Background. Epidemiological studies consistently demonstrate synergy between herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Higher HIV-1 loads are observed in coinfected individuals, and conversely, HIV-1 is associated with more-severe herpetic disease. A small animal model of coinfection would facilitate identification of the biological mechanisms underlying this synergy and provide the opportunity to evaluate interventions.
Methods. Mice transgenic for HIV-1 provirus and human cyclin T1 under the control of a CD4 promoter (JR-CSF/hu-cycT1) were intravaginally infected with HSV-2 and evaluated for disease progression, HIV shedding, and mucosal immune responses.
Results. HSV-2 infection resulted in higher vaginal HIV loads and genital tissue expression of HIV RNA, compared with HSV-uninfected JR-CSF/hu-cycT1 mice. There was an increase in genital tract inflammatory cells, cytokines, chemokines, and interferons in response to HSV-2, although the kinetics of the response were delayed in HIV-transgenic, compared with control mice. Moreover, the JR-CSF/hu-cycT1 mice exhibited earlier and more-severe neurological disease. The latter was associated with downregulation of secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor expression in neuronal tissue, a molecule with antiinflammatory, antiviral, and neuroprotective properties.
Conclusions. JR-CSF/hu-cycT1 mice provide a valuable model to study HIV/HSV-2 coinfection and identify potential mechanisms by which HSV-2 facilitates HIV-1 transmission and HIV modulates HSV-2–mediated disease.
herpes simplex virus-2; human immunodeficiency virus-1; coinfection; sexually transmitted infections; mouse model; female genital tract
Previously, we found that interleukin 22 (IL-22) inhibits intracellular growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in human monocyte–derived macrophages (MDMs). In the current study, we determined the mechanisms underlying these effects. We found that W7, a phagolysosomal fusion inhibitor, abrogates IL-22–dependent M. tuberculosis growth inhibition in MDMs, suggesting that IL-22 acts through enhanced phagolysosomal fusion. Our microarray analysis indicated that recombinant IL-22 (rIL-22) enhances the expression of an intracellular signaling molecule, calgranulin A. This was confirmed by real-time polymerase chain reaction, Western blot, and confocal microscopy. Calgranulin A small interfering RNA (siRNA) abrogated rIL-22–dependent growth inhibition of M. tuberculosis in MDMs. IL-22 enhanced Rab7 expression and downregulated Rab14 expression of M. tuberculosis–infected MDMs, and these effects were reversed by calgranulin A siRNA. These results suggest that M. tuberculosis growth inhibition by IL-22 depends on calgranulin A and enhanced phagolysosomal fusion, which is associated with increased Rab7 and reduced Rab14 expression.
tuberculosis; Human; Cytokine; IL-22
Background. Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) and HTLV-2 are prevalent at low levels among US blood donors, but recent data on their prevalence is lacking.
Methods. Data on all first-time blood donors in a large network of US blood centers were examined during 2000–2009. HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 antibodies were measured by enzyme immunoassay (EIA) with confirmation by immunofluorescence or recombinant immunoblot. Prevalence rates were calculated, and odds ratios were assessed using multivariable logistic regression.
Results. Among 2 047 740 first-time donors, 104 were seropositive for HTLV-1 (prevalence, 5.1 cases/per 100 000; 95% confidence interval [CI], 4.1–6.1), and 300 were seropositive for HTLV-2 (prevalence, 14.7 cases/per 100 000; 95% CI, 13.0–16.3). The prevalence was lower than reported in the 1990s but stable from 2000 to 2009. HTLV-1 seropositivity was associated with female sex, older age, and black and Asian race/ethnicity. HTLV-2 seropositivity was associated with female sex, older age, nonwhite race/ethnicity, lower educational level, and residence in the western and southwestern United States.
Conclusions. The HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 prevalences among US blood donors has declined since the early 1990s. A higher prevalence of HTLV-2 in the west and southwest may be attributed to endemic foci among Amerindians.
Human T-lymphotropic virus; HTLV-1; HTLV-2; prevalence; blood donors; United States; demographic determinants
Background. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization predicts later infection, with both host and pathogen determinants of invasive disease.
Methods. This nested case-control study evaluates predictors of MRSA bacteremia in an 8–intensive care unit (ICU) prospective adult cohort from 1 September 2003 through 30 April 2005 with active MRSA surveillance and collection of ICU, post-ICU, and readmission MRSA isolates. We selected MRSA carriers who did (cases) and those who did not (controls) develop MRSA bacteremia. Generating assembled genome sequences, we evaluated 30 MRSA genes potentially associated with virulence and invasion. Using multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression, we assessed the association of these genes with MRSA bacteremia, controlling for host risk factors.
Results. We collected 1578 MRSA isolates from 520 patients. We analyzed host and pathogen factors for 33 cases and 121 controls. Predictors of MRSA bacteremia included a diagnosis of cancer, presence of a central venous catheter, hyperglycemia (glucose level, >200 mg/dL), and infection with a MRSA strain carrying the gene for staphylococcal enterotoxin P (sep). Receipt of an anti-MRSA medication had a significant protective effect.
Conclusions. In an analysis controlling for host factors, colonization with MRSA carrying sep increased the risk of MRSA bacteremia. Identification of risk-adjusted genetic determinants of virulence may help to improve prediction of invasive disease and suggest new targets for therapeutic intervention.
Bacteremia; methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; epidemiology; hospital infections; microbial genetics
HIV; antiretroviral therapy; outcomes; mortality; Africa; health policy; modeling
Background. Intravenous zanamivir is a neuraminidase inhibitor suitable for treatment of hospitalized patients with severe influenza.
Methods. Patients were treated with intravenous zanamivir 600 mg twice daily, adjusted for renal impairment, for up to 10 days. Primary outcomes included adverse events (AEs), and clinical/laboratory parameters. Pharmacokinetics, viral load, and disease course were also assessed.
Results. One hundred thirty patients received intravenous zanamivir (median, 5 days; range, 1–11) a median of 4.5 days (range, 1–7) after onset of influenza; 83% required intensive care. The most common influenza type/subtype was A/H1N1pdm09 (71%). AEs and serious AEs were reported in 85% and 34% of patients, respectively; serious AEs included bacterial pulmonary infections (8%), respiratory failure (7%), sepsis or septic shock (5%), and cardiogenic shock (5%). No drug-related trends in safety parameters were identified. Protocol-defined liver events were observed in 13% of patients. The 14- and 28-day all-cause mortality rates were 13% and 17%. No fatalities were considered zanamivir related. Pharmacokinetic data showed dose adjustments for renal impairment yielded similar zanamivir exposures. Ninety-three patients, positive at baseline for influenza by quantitative polymerase chain reaction, showed a median decrease in viral load of 1.42 log10 copies/mL after 2 days of treatment.
Conclusions. Safety, pharmacokinetic and clinical outcome data support further investigation of intravenous zanamivir.
Clinical Trials Registration NCT01014988.
intravenous zanamivir; Influenza; hospitalized; safety; zanamivir; pandemic influenza; A/H1N1pdm09
Little is known about CD8 T cells in human visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and it is unclear if these cells have a protective, pathological and/or suppressive function. In experimental VL CD8 T cells have been shown to contribute to parasite control and play an important role in vaccine-generated immunity. To better understand the role of CD8 T cells in human VL, we examined molecules associated with anergy and cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and splenic aspirates (SA), and in CD8 cells derived from these tissues. Gene and surface marker expression suggest that splenic CD8 cell predominantly display an anergic phenotype, whereas CD8-PBMC have features of both anergic cells and CTLs. CD8 cells contribute to the baseline IFNγ levels in whole blood (WB) and SA cultures, but not to the Leishmania induced IFNγ release that is revealed using WB cultures. Blockade of CTLA-4 or PD1 had no effect on IFNγ production or parasite survival in SA cultures. Following cure, CD8 T cells contribute to the Leishmania induced IFNγ production observed in Leishmania stimulated cell cultures. We suggest CD8 T cells are driven to anergy/exhaustion in human VL, which affect their ability to contribute to protective immune responses.
Visceral leishmaniasis; CD8 T cell; IL-10; PD1; CTLA-4; spleen; PBMC
Background. The development of active tuberculosis disease has been shown to be multifactorial. Interactions between host and bacterial genotype may influence disease outcome, with some studies indicating the adaptation of M. tuberculosis strains to specific human populations. Here we investigate the role of the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I genes in this biological process.
Methods. Three hundred patients with tuberculosis from South Africa were typed for their HLA class I alleles by direct sequencing. Mycobacterium tuberculosis genotype classification was done by IS6110 restriction fragment length polymorphism genotyping and spoligotyping.
Results. We showed that Beijing strain occurred more frequently in individuals with multiple disease episodes (P < .001) with the HLA-B27 allele lowering the odds of having an additional episode (odds ratio, 0.21; P = .006). Associations were also identified for specific HLA types and disease caused by the Beijing, LAM, LCC, and Quebec strains. HLA types were also associated with disease caused by strains from the Euro-American or East Asian lineages, and the frequencies of these alleles in their sympatric human populations identified potential coevolutionary events between host and pathogen.
Conclusions. This is the first report of the association of human HLA types and M. tuberculosis strain genotype, highlighting that both host and pathogen genetics need to be taken into consideration when studying tuberculosis disease development.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis; tuberculosis; human leukocyte antigens; host–pathogen; coadaptation; susceptibility
Malaria parasites are transmitted by mosquitoes, and blocking parasite transmission is critical in reducing or eliminating malaria in endemic regions. Here, we report the pharmacological characterization of a new class of malaria transmission-blocking compounds that acts via the inhibition of Plasmodia CDPK4 enzyme. We demonstrate that these compounds achieved selectivity over mammalian kinases by capitalizing on a small serine gatekeeper residue in the active site of the Plasmodium CDPK4 enzyme. To directly confirm the mechanism of action of these compounds, we generated P. falciparum parasites that express a drug-resistant methionine gatekeeper (S147M) CDPK4 mutant. Mutant parasites showed a shift in exflagellation EC50 relative to the wild-type strains in the presence of compound 1294, providing chemical-genetic evidence that CDPK4 is the target of the compound. Pharmacokinetic analyses suggest that coformulation of this transmission-blocking agent with asexual stage antimalarials such as artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) is a promising option for drug delivery that may reduce transmission of malaria including drug-resistant strains. Ongoing studies include refining the compounds to improve efficacy and toxicological properties for efficient blocking of malaria transmission.
Plasmodium falciparum; malaria transmission-blocking; calcium-dependent protein kinase 4; bumped kinase inhibitors
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is pandemic, but its contemporary global transmission network has not been characterized. A better understanding of the properties and dynamics of this network is essential for surveillance, prevention, and eventual eradication of HIV. Here, we apply a simple and computationally efficient network-based approach to all publicly available HIV polymerase sequences in the global database, revealing a contemporary picture of the spread of HIV-1 within and between countries. This approach automatically recovered well-characterized transmission clusters and extended other clusters thought to be contained within a single country across international borders. In addition, previously undescribed transmission clusters were discovered. Together, these clusters represent all known modes of HIV transmission. The extent of international linkage revealed by our comprehensive approach demonstrates the need to consider the global diversity of HIV, even when describing local epidemics. Finally, the speed of this method allows for near-real-time surveillance of the pandemic's progression.
human immunodeficiency virus; transmission network; molecular epidemiology
Clostridium botulinum; DURC
Clostridium botulinum; botulinum toxin; dual use research of concern; risky science; national security
Candida albicans is a commensal fungus that can cause systemic disease in patients with breaches in mucosal integrity, indwelling catheters, and defects in phagocyte function. Although circulating human and murine monocytes bind C. albicans and promote inflammation, it remains unclear whether C-C chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2)– and Ly6C-expressing inflammatory monocytes exert a protective or a deleterious function during systemic infection. During murine systemic candidiasis, interruption of CCR2-dependent inflammatory monocyte trafficking into infected kidneys impaired fungal clearance and decreased murine survival. Depletion of CCR2-expressing cells led to uncontrolled fungal growth in the kidneys and brain and demonstrated an essential antifungal role for inflammatory monocytes and their tissue-resident derivatives in the first 48 hours postinfection. Adoptive transfer of purified inflammatory monocytes in depleted hosts reversed the defect in fungal clearance to a substantial extent, indicating a compartmentally and temporally restricted protective function that can be transferred to enhance systemic innate antifungal immunity.
Candida; candidiasis; fungus; sepsis; host defense; innate; kidney; renal; brain; yeast; monocyte; chemokine; CCR2; inflammatory; mortality; transfer; graft
The development of treatment protocols with reduced toxicity and equivalent or improved efficacy for Trypanosoma cruzi infection is a priority. We tested the effectiveness of benznidazole (BZ), nifurtimox (NFX), other prospective drugs in intermittent and combined treatment protocols to cure T. cruzi infection initiated with susceptible and drug-resistant parasite strains. A 40-day course of BZ, NFX, or the oxaborale AN4169 cured 100% of mice, whereas posaconazole (POS), and NTLA-1 (a nitro-triazole) cured approximately 90% and 20% of mice, respectively. Reducing the overall dosage of BZ or NFX by using an intermittent (once every 5 days) schedule or combining 5 daily doses of POS with 7 intermittent doses of BZ also provided approximately 100% cure. T. cruzi strains resistant to BZ were also found to be resistant to other drugs (POS), and extending the time of treatment or combining drugs did not increase cure rates with these isolates. Thus, dosing schedules for anti–T. cruzi compounds should be determined empirically, and compounds targeting different pathways may be combined to yield effective therapies with reduced toxicity. This work also suggests that standard treatment protocols using BZ and NFX may be significantly overdosing patients, perhaps contributing to the adverse events.
Chagas disease; Trypanosoma cruzi; benznidazole; intermittent treatment; drug discovery
Background. Determinants of intersubtype differences in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) clinical disease progression remain unknown.
Methods. HIV-1 subtype was independently determined for 5 separate genomic regions in 396 HIV-1 seroconverters from Rakai, Uganda, using a multiregion hybridization assay. Replication capacities (RC) in samples from a subset of 145 of these subjects were determined. HIV-1 genomic regions and pol RC were examined for association with disease progression. Amino acid polymorphisms were examined for association with pol RC.
Results. In multivariate analyses, the hazard for progression to the composite end point (defined as a CD4+ T-cell count <250 cells/mm3, antiretroviral therapy initiation, or death) among patients with subtype D pol infection was 2.4 times the hazard for those infected with subtype A pol infection (P = .001). Compared with subtype A pol (the reference group), the hazard for progression to the composite end point for subtype D pol infection with a pol RC >67% (ie, the median pol RC) was significantly greater (HR, 4.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.9–11.0; P = .001), whereas the hazard for progression to the composite end point for subtype D pol infection with a pol RC ≤67% was not significantly different (HR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.0–4.9; P = .051). Amino acid substitutions at protease positions 62 and 64 and at reverse transcriptase position 272 were associated with significant differences in pol RC.
Conclusions. HIV-1 pol gene intersubtype and RC differences are associated with disease progression and may be influenced by amino acid polymorphisms.
HIV-1 Subtype; subtype A; subtype D; disease progression; polymerase; replication capacity; amino acid polymorphisms
The efficacy of different vaccines in protecting elderly individuals against Streptococcus pneumoniae infections is not clear. In the current study, aged mice (22–25 months old) exhibited significantly increased susceptibility to respiratory infection with serotype 3 S. pneumoniae relative to younger adult mice, regardless of whether mice were naive or immunized with native pneumococcal polysaccharide (PPS; Pneumovax23) or protein-PPS conjugate (Prevnar-13) vaccines. Nonetheless, Pneumovax-immunized aged mice developed limited bacteremia following respiratory challenge and exhibited significantly increased survival following systemic challenge relative to Prevnar-immune aged mice and young mice that had received either vaccine. This was explained by >10-fold increases in PPS-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels in Pneumovax-immunized aged mice relative to other groups. Remarkably, PPS3-specific B-cell expansion, IgG switching, plasmablast differentiation, and spleen and bone marrow antibody-secreting cell frequencies were 10-fold higher in aged mice following Pneumovax immunization relative to young mice, due to significantly increased B-1b cell participation. In summary, this study highlights (1) the need to devise strategies to enhance respiratory immunity in aged populations, (2) the diverse responses young and aged populations generate to Pneumovax vs Prevnar vaccines, and (3) the potential value of exploiting B-1b cell responses in aged individuals for increased vaccine efficacy.
Pneumovax23; Prevnar-13; vaccines; B-1b cells; aging; Streptococcus pneumoniae; humoral immunity
Background. The decreased immune response among elderly individuals results in reduced influenza vaccine efficacy. Strategies to improve vaccine efficacy in elderly individuals are needed. The goal of this study was to determine whether a cationic lipid/DNA complex (CLDC) can improve the efficacy of the trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine Fluzone in elderly nonhuman primates.
Methods. Elderly (age, >18 years) rhesus macaques were vaccinated with Fluzone, with or without CLDC, and challenged with a human seasonal influenza virus isolate, A/Memphis/7/2001(H1N1).
Results. We found that elderly macaques have significantly lower levels of circulating naive CD4+ T cells, naive CD8+ T cells, and B cells as compared to juvenile monkeys. Furthermore, on the day of challenge, recipients of Fluzone/CLDC had significantly higher plasma anti–influenza virus immunoglobulin G (P < .001) and immunoglobulin A (P < .001) titers than recipients of Fluzone alone. After virus challenge, only the Fluzone/CLDC-vaccinated animals had a significantly lower level of virus replication (P < .01) relative to the unvaccinated control animals.
Conclusions. These results demonstrate that CLDC can enhance the immunogenicity and efficacy of a licensed TIV in immunosenescent elderly monkeys.
inactivated vaccine; elderly; macaques; immunosenescence; mucosal; antibody titers; CD8+ T cells
Background. A sustained virological response (SVR) is the major end point of therapy for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Late relapse of infection is rare and poorly characterized. Three of 103 patients with a SVR treated at the National Institutes of Health had late relapse. We evaluated HCV RNA sequences in serum and liver tissue to distinguish relapse from reinfection.
Methods. Per patient, 10–22 clones of amplified 5′ untranslated region were evaluated in pretreatment and relapse serum specimens and in liver biopsy specimens obtained during SVR. Genotypes and sequence diversity were evaluated. Four patients whose infection relapsed before they reached a SVR (ie, the early relapse group) were used as a comparison.
Results. Results of tests for detection of serum HCV RNA in all patients with late relapse were repeatedly negative during the first 24 weeks after therapy but became positive 8, 75, and 78 months after SVR. Reinfection risk factors were absent in 2 of 3 patients. In all patients with early or late relapse, apart from minor variations, the original HCV sequence was present before treatment and after relapse. All liver biopsy specimens from patients with late relapse were HCV RNA positive at SVR, with sequences nearly identical to those of specimens obtained at other time points.
Conclusions. Sequence comparisons suggest that reappearance of HCV RNA years after a SVR can be from relapse of the initial viral infection rather than reinfection from a different virus.
Hepatitis C virus; late relapse; sequence; liver
Background. Increased expression of translocator protein (TSPO) is a feature of microglial and macrophage activation. Since activated macrophages are key components of tuberculosis-associated inflammation, we evaluated radioiodinated DPA-713, a synthetic ligand of TSPO, for in vivo imaging of host response.
Methods. Mice were infected with aerosolized Mycobacterium tuberculosis and evaluated using whole-body [125I]iodo-DPA-713 single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). Ex vivo biodistribution and correlative immunofluorescence studies were also performed.
Results. [125I]Iodo-DPA-713 SPECT imaging clearly delineated tuberculosis-associated pulmonary inflammation in live animals. Biodistribution studies confirmed radiotracer specificity for inflamed pulmonary tissues. Immunofluorescence studies demonstrated that TSPO is highly expressed in CD68+ macrophages and phagocytic cells within tuberculosis lesions and that [125I]DPA-713 specifically accumulates within these cells. Coadministration of excess unlabelled DPA-713 abrogated both the SPECT and ex vivo fluorescence signals. Lesion-specific signal-to-noise ratios were significantly higher with [125I]iodo-DPA-713 SPECT (4.06 ± 0.52) versus [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) (2.00 ± 0.28) performed in the same mice (P = .004).
Conclusions. [125I]Iodo-DPA-713 accumulates specifically in tuberculosis-associated inflammatory lesions by selective retention within macrophages and phagocytic cells. [125I]Iodo-DPA-713 SPECT provides higher lesion-specific signal-to-noise ratios than [18F]FDG PET and may prove to be a more specific biomarker to monitor tuberculosis in situ.
translocator protein; molecular imaging; tuberculosis; PET; pyrazolopyrimidine; macrophage
Molecular surveillance for drug-resistant malaria parasites requires reliable, timely, and scalable methods. These data may be efficiently produced by genotyping parasite populations using second-generation sequencing (SGS). We designed and validated a SGS protocol to quantify mutant allele frequencies in the Plasmodium falciparum genes dhfr and dhps in mixed isolates. We applied this new protocol to field isolates from children and compared it to standard genotyping using Sanger sequencing. The SGS protocol accurately quantified dhfr and dhps allele frequencies in a mixture of parasite strains. Using SGS of DNA that was extracted and then pooled from individual isolates, we estimated mutant allele frequencies that were closely correlated to those estimated by Sanger sequencing (correlations, >0.98). The SGS protocol obviated most molecular steps in conventional methods and is cost saving for parasite populations >50. This SGS genotyping method efficiently and reproducibly estimates parasite allele frequencies within populations of P. falciparum for molecular epidemiologic studies.
Plasmodium falciparum; drug resistance; molecular surveillance; tropical diseases
Background. Targeting host-cell pathways to increase the potency of nucleoside/nucleotide analog reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) is an important strategy for clinical investigation. Resveratrol is a natural product that inhibits cellular ribonucleotide reductase, prolonging the S phase of the cell cycle and preferentially lowering dATP levels.
Methods. We performed in vitro evaluation of resveratrol on the antiviral activity of adenosine analog tenofovir (TFV) against sensitive and drug-resistant human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), from subtypes B and C, in primary cells.
Results. Resveratrol enhanced the antiviral activity of TFV by up to 10-fold and restored susceptibility of TFV-resistant viruses. Resveratrol prevented wild-type HIV-1 from developing phenotypic resistance to TFV. Notably, resveratrol enhanced TFV activity against sensitive and resistant HIV-1 from both subtypes B and C.
Conclusions. Prolonged wide-scale use of thymidine analogs in the setting of viral failure has limited the efficacy of second-line NRTI-based regimens in Africa. Moreover, the extensive use of ddI and d4T has led to high frequencies of the K65R mutation, further compromising TFV efficacy. In light of increasing resistance to commonly used NRTIs in global HIV treatment programs, targeting nucleoside biosynthesis with resveratrol, or derivatives with improved bioavailabilities, is a potential strategy to maintain, enhance, and restore susceptibility of commonly used NRTIs.
HIV-1; antiretrovirals; drug resistance; NRTI; tenofovir; subtype C; resveratrol