa (∼324,000–169,000 years ago), which expanded during the Late Pleistocene (∼100,000 years ago) into Central and North Africa and into Asia. During the Pleistocene/Holocene transition (∼14,000–7,000 years), another expansion occurred from southern refugia northwards towards East Africa, causing population interbreeding. In particular, lion and FIVPle variation affirms that the large, well-studied lion population occupying the greater Serengeti Ecosystem is derived from three distinct populations that admixed recently.
The lion Panthera leo, a formidable carnivore with a complex cooperative social system, has fascinated humanity since pre-historical times, inspiring hundreds of religious and cultural allusions. Here, we use a comprehensive sample of 357 individuals from most of the major lion populations in Africa and Asia. We assayed appropriately informative autosomal, Y-chromosome, and mitochondrial genetic markers, and assessed the prevalence and genetic variation of the lion-specific feline immunodeficiency virus (FIVPle), a lentivirus analogous to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS-like immunodeficiency disease in domestic cats. We compare the large multigenic dataset from lions with patterns of genetic variation of the FIVPle to characterize the population-genomic legacy of lions. We refute the hypothesis that African lions consist of a single panmictic population, highlighting the importance of preserving populations in decline rather than prioritizing larger-scale conservation efforts. Interestingly, lion and FIVPle variation revealed evidence of unsuspected genetic diversity even in the well-studied lion population of the Serengeti Ecosystem, which consists of recently admixed animals derived from three distinct genetic groups.
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) naturally infects multiple species of cat and is related to human immunodeficiency virus in humans. FIV infection causes AIDS-like disease and mortality in the domestic cat (Felis catus) and serves as a natural model for HIV infection in humans. In African lions (Panthera leo) and other exotic felid species, disease etiology introduced by FIV infection are less clear, but recent studies indicate that FIV causes moderate to severe CD4 depletion.
In this study, comparative genomic methods are used to evaluate the full proviral genome of two geographically distinct FIV subtypes isolated from free-ranging lions. Genome organization of FIVPle subtype B (9891 bp) from lions in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and FIVPle subtype E (9899 bp) isolated from lions in the Okavango Delta in Botswana, both resemble FIV genome sequence from puma, Pallas cat and domestic cat across 5' LTR, gag, pol, vif, orfA, env, rev and 3'LTR regions. Comparative analyses of available full-length FIV consisting of subtypes A, B and C from FIVFca, Pallas cat FIVOma and two puma FIVPco subtypes A and B recapitulate the species-specific monophyly of FIV marked by high levels of genetic diversity both within and between species. Across all FIVPle gene regions except env, lion subtypes B and E are monophyletic, and marginally more similar to Pallas cat FIVOma than to other FIV. Sequence analyses indicate the SU and TM regions of env vary substantially between subtypes, with FIVPle subtype E more related to domestic cat FIVFca than to FIVPle subtype B and FIVOma likely reflecting recombination between strains in the wild.
This study demonstrates the necessity of whole-genome analysis to complement population/gene-based studies, which are of limited utility in uncovering complex events such as recombination that may lead to functional differences in virulence and pathogenicity. These full-length lion lentiviruses are integral to the advancement of comparative genomics of human pathogens, as well as emerging disease in wild populations of endangered species.