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1.  Evolution of Puma Lentivirus in Bobcats (Lynx rufus) and Mountain Lions (Puma concolor) in North America 
Journal of Virology  2014;88(14):7727-7737.
ABSTRACT
Mountain lions (Puma concolor) throughout North and South America are infected with puma lentivirus clade B (PLVB). A second, highly divergent lentiviral clade, PLVA, infects mountain lions in southern California and Florida. Bobcats (Lynx rufus) in these two geographic regions are also infected with PLVA, and to date, this is the only strain of lentivirus identified in bobcats. We sequenced full-length PLV genomes in order to characterize the molecular evolution of PLV in bobcats and mountain lions. Low sequence homology (88% average pairwise identity) and frequent recombination (1 recombination breakpoint per 3 isolates analyzed) were observed in both clades. Viral proteins have markedly different patterns of evolution; sequence homology and negative selection were highest in Gag and Pol and lowest in Vif and Env. A total of 1.7% of sites across the PLV genome evolve under positive selection, indicating that host-imposed selection pressure is an important force shaping PLV evolution. PLVA strains are highly spatially structured, reflecting the population dynamics of their primary host, the bobcat. In contrast, the phylogeography of PLVB reflects the highly mobile mountain lion, with diverse PLVB isolates cocirculating in some areas and genetically related viruses being present in populations separated by thousands of kilometers. We conclude that PLVA and PLVB are two different viral species with distinct feline hosts and evolutionary histories.
IMPORTANCE An understanding of viral evolution in natural host populations is a fundamental goal of virology, molecular biology, and disease ecology. Here we provide a detailed analysis of puma lentivirus (PLV) evolution in two natural carnivore hosts, the bobcat and mountain lion. Our results illustrate that PLV evolution is a dynamic process that results from high rates of viral mutation/recombination and host-imposed selection pressure.
doi:10.1128/JVI.00473-14
PMCID: PMC4097783  PMID: 24741092
2.  Genome-wide Association Study Implicates PARD3B-based AIDS Restriction 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2011;203(10):1491-1502.
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.
doi:10.1093/infdis/jir046
PMCID: PMC3080910  PMID: 21502085
3.  Multicohort Genomewide Association Study Reveals a New Signal of Protection Against HIV-1 Acquisition 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2012;205(7):1155-1162.
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.
doi:10.1093/infdis/jis028
PMCID: PMC3295605  PMID: 22362864
4.  The Principal Genetic Determinants for Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma in China Involve the HLA Class I Antigen Recognition Groove 
PLoS Genetics  2012;8(11):e1003103.
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.
Author Summary
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.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003103
PMCID: PMC3510037  PMID: 23209447
5.  FIV diversity: FIVPle subtype composition may influence disease outcome in African lions 
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.
doi:10.1016/j.vetimm.2011.06.013
PMCID: PMC3168974  PMID: 21723622
FIVPle; lions; CDV; Babesia
6.  Feline models of viral pathogenesis: Opportunity knocks 
doi:10.1016/j.tvjl.2010.07.013
PMCID: PMC2988874  PMID: 20716490
7.  Cost-Effectiveness of an Emergency Department Based Early Sepsis Resuscitation Protocol 
Critical care medicine  2011;39(6):1306-1312.
Background
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.
Design
Prospective before and after study.
Setting
Large urban hospital ED with >110,000 visits/year.
Patients
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.
Interventions
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
Implementation of EGDT in the ED care of severe sepsis patients is cost effective.
doi:10.1097/CCM.0b013e31821201be
PMCID: PMC3102146  PMID: 21336115
8.  Association of Host Genetic Risk Factors with the Course of Cytomegalovirus Retinitis in Patients Infected with HIV 
American journal of ophthalmology  2011;151(6):999-1006.e4.
Purpose
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.
Design
Prospective, multicenter, observational study.
Methods
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.
Results
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).
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1016/j.ajo.2010.11.029
PMCID: PMC3103625  PMID: 21396623
9.  Emerging Viruses in the Felidae: Shifting Paradigms 
Viruses  2012;4(2):236-257.
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.
doi:10.3390/v4020236
PMCID: PMC3315214  PMID: 22470834
FIV; FCoV; FeLV; Felidae
10.  Genetic Associations of Variants in Genes Encoding HIV-Dependency Factors Required for HIV-1 Infection 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2010;202(12):1836-1845.
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.
doi:10.1086/657322
PMCID: PMC3107555  PMID: 21083371
11.  Role of Exonic Variation in Chemokine Receptor Genes on AIDS: CCRL2 F167Y Association with Pneumocystis Pneumonia 
PLoS Genetics  2011;7(10):e1002328.
Chromosome 3p21–22 harbors two clusters of chemokine receptor genes, several of which serve as major or minor coreceptors of HIV-1. Although the genetic association of CCR5 and CCR2 variants with HIV-1 pathogenesis is well known, the role of variation in other nearby chemokine receptor genes remain unresolved. We genotyped exonic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in chemokine receptor genes: CCR3, CCRL2, and CXCR6 (at 3p21) and CCR8 and CX3CR1 (at 3p22), the majority of which were non-synonymous. The individual SNPs were tested for their effects on disease progression and outcomes in five treatment-naïve HIV-1/AIDS natural history cohorts. In addition to the known CCR5 and CCR2 associations, significant associations were identified for CCR3, CCR8, and CCRL2 on progression to AIDS. A multivariate survival analysis pointed to a previously undetected association of a non-conservative amino acid change F167Y in CCRL2 with AIDS progression: 167F is associated with accelerated progression to AIDS (RH = 1.90, P = 0.002, corrected). Further analysis indicated that CCRL2-167F was specifically associated with more rapid development of pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) (RH = 2.84, 95% CI 1.28–6.31) among four major AIDS–defining conditions. Considering the newly defined role of CCRL2 in lung dendritic cell trafficking, this atypical chemokine receptor may affect PCP through immune regulation and inducing inflammation.
Author Summary
Human chemokine receptors are cell surface proteins that may be utilized by HIV-1 for entry into host cells. DNA variation in the HIV-1 major coreceptor CCR5 affects HIV-1 infection and progression. This study comprehensively assesses the role of genetic variation of multiple chemokine receptor genes clustered in the chromosome 3p21 and 3p22 on HIV-1 disease outcomes in HIV-1 natural history cohorts. The multivariate survival analyses identified functional variants that altered disease progression rate in CCRL2, CCR3, and CCR8. CCRL2-F167Y affects the rate to AIDS development through a specific protection against pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP), a common AIDS–defining condition. Our study identified this atypical chemokine receptor CCRL2 as a key factor involved in PCP, possibly through inducing inflammation in the lung.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002328
PMCID: PMC3203199  PMID: 22046140
12.  Ocelots on Barro Colorado Island Are Infected with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus but Not Other Common Feline and Canine Viruses 
Journal of wildlife diseases  2008;44(3):760-765.
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.
PMCID: PMC3169092  PMID: 18689668
Barro Colorado Island; FIV; Leopardus; ocelot; serology
13.  EPIZOOTIOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT OF FELINE LEUKEMIA VIRUS IN THE FLORIDA PUMA 
Journal of wildlife diseases  2008;44(3):537-552.
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.
PMCID: PMC3167064  PMID: 18689639
Feline leukemia virus; Florida panther; infectious disease; Puma concolor coryi; retrovirus; vaccination
14.  Effect of host genetics on CMV retinitis occurrence in patients with AIDS 
The Journal of infectious diseases  2010;202(4):606-613.
Background
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.
Methods
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).
Results
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.
Conclusion
Host genetics may have a role in the occurrence of CMV retinitis in patients infected with HIV.
doi:10.1086/654814
PMCID: PMC2932829  PMID: 20617924
AIDS; CMV retinitis; HIV-1; host genetics; interleukin-10 receptor
15.  Effect of host genetics on incidence of HIV neuroretinal disorder in patients with AIDS 
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.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181deaf4d
PMCID: PMC2908809  PMID: 20531015
AIDS; HIV-1; host genetics; HIV-neuroretinal disorder
16.  FELINE IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (FIV) IN WILD PALLAS’ CATS 
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.
doi:10.1016/j.vetimm.2009.10.014
PMCID: PMC2822106  PMID: 19926144
FIV; Pallas’ cat; Evolution; Histopathology; Felidae
17.  Examination of disease based selection, demographic history and population structure in European Y chromosome haplogroup I 
Journal of human genetics  2010;55(9):613-620.
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.
doi:10.1038/jhg.2010.77
PMCID: PMC2945452  PMID: 20574427
AIDS progression; CD24L4; DDX3Y; population growth; population structure; selection; Y chromosome
18.  Accounting for multiple comparisons in a genome-wide association study (GWAS) 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:724.
Background
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.
Results
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).
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-724
PMCID: PMC3023815  PMID: 21176216
19.  Genetic Variants in Nuclear-Encoded Mitochondrial Genes Influence AIDS Progression 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(9):e12862.
Background
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.
Methodology/Principal Findings
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012862
PMCID: PMC2943476  PMID: 20877624
20.  Multistage Genomewide Association Study Identifies a Locus at 1q41 Associated with Rate of HIV-1 Disease Progression to Clinical AIDS 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2010;201(4):618-626.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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).
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1086/649842
PMCID: PMC2928718  PMID: 20064070
21.  PATHOLOGICAL MANIFESTATIONS OF FELINE IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (FIV) INFECTION IN WILD AFRICAN LIONS 
Virology  2009;390(1):1-12.
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).
doi:10.1016/j.virol.2009.04.011
PMCID: PMC2771374  PMID: 19464039
22.  Association of Y chromosome haplogroup I with HIV progression, and HAART outcome 
Human genetics  2009;125(3):281-294.
The host genetic basis of differential outcomes in HIV infection, progression, viral load set point and highly active retroviral therapy (HAART) responses was examined for the common Y haplogroups in European Americans and African Americans. Accelerated progression to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and related death in European Americans among Y chromosome haplogroup I (Y-I) subjects was discovered. Additionally, Y-I haplogroup subjects on HAART took a longer time to HIV-1 viral suppression and were more likely to fail HAART. Both the accelerated progression and longer time to viral suppression results observed in haplogroup Y-I were significant after false-discovery-rate corrections. A higher frequency of AIDS-defining illnesses was also observed in haplogroup Y-I. These effects were independent of the previously identified autosomal AIDS restriction genes. When the Y-I haplogroup subjects were further subdivided into six I subhaplogroups, no one subhaplogroup accounted for the effects on HIV progression, viral load or HAART response. Adjustment of the analyses for population stratification found significant and concordant haplogroup Y-I results. The Y chromosome haplogroup analyses of HIV infection and progression in African Americans were not significant. Our results suggest that one or more loci on the Y chromosome found on haplogroup Y-I have an effect on AIDS progression and treatment responses in European Americans.
doi:10.1007/s00439-008-0620-7
PMCID: PMC2885350  PMID: 19169712
23.  Evolution of feline immunodeficiency virus in Felidae: Implications for human health and wildlife ecology 
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.
doi:10.1016/j.vetimm.2008.01.010
PMCID: PMC2774529  PMID: 18359092
FIV; Evolution; Lion; Felidae
24.  Genetics and Pathogenesis of Feline Infectious Peritonitis Virus 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2009;15(9):1445-1452.
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.
doi:10.3201/eid1509.081573
PMCID: PMC2819880  PMID: 19788813
Coronavirus; infectious peritonitis; feline; virulence; genetic; marker; viruses; Maryland; USA; research
25.  Prevention of Immunodeficiency Virus induced CD4+ T-Cell depletion by prior infection with a non-pathogenic virus 
Virology  2008;377(1):63-70.
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.
doi:10.1016/j.virol.2008.03.037
PMCID: PMC2490720  PMID: 18499211
FIV; CD4+ T-cell; cross-species lentivirus infection; interferon; innate immunity

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