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1.  Evaluation of the False Recent Classification Rates of Multiassay Algorithms in Estimating HIV Type 1 Subtype C Incidence 
Laboratory cross-sectional assays are useful for the estimation of HIV incidence, but are known to misclassify individuals with long-standing infection as recently infected. The false recent rate (FRR) varies widely across geographic areas; therefore, accurate estimates of HIV incidence require a locally defined FRR. We determined FRR for Botswana, where HIV-1 subtype C infection is predominant, using the BED capture enzyme immunoassay (BED), a Bio-Rad Avidity Index (BAI) assay (a modification of the Bio-Rad HIV1/2+O EIA), and two multiassay algorithms (MAA) that included clinical data. To estimate FRR, stored blood samples from 512 antiretroviral (ARV)-naive HIV-1 subtype C-infected individuals from a prospective cohort in Botswana were tested at 18–24 months postenrollment. The following FRR mean (95% CI) values were obtained: BED 6.05% (4.15–8.48), BAI 5.57% (3.70–8.0), BED-BAI 2.25% (1.13–4.0), and a combination of BED-BAI with CD4 (>200) and viral load (>400) threshold 1.43% (0.58–2.93). The interassay agreement between BED and BAI was 92.8% (95% CI, 90.1–94.5) for recent/long-term classification. Misclassification was associated with viral suppression for BED [adjusted OR (aOR) 10.31; p=0.008], BAI [aOR 9.72; p=0.019], and MAA1 [aOR 16.6; p=0.006]. Employing MAA can reduce FRR to <2%. A local FRR can improve cross-sectional HIV incidence estimates.
PMCID: PMC3887420  PMID: 23937344
2.  Short Communication: Effect of Short-Course Antenatal Zidovudine and Single-Dose Nevirapine on the BED Capture Enzyme Immunoassay Levels in HIV Type 1 Subtype C Infection 
Cross-sectional prevalence studies based on immunoassays that discriminate between recent and long-term infections, such as the BED assay, have been widely used to estimate HIV incidence. However, individuals receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy tend to have lower BED levels and are associated with a higher risk for being mistakenly classified as recent infections. To assess the effect of short-term antenatal zidovudine (ZDV) and single-dose nevirapine (sdNVP) on the BED levels in HIV-1C infection, we measured longitudinal BED normalized optical density (OD-n) levels using stored plasma samples collected prenatally and postnatally from 159 pregnant HIV-infected women in Botswana who participated in the randomized clinical Mother-to-Child-Prevention study, the Mashi study. All women received ZDV from 34 weeks gestation through delivery and were randomized to receive either sdNVP or placebo during labor. Among 159 subjects, the OD-n levels decreased from baseline to delivery in 93 subjects (p=0.039), suggesting that short-course ZDV may decrease OD-n levels. sdNVP at delivery did not affect longitudinal BED OD-n levels postdelivery. However, sdNVP appeared to modify the association between CD4 count at delivery and OD-n levels postdelivery. When estimating HIV incidence with the BED assay, special care may be required regarding women who received short-term ZDV for prevention of mother-to-child transmission.
PMCID: PMC3653368  PMID: 23521375
3.  Conserved Determinants of Enhanced CCR5 Binding in the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Subtype D Envelope Third Variable Loop 
Human immunodeficiency virus 1 subtype D (HIV-1D) contributes to a significant portion of the HIV-1 disease burden in eastern and central Africa, and is associated with more rapid disease progression. Its viral envelope sequences, particularly in the third variable region (V3), are highly divergent from other major subtypes yet have rarely been studied to date. We evaluated the V3 and select bridging sheet residues of the HIV-1D 94UG114 envelope by alanine-scanning mutagenesis to determine the residues involved in CCR5 usage conservation in the face of sequence variability. We found most single alanine mutations capable of abolishing CCR5 binding, suggesting binding contacts that are highly sensitive to mutation. Despite drastic binding defects across the board, most mutants mediated fusion at or near wild-type levels, demonstrating an ability to accommodate changes in CCR5 affinity while maintaining the ability to complete entry. Three of the alanine mutations did not abolish CCR5 binding but rather resulted in enhanced CCR5 binding. The positions of these residues were found to be conserved between strains of two subtypes, revealing similar V3 elements that suggest a conservation of constraints in V3 loop conformation.
PMCID: PMC2864059  PMID: 20377425
4.  Ultrasensitive Detection of Minor Drug-Resistant Variants for HIV After Nevirapine Exposure Using Allele-Specific PCR: Clinical Significance 
HIV-1 drug resistance mutations have been detected at low frequencies after single-dose nevirapine (sdNVP) for prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT). We investigated the relationship between these “minor variant” NVP-resistant viruses and clinical outcome with NVP-containing antiretroviral therapy (ART). An allele-specific quantitative PCR (ASPCR) assay was used to quantify the pre-ART frequency of K103N and Y181C in 26 women who had received sdNVP. The cohort was composed of 7 patients who experienced virologic failure and 19 control patients who maintained virologic suppression on NVP-containing ART; all were negative for resistance by standard genotyping. NVP resistance mutations were found in 17 of 26 (65%) patients using ASPCR. The frequency of NVP-resistant viruses ranged from 0.1% to 4.11%. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis identified a clinical threshold frequency of 0.19% for the ASPCR assay. Application of this threshold demonstrated minor variant resistance in 6 of 7 patients (86%) who failed treatment compared to 6 of 19 patients (32%) who were successful (OR = 13; 95% CI 1.27–133). ASPCR provides a means of detecting minor variant drug-resistant viruses that may impact subsequent treatment response. These data suggest a clinical role for highly sensitive assays to detect and quantify resistant viruses at low frequencies.
PMCID: PMC2864062  PMID: 20334564
5.  Temporal Reduction of HIV Type 1 Viral Load in Breast Milk by Single-Dose Nevirapine during Prevention of MTCT 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2009;25(12):1261-1264.
Short-course zidovudine (ZDV) with or without a single dose of nevirapine (sdNVP) is widely used to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT). However, more data on viral load in breast milk following pMTCT regimens are needed. In a randomized PMTCT study in Botswana, in which half of the women received sdNVP in labor, stored samples from mothers assigned to breastfeed were analyzed for HIV-1 RNA in breast milk supernatant. A total of 527 samples from 282 women, collected at delivery, 2 weeks, 2 months, and 5 months postpartum were available for testing. Cell-free breast milk HIV-1 RNA was detectable (>40 copies/ml) in 44.8% (236/527) of samples analyzed. Women randomized to sdNVP + ZDV were more likely to have undetectable breast milk viral loads at 2 weeks postpartum compared with those who received ZDV alone (67.8% vs. 38.5%, p = 0.002). By 2 months postpartum the difference between study arms disappeared, and 43.8% of women who received sdNVP + ZDV had undetectable HIV-1 RNA compared to 53.8% of the ZDV alone group (p = 0.19) and 60.5% vs. 64.5%, respectively, at month 5 (p = 0.61.) The addition of sdNVP to antenatal short-course AZT resulted in significantly reduced breast milk viral loads at 2 weeks postpartum suggesting a reduced risk of MTCT during the early postpartum period. However, viral loads in both study arms were comparable at 2 and 5 months postpartum, suggesting that the receipt of sdNVP in labor may defer rather than blunt the postpartum viral load rebound seen in breast milk after the discontinuation of ZDV.
PMCID: PMC2828251  PMID: 20001515

Results 1-5 (5)