In invasive pulmonary aspergillosis, direct invasion and occlusion of pulmonary vasculature by Aspergillus hyphae causes tissue hypoxia, which is enhanced by secreted fungal metabolites that downregulate compensatory angiogenic signaling pathways. We assessed the effects of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) on survival rates, fungal burden, and in situ angiogenesis in a murine invasive pulmonary aspergillosis model. bFGF and VEGF monotherapy significantly increased survival rates and potentiated the activity of amphotericin B. bFGF-containing regimens were associated with reduced tissue fungal burdens. bFGF and VEGF reversed the antiangiogenic activity of Aspergillus fumigatus; however, VEGF induced the formation of immature neovessels, providing an explanation for its lesser efficacy. Treatment with bFGF plus amphotericin B was associated with neutrophil influx into Aspergillus-infected pulmonary tissue, suggesting that this combination limits fungal growth through neutrophil trafficking. Vasculogenic pathways are unexplored targets for the treatment of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis and may potentiate both innate immunity and antifungal drug activity against A. fumigatus.
angiogenesis inducing agents; vascular endothelial growth factor A; fibroblast growth factor 2; invasive pulmonary aspergillosis; animal model
Background. Improved vaccination strategies against tuberculosis are needed, such as approaches to boost immunity induced by the current vaccine, BCG. Design of these strategies has been hampered by a lack of knowledge of the kinetics of the human host response induced by neonatal BCG vaccination. Furthermore, the functional and phenotypic attributes of BCG-induced long-lived memory T-cell responses remain unclear.
Methods. We assessed the longitudinal CD4+ T-cell response following BCG vaccination of human newborns. The kinetics, function, and phenotype of these cells were measured using flow cytometric whole-blood assays.
Results. We showed that the BCG-specific CD4+ T-cell response peaked 6–10 weeks after vaccination and gradually waned over the first year of life. Highly activated T-helper 1 cells, predominantly expressing interferon γ, tumor necrosis factor α, and/or interleukin 2, were present at the peak response. Following contraction, BCG-specific CD4+ T cells expressed high levels of Bcl-2 and displayed a predominant CD45RA–CCR7+ central memory phenotype. However, cytokine and cytotoxic marker expression by these cells was more characteristic of effector memory cells.
Conclusions. Our findings suggest that boosting of BCG-primed CD4+ T cells with heterologous tuberculosis vaccines may be best after 14 weeks of age, once an established memory response has developed.
Bacille Calmette-Guérin; Vaccination; Newborns; Memory T cells; T cell kinetics
GB virus type C (GBV-C) is a single-stranded positive-sense RNA virus classified in the Flaviviridae family. Persistent coinfection with GBV-C is associated with lower human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) load, higher CD4+ T-cell count, and prolonged survival in HIV-1 coinfected patients. The GBV-C envelope glycoprotein E2 has been reported to interfere with HIV-1 entry. In this study, we showed that the expression of GBV-C E2 inhibited HIV-1 Gag assembly and release. Expression of glycosylated GBV-C E2 inhibited HIV-1 Gag precursor processing, resulting in lower production of CAp24 and MAp17, while the overall expression level of the Gag precursor Pr55 remained unchanged. Membrane floatation gradient and indirect immunofluorescence confocal microscopy analysis showed that glycosylated E2 disrupted HIV-1 Gag trafficking to the plasma membrane, resulting in Gag accumulation in subcellular compartments. This interference in HIV-1 Gag trafficking led to diminished HIV-1 particle production, which is a critical step for HIV-1 to infect new host cells. These findings shed light on a novel mechanism used by GBV-C E2 to inhibit HIV-1 replication and may provide insight into new approaches for suppressing HIV-1 replication.
GBV-C; GBV-C E2; HIV-1; HIV-1 assembly; HIV-1 Gag; plasma membrane targeting
Background. Diabetic foot infections are a leading cause of lower extremity amputations. Our study examines the microbiota of diabetic skin prior to ulcer development or infection.
Methods. In a case-control study, outpatient males were recruited at a veterans hospital. Subjects were swabbed at 4 cutaneous sites, 1 on the forearm and 3 on the foot. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) with primers and probes specific for bacteria, Staphylococcus species, Staphylococcus aureus, and fungi were performed on all samples. High-throughput 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) sequencing was performed on samples from the forearm and the plantar aspect of the foot.
Results. qPCR analysis of swab specimens from 30 diabetic subjects and 30 control subjects showed no differences in total numbers of bacteria or fungi at any sampled site. Increased log10 concentrations of Staphylococcus aureus, quantified by the number of nuc gene copies, were present in diabetic men on the plantar aspect of the foot. High-throughput 16S rRNA sequencing found that, on the foot, the microbiota in controls (n = 24) was dominated by Staphylococcus species, whereas the microbiota in diabetics (n = 23) was more diverse at the genus level. The forearm microbiota had similar diversity in diabetic and control groups.
Conclusions. The feet of diabetic men had decreased populations of Staphylococcus species, increased populations of S. aureus, and increased bacterial diversity, compared with the feet of controls. These ecologic changes may affect the risk for wound infections.
microbiota; microbiome; diabetic foot; cutaneous; Staphylococcus; Staphylococcus aureus
Tubal factor infertility (TFI) represents 36% of female infertility and genital infection by Chlamydia trachomatis (C. trachomatis) is a major cause. Although TFI is associated with host inflammatory responses to bacterial components, the molecular pathogenesis of Chlamydia-induced infertility remains poorly understood. We investigated the hypothesis that activation of specific cysteine proteases, the caspases, during C. trachomatis genital infection causes the disruption of key fertility-promoting molecules required for embryo development and implantation. We analyzed the effect of caspase inhibition on infertility and the integrity of Dicer, a caspase-sensitive, fertility-promoting ribonuclease III enzyme, and key micro-RNAs in the reproductive system. Genital infection with the inflammation- and caspase-inducing, wild-type C. trachomatis serovar L2 led to infertility, but the noninflammation-inducing, plasmid-free strain did not. We confirmed that caspase-mediated apoptotic tissue destruction may contribute to chlamydial pathogenesis. Caspase-1 or -3 deficiency, or local administration of the pan caspase inhibitor, Z-VAD-FMK into normal mice protected against Chlamydia-induced infertility. Finally, the oviducts of infected infertile mice showed evidence of caspase-mediated cleavage inactivation of Dicer and alteration in critical miRNAs that regulate growth, differentiation, and development, including mir-21. These results provide new insight into the molecular pathogenesis of TFI with significant implications for new strategies for treatment and prevention of chlamydial complications.
Chlamydia; Dicer; caspase; miRNAs; inflammasome; infertility and pathogenesis
Recent data suggest that infection with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) subtype C results in prolonged high-level viremia (>5 log10 copies/mL) during early infection. We examined the relationship between HIV-1 subtype and plasma viremia among 153 African seroconverters. Mean setpoint viral loads were similar for C and non-C subtypes: 4.36 vs 4.42 log10 copies/mL (P = .61). The proportion of subtype C–infected participants with viral loads >5 log10 copies/mL was not greater than the proportion for those with non-C infection. Our data do not support the hypothesis that higher early viral load accounts for the rapid spread of HIV-1 subtype C in southern Africa.
HIV-1; group M subtype; plasma viral load; early infection; Africa
Background. The BCG vaccine is ineffective against adult tuberculosis. Hence, new antituberculosis vaccines are needed. Correlates of protection against tuberculosis are not known. We studied the effects of BCG vaccination on gene expression in tuberculosis granulomas using macaques.
Methods. Macaques were BCG-vaccinated or sham-vaccinated and then challenged with virulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Lung lesions were used for comparative transcriptomics.
Results. Vaccinated macaques were protected with lower bacterial burden and immunopathology. Lesions from BCG-vaccinated nonhuman primates (NHPs) showed a better balance of α- and β-chemokine gene expression with higher levels of β-chemokine expression relative to nonvaccinated animals. Consistent with this, sham-vaccinated macaques recruited fewer macrophages relative to neutrophils in their lungs. The expression of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), a known immunosuppressor, was significantly higher in both week 5 and 10 lesions from sham-vaccinated, relative to BCG-vaccinated, NHPs. IDO expression was primarily limited to the nonlymphocytic region of the lesions, within the inner ring structure surrounding the central necrosis.
Conclusions. Our study defines lung gene expression correlates of protective response against tuberculosis, relative to disease, which can potentially be employed to assess the efficacy of candidate antituberculosis vaccines. Mycobacterium tuberculosis may modulate protective immune responses using diverse mechanisms, including increased recruitment of inflammatory neutrophils and the concomitant use of IDO to modulate inflammation.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis; transcriptomics; IDO
As a result of shared routes of transmission, coinfection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is common in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected patients. The prevalence of HIV/HCV coinfection is particularly high among persons who have used injection drugs; however, more recently, sexual transmission of HCV has been recognized among HIV-infected men who have sex with men (MSM). Over the past decade, the effectiveness of HIV treatment improved substantially, leading to a substantial reduction in HIV/AIDS-related deaths; in this context, liver disease due to HCV infection has emerged as major concern for co-infected patients. Over the same period, treatment of HCV remained stagnant, with pegylated interferon alfa (PegIFN) plus ribavirin (RBV; PegIFN/RBV) entrenched as the standard treatment for HCV infection for co-infected patients, who have the greatest risk for liver disease. However, the effectiveness of HCV treatment in this population has been disappointing because of low rates of treatment initiation and success. In 2011, novel HCV NS3/4A PIs (PIs), telaprevir and boceprevir, were approved for use in combination with PegIFN/RBV for the treatment of HCV genotype 1 infection; at the time of approval, important questions regarding the efficacy, safety, and potential for drug interactions with telaprevir and boceprevir had not been answered. More recently, data from drug-interaction studies and 2 small, phase II clinical trials indicate that these HCV treatment regimens may lead to higher rates of HCV eradication in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients, with manageable toxicity and pharmacologic interactions with antiretroviral drugs. As such, these HCV PI–based regimens have emerged as the standard for the treatment of HCV genotype 1 infection in carefully selected HIV-infected patients.
hepatitis C; HCV; HIV; peginterferon; ribavirin; boceprevir; telaprevir
Due to shared routes of transmission, coinfection with both human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) is relatively common and results in accelerated liver disease, driving morbidity and mortality. Deaths related to HCV now exceed deaths related to HIV in the United States, and co-infected patients bear a significant proportion of that mortality. This burden may be addressed by novel antiviral therapies that promise increased rates of cure or by enhanced access to liver transplantation, but these are costly interventions. Ultimately, the future burden of coinfection is addressed by greater understanding of who is at risk for development of each infection, thus guiding preventive efforts. Key recent reports regarding the US burden of morbidity and mortality due to HCV and groups at risk for coinfection are reviewed, with a focus on recently described HCV occurring among young injection drug users and men who have sex with men. Given the lack of available vaccine against HCV, enhanced detection and surveillance is a vital component of our public health strategy to combat HCV.
sexual transmission; epidemiology; viral infection; incidence; prevalence; perinatal transmission; men who have sex with men
The majority of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) coinfection occurs among persons who inject drugs. Rapid improvements in responses to HCV therapy have been observed, but liver-related morbidity rates remain high, given notoriously low uptake of HCV treatment. Advances in HCV therapy will have a limited impact on the burden of HCV-related disease at the population-level unless barriers to HCV education, screening, evaluation, and treatment are addressed and treatment uptake increases. This review will outline barriers to HCV care in HCV/HIV coinfection, with a particular emphasis on persons who inject drugs, proposing strategies to enhance HCV treatment uptake and outcomes.
human immunodeficiency virus; hepatitis C virus; drug users; coinfection; treatment; barriers
Background. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infections induce robust, generalized inflammatory responses that begin during acute infection and lead to pathological systemic immune activation, fibrotic damage of lymphoid tissues, and CD4+ T-cell loss, pathogenic processes that contribute to disease progression.
Methods. To better understand the contribution of tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a key regulator of acute inflammation, to lentiviral pathogenesis, rhesus macaques newly infected with SIVmac239 were treated for 12 weeks in a pilot study with adalimumab (Humira), a human anti-TNF monoclonal antibody.
Results. Adalimumab did not affect plasma SIV RNA levels or measures of T-cell immune activation (CD38 or Ki67) in peripheral blood or lymph node T cells. However, compared with untreated rhesus macaques, adalimumab-treated rhesus macaques showed attenuated expression of proinflammatory genes, decreased infiltration of polymorphonuclear cells into the T-cell zone of lymphoid tissues, and weaker antiinflammatory regulatory responses to SIV infection (ie, fewer presumed alternatively activated [ie, CD163+] macrophages, interleukin 10–producing cells, and transforming growth factor β–producing cells), along with reduced lymphoid tissue fibrosis and better preservation of CD4+ T cells.
Conclusions. While HIV/SIV replication drives pathogenesis, these data emphasize the contribution of the inflammatory response to lentiviral infection to overall pathogenesis, and they suggest that early modulation of the inflammatory response may help attenuate disease progression.
SIV; rhesus macaque; Sooty mangabey; lymph node; inflammation; adalimumab; TNF; macrophage; fibrosis; collagen; TGFb
Background. Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is believed to be primarily sexually transmitted. Few studies have documented the detection of HPV in the vagina before first vaginal intercourse.
Methods. We used a longitudinally followed cohort of adolescent females without prior vaginal intercourse to examine the frequency of detection of vaginal HPV and the association between first reported HPV detection and noncoital sexual behaviors.
Results. HPV was detected in 45.5% of subjects (10 of 22) before first vaginal sex. Seven of these 10 subjects reported noncoital behaviors that, in part, might have explained genital transmission.
Conclusions. HPV can be detected in the vagina before first sexual intercourse, highlighting the need for early vaccination.
human papillomavirus; sexual behaviors; adolescents
Over three-fourths of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected men who have sex with men (MSM) have at least one herpesvirus detected in their semen, and cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the most prevalent. The presence of CMV is associated with higher T-cell immune activation and with HIV disease progression in treated and untreated individuals. In this study of 113 antiretroviral (ART)–naive HIV-infected MSM, we found that CMV replication in blood and semen was associated with higher levels of HIV DNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. These observations suggest that interventions aimed to reduce CMV replication and, thus, systemic immune activation could decrease the size of the latent HIV reservoir.
cytomegalovirus; HIV DNA; latent reservoir; immune activation; early HIV infection
Galectin-3 is a β-galactoside–binding lectin widely expressed on epithelial and hematopoietic cells, and its expression is frequently associated with a poor prognosis in cancer. Because it has not been well-studied in human infectious disease, we examined galectin-3 expression in mycobacterial infection by studying leprosy, an intracellular infection caused by Mycobacterium leprae. Galectin-3 was highly expressed on macrophages in lesions of patients with the clinically progressive lepromatous form of leprosy; in contrast, galectin-3 was almost undetectable in self-limited tuberculoid lesions. We investigated the potential function of galectin-3 in cell-mediated immunity using peripheral blood monocytes. Galectin-3 enhanced monocyte interleukin 10 production to a TLR2/1 ligand, whereas interleukin 12p40 secretion was unaffected. Furthermore, galectin-3 diminished monocyte to dendritic cell differentiation and T-cell antigen presentation. These data demonstrate an association of galectin-3 with unfavorable host response in leprosy and a potential mechanism for impaired host defense in humans.
human; bacterial infections; galectin-3; monocytes/macrophages; TLR2
Background. Racial disparities exist in gynecological diseases. Variations in Toll-like receptor (TLR) genes may alter signaling following microbial recognition.
Methods. We explored genotypic differences in 6 functional variants in 4 TLR genes (TLR1, TLR2, TLR4, TLR6) and the adaptor molecule TIRAP between 205 African American women and 51 white women with clinically suspected pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). A permutated P < .007 was used to assess significance. Associations between race and endometritis and/or upper genital tract infection (UGTI) were explored. Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Results. The TT genotype for TLR1 rs5743618, the GG genotype for TLR1 rs4833095, the CC genotype for TLR2 rs3804099, the TLR6 rs5743810 T allele, and the CC genotype for TIRAP rs8177374 significantly differed between races (P < .007). African American race was associated with endometritis and/or UGTI (OR, 4.2 [95% CI, 2.0–8.7]; P = .01). Among African Americans, the TLR6 rs5743810 T allele significantly decreased endometritis and/or UGTI (OR, 0.4 [95% CI, .2–.9]; P = .04). Additionally, rs5743618, rs4833095, and rs8177374 increased endometritis and/or UGTI, albeit not significantly.
Conclusions. Among women with PID, TLR variants that increase inflammation are associated with African American race and may mediate the relationship between race and endometritis and/or UGTI.
Chlamydia trachomatis; Neisseria gonorrhoeae; inflammation; pelvic inflammatory disease; race; Toll-like receptors
Drug-resistant human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) minority variants increase the risk of virologic failure for first-line nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI)-based regimens. We performed a pooled analysis to evaluate the relationship between NNRTI-resistant minority variants and the likelihood and types of resistance mutations detected at virologic failure. In multivariable logistic regression analysis, higher NNRTI minority variant copy numbers, non-white race, and nevirapine use were associated with a higher risk of NNRTI resistance at virologic failure. Among participants on efavirenz, K103N was the most frequently observed resistance mutation at virologic failure regardless of the baseline minority variant. However, the presence of baseline Y181C minority variant was associated with a higher probability of Y181C detection after virologic failure. NNRTI regimen choice and preexisting NNRTI-resistant minority variants were both associated with the probability and type of resistance mutations detected after virologic failure.
HIV-1 drug resistance; minority variants; virologic failure; resistance genotyping
Borrelia burgdorferi bba57 is a conserved gene encoding a potential lipoprotein of unknown function. Here we show that bba57 is up-regulated in vivo and is required for early murine infection and potential spirochete transmission process. Although BBA57 is dispensable for late murine infection, the mutants were unable to induce disease. We show that BBA57, an outer membrane and surface-exposed antigen, is a major trigger of murine Lyme arthritis; even in cases of larger challenge inocula, which allow their persistence in joints at a level similar to wild-type spirochetes, bba57 mutants are unable to induce joint inflammation. We further showed that BBA57 deficiency reduces the expression of selected “neutrophil-recruiting” chemokines and associated receptors, causing significant impairment of neutrophil chemotaxis. New approaches to combat Lyme disease may include strategies to interfere with BBA57, a novel virulence factor and a trigger of murine Lyme arthritis.
Borrelia burgdorferi; Lyme disease; virulence; inflammation
Borrelia burgdorferi; Lyme disease; Lyme arthritis
Background. Fluoroquinolone-resistant Escherichia coli are increasingly prevalent. Their clonal origins—potentially critical for control efforts—remain undefined.
Methods. Antimicrobial resistance profiles and fine clonal structure were determined for 236 diverse-source historical (1967–2009) E. coli isolates representing sequence type ST131 and 853 recent (2010–2011) consecutive E. coli isolates from 5 clinical laboratories in Seattle, Washington, and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Clonal structure was resolved based on fimH sequence (fimbrial adhesin gene: H subclone assignments), multilocus sequence typing, gyrA and parC sequence (fluoroquinolone resistance-determining loci), and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.
Results. Of the recent fluoroquinolone-resistant clinical isolates, 52% represented a single ST131 subclonal lineage, H30, which expanded abruptly after 2000. This subclone had a unique and conserved gyrA/parC allele combination, supporting its tight clonality. Unlike other ST131 subclones, H30 was significantly associated with fluoroquinolone resistance and was the most prevalent subclone among current E. coli clinical isolates, overall (10.4%) and within every resistance category (11%–52%).
Conclusions. Most current fluoroquinolone-resistant E. coli clinical isolates, and the largest share of multidrug-resistant isolates, represent a highly clonal subgroup that likely originated from a single rapidly expanded and disseminated ST131 strain. Focused attention to this strain will be required to control the fluoroquinolone and multidrug-resistant E. coli epidemic.
Escherichia coli infections; antimicrobial resistance; extended-spectrum β-lactamase; CTX-M-15; fluoroquinolone resistance; multidrug resistance; sequence type ST131; multilocus sequence typing; molecular epidemiology; FimH
Background. Dengue virus (DENV) causes hundreds of millions of infections annually. Four dengue serotypes exist, and previous infection with one serotype increases the likelihood of severe disease with a second, heterotypic DENV infection.
Methods. In a randomized, placebo-controlled study, the safety and immunogenicity of 4 different admixtures of a live attenuated tetravalent (LATV) dengue vaccine were evaluated in 113 flavivirus-naive adults. Serum neutralizing antibody levels to all 4 dengue viruses were measured on days 0, 28, 42, and 180.
Results. A single dose of each LATV admixture induced a trivalent or better neutralizing antibody response in 75%–90% of vaccinees. There was no significant difference in the incidence of adverse events between vaccinees and placebo-recipients other than rash. A trivalent or better response correlated with rash and with non-black race (P < .0001). Black race was significantly associated with a reduced incidence of vaccine viremia.
Conclusions. TV003 induced a trivalent or greater antibody response in 90% of flavivirus-naive vaccinees and is a promising candidate for the prevention of dengue. Race was identified as a factor influencing the infectivity of the LATV viruses, reflecting observations of the effect of race on disease severity in natural dengue infection.
Clinical Trials Registration NCT01072786.
dengue vaccine; live attenuated tetravalent; clinical trial
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is a major cause of acceleration of hepatitis C virus-related liver disease, cirrhosis, and death. However, studies of liver disease pathogenesis in HIV/HCV coinfection have thus far been limited. Emerging data support multiple derangements attending HIV coinfection, including increases in profibrogenic cytokine expression and secretion, generation of enhanced oxidative stress, and increases in hepaotcyte apoptosis. These derangements may be further augmented in the presence of increased microbial translocation in the setting of HIV disease. New insight into the mechanisms of HIV/HCV pathogenesis causing accelerated liver fibrosis could lead to new therapeutic strategies designed to retard ths process.
Hepatitis C Virus (HCV); Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV); Hepatic Fibrogenesis