Slovenia is a small European country with a total of 547 HIV-infected individuals cumulatively reported by the end of 2011. However, the estimated incidence rate of HIV infections increased from 7.0 per million in 2003 to 26.8 per million in 2011. In this study, we assessed the prevalence of transmitted drug resistance (TDR) in the past 6 years (2005–2010) and analyzed the time trend of the proportion of men having sex with men (MSM) and HIV-1 subtype B among newly diagnosed individuals in a 15-year period (1996–2010) in Slovenia. Among 150 patients included in the study, representing 63% of HIV-1 newly diagnosed patients in 2005–2010, TDR was found in seven patients (4.7%). The prevalence of TDR to nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, and protease inhibitors was 2% (3/150), 2% (3/150), and 0.7% (1/150), respectively. The majority of patients were infected with subtype B (134/150, 89%), while subtype A was detected in 6.0% (9/150), subtype D in 1.3% (2/150), and subtype G and CRF02_AG in 0.7% (one patient each). Three of 150 sequences could not be typed. Infection with subtype B was found to be significantly associated with male gender, Slovenia being reported as the country of the patient's nationality and origin of the virus, CDC class A, mode of transmission with homosexual/bisexual contact, sex with an anonymous person, and a higher CD4+ count. Among patients carrying the subtype B virus, an MSM transmission route was reported in 87% of patients. Although the prevalence of TDR in Slovenia is still below the European average, active surveillance should be continued, especially among MSM, the most vulnerable population for HIV-1 infection in this part of Europe.
Although there is discordance between human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) blood plasma and seminal plasma viral loads (VL), little is known about the dynamics of VL rebound in these compartments upon discontinuation of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Therefore, we sought to examine the relationship between blood and semen VL rebound after discontinuation of HAART. Participants in this substudy were men enrolled from two centers of a multicenter, placebo-controlled randomized trial of HIV therapeutic vaccination using ALVAC with or without Remune. With at least 2 years of sustained virologic suppression and following a 20-week vaccination course, subjects underwent structured HAART interruption. Fourteen men provided semen samples. Seven to 12 weeks after HAART interruption, all 14 men had detectable blood VLs whereas 8 of 14 had detectable seminal VLs. There was a significant correlation between blood and seminal VLs (Spearman r=0.58, p=0.03) at the time of semen collection. An earlier time to detectable blood VL after HAART interruption was associated with higher seminal VL (Spearman r=−0.64, p=0.02). These findings support the compartmentalization of HIV and underscore the importance of understanding the genital tract as an HIV reservoir in the quest to minimize HIV transmission.
Quiescent HIV-1 infection of resting CD4+ T cells is an obstacle to eradication of HIV-1 infection. These reservoirs are maintained, in part, by repressive complexes that bind to the HIV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR) and recruit histone deacetylases (HDACs). cMyc and YY1 are two transcription factors that are recruited as part of well-described, distinct complexes to the HIV-1 LTR and in turn recruit HDACs. In prior studies, depletion of single factors that recruit HDAC1 in various cell lines was sufficient to upregulate LTR activity. We used short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) to test the effect of targeted disruption of a single transcription factor on quiescent proviruses in T cell lines. In this study, we found that depletion of YY1 significantly increases mRNA and protein expression from the HIV-1 promoter in some contexts, but does not affect HDAC1, HDAC2, HDAC3, or acetylated histone 3 occupancy of the HIV-1 LTR. Conversely, depletion of cMyc or cMyc and YY1 does not significantly alter the level of transcription from the LTR or affect recruitment of HDACs to the HIV-1 LTR. Furthermore, global inhibition of HDACs with the HDAC inhibitor suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) enhanced the increase in LTR transcription in cells that were depleted of YY1.These findings show that despite prior isolated findings, redundancy in repressors of HIV-1 LTR expression will require selective targeting of multiple restrictive mechanisms to comprehensively induce the escape of quiescent proviruses from latency.
Microbicides have been evaluated mostly against cell-free HIV-1. Because semen contains both cell-free and cell-associated HIV-1, HIV-1 transmission could occur via either or both sources. Therefore, it is important to examine the antiviral activity of microbicides against cell-associated HIV-1. The cyclic antimicrobial peptide retrocyclin RC-101 has been shown previously to have antiviral activity against cell-free HIV-1, with no associated cellular toxicity. In this article we have examined the antiviral activity of RC-101 against cell-associated HIV-1. The results demonstrate potent antiviral activity of RC-101 against cell–cell HIV-1 transmission in both CD4-dependent and CD4-independent assays against CCR5- and CXCR4-tropic HIV-1, with no cellular toxicity. Furthermore, this antiviral activity was retained in the presence of human seminal plasma. The potent antiviral activity of RC-101 against cell-associated HIV-1 reported here, and the previously reported antiviral activity in cervical tissues, suggest that RC-101 is an excellent and promising microbicide candidate against HIV-1.
The most efficient method for HIV-1 genetic characterization involves full-genome sequencing, but the associated costs, technical features, and low throughput preclude it from being routinely used for the analysis of large numbers of viral strains. Multiregion hybridization assays (MHA) represent an alternative for a consistent genetic analysis of large numbers of viral strains. Classically, MHA rely on the amplification by real-time PCR of several regions scattered along the HIV-1 genome, and on their characterization with clade-specific TaqMan probes (also known as hydrolysis probes). In this context, the aim of our study was the development of a technical variant of an MHA (vMHAB/G/02) for genotyping the most prevalent genetic forms of HIV-1 circulating in Portugal. Different sets of primers were designed for universal and clade-specific amplifications of several sections of the viral genome: gag, pol(Pr), pol(RT), vpu, env(gp120), and env(gp41). vMHAB/G/02 was implemented using a real-time PCR-based approach, with detection dependent on the use of SYBR Green I. As an alternative, a technically less demanding strategy based on conventional PCR and agarose gel analysis of the reaction products was also developed. This method performed with overall good sensitivity and specificity (>91%) when a convenience sample of 45 plasma-derived HIV-1 strains was analyzed. Apart from the detection of subtype B, G, CRF02_AG, and CRF14_BG viruses, several unique B/G recombinant were also detected. Curiously, recombinant viruses including CRF02_AG sequences were not detected in the group of samples analyzed.
We assessed the relationship between atazanavir (ATV)-based antiretroviral treatment (ART) and plasma hepatitis C virus (HCV) viral load in a population of HIV/HCV-coinfected patients. HIV/HCV-coinfected patients who received ART based on a protease inhibitor (PI) or nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) were included. Patients were stratified by ART drug [ATV/rtv, lopinavir (LPV/rtv), efavirenz (EFV), nevirapine (NVP), and other PIs], HCV genotype (1/4 and 2/3), and IL28B genotype (CC and non-CC). The Kruskal–Wallis test and chi-squared test were used to compare continuous and categorical variables, respectively. Multivariate analysis consisted of a stepwise linear regression analysis. Six hundred and forty-nine HIV/HCV-coinfected patients were included. HCV genotype 1/4 patients who received ATV had higher HCV RNA levels [6.57 (5.9–6.8) log IU/ml] than those who received LPV [6.1 (5.5–6.5) log IU/ml], EFV [6.1 (5.6–6.4) log IU/ml], NVP [5.8 (5.5–5.9) log IU/ml], or other PIs [6.1 (5.7–6.4) log IU/ml] (p=0.014). This association held for the IL28B genotype (CC versus non-CC). The association was not found in patients carrying HCV genotypes 2/3. The linear regression model identified the IL28B genotype and ATV use as independent factors associated with HCV RNA levels. ATV-based therapy may be associated with a higher HCV RNA viral load in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients.
There are few clinical data on the combination abacavir/lamivudine plus raltegravir. We compared the outcomes of patients from the SPIRAL trial receiving either abacavir/lamivudine or tenofovir/emtricitabine at baseline who had taken at least one dose of either raltegravir or ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitors. For the purpose of this analysis, treatment failure was defined as virological failure (confirmed HIV-1 RNA ≥50 copies/ml) or discontinuation of abacavir/lamivudine or tenofovir/emtricitabine because of adverse events, consent withdrawal, or lost to follow-up. There were 143 (72.59%) patients with tenofovir/emtricitabine and 54 (27.41%) with abacavir/lamivudine. In the raltegravir group, there were three (11.11%) treatment failures with abacavir/lamivudine and eight (10.96%) with tenofovir/emtricitabine (estimated difference 0.15%; 95% CI −17.90 to 11.6). In the ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitor group, there were four (14.81%) treatment failures with abacavir/lamivudine and 12 (17.14%) with tenofovir/emtricitabine (estimated difference −2.33%; 95% CI −16.10 to 16.70). Triglycerides decreased and HDL cholesterol increased through the study more pronouncedly with abacavir/lamivudine than with tenofovir/emtricitabine and differences in the total-to-HDL cholesterol ratio between both combinations of nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) tended to be higher in the raltegravir group, although differences at 48 weeks were not significant. While no patient discontinued abacavir/lamivudine due to adverse events, four (2.80%) patients (all in the ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitor group) discontinued tenofovir/emtricitabine because of adverse events (p=0.2744). The results of this analysis do not suggest that outcomes of abacavir/lamivudine are worse than those of tenofovir/emtricitabine when combined with raltegravir in virologically suppressed HIV-infected adults.
Development of an effective low-cost anti-acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) drugs is needed for treatment of AIDS patients in developing countries. Host cell lipid raft microdomains, which are enriched with cholesterol, glycolipids, ceramide, and gangliosides, are important for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) entry. Retinoid analogs have been shown to modulate ceramide levels in the cell membrane, while cholera toxin B subunit (CT-B) specifically binds to the ganglioside GM1. In this study, we found that the acyclic retinoid analogs geranylgeranoic acid (GGA) and NIK-333 as well as CT-B efficiently attenuate CXCR4-tropic, but not CCR5-tropic, HIV-1 vector infection. We also found that GGA and NIK-333 suppress CXCR4-tropic HIV-1 infection by attenuating CXCR4 expression. CT-B also attenuated CXCR4-tropic HIV-1 infection, but did not suppress CXCR4 expression. These results suggest a distinct role for lipid raft microdomains in CXCR4- and CCR5-tropic HIV-1 infections and illuminate novel agents for the development of AIDS therapy.
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of transmitted drug resistance (TDR) in newly diagnosed and treatment-naive HIV-infected patients from Croatia and evaluate a possible contribution of transmission clusters to the spread of resistant virus. The study enrolled treatment-naive HIV-infected patients that entered clinical care at the Croatian Reference Center for HIV/AIDS between 2006 and 2008. The protease gene and a part of the reverse transcriptase gene of the HIV-1 genome were sequenced by using the Trugene HIV-1 Genotyping System. The prevalence of transmitted drug resistance was analyzed by using the surveillance drug resistance mutations (SDRM) list recommended by the WHO in 2009. We report findings for 118 of 180 eligible patients (65.6% coverage). SDRM were detected in 26 of 118 patients (22.0%) who were infected with subtype B and belonged mostly to the men having sex with men (MSM). The majority of patients with primary resistance carried SDRM associated with resistance to nucleoside analogues reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs, 23 of 118 patients, 19.5%). The most frequently found NRTI SDRM was T215S (17 of 118 patients, 14.4%). SDRM associated with resistance to nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors were detected in three (2.5%) patients and primary resistance to protease inhibitors was not detected. Non-B subtypes were detected in 13/118 patients (11%). A total of 12 transmission pairs and eight distinct transmission clusters were identified with the largest cluster harboring sequences from 19 patients; among them all but two were carrying the T215S mutation. This study showed a high prevalence of TDR in newly diagnosed MSM from Croatia and is an important contribution concerning the relationship between local transmission clusters and the spread of resistant virus.
The effects of tuberculosis (TB) on the kinetics of CD4+ T cells among HIV-infected individuals with early combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) after TB therapy initiation are poorly characterized. We conducted a case-control study with 15 HIV-TB-coinfected patients who initiated TB treatment and early cART, and 30 controls without TB who had similar CD4+ T cell counts and viral loads at the time of starting cART. We compared the rate of CD4+ T cell increase for 5 years after cART. The time to CD4+ T cell increase >250 cells/mm3 was significantly slower in HIV-TB-coinfected patients (p=0.015, by log rank test). HIV-TB-coinfected patients had significantly lower median CD4+ T cell counts at 5 years after cART (p=0.048). The difference in CD4+ T cell increase was observed only during the first 6 months after cART initiation (p=0.002). These data suggest that TB slows the rate of CD4+ T cell recovery at an early period after cART. The effects of TB on the long-term immunity of HIV-infected patients should be further evaluated.
HIV-1 infection induces formation of a virological synapse wherein CD4, chemokine receptors, and cell-adhesion molecules such as lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 (LFA-1) form localized domains on the cell surface. Studies show that LFA-1 on the surface of HIV-1 particles retains its adhesion function and enhances virus attachment to susceptible cells by binding its counterreceptor intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1). This virus–cell interaction augments virus infectivity by facilitating binding and entry events. In this study, we demonstrate that inhibition of the LFA-1/ICAM-1 interaction by a monoclonal antibody leads to decreased virus production and spread in association with increased apoptosis of HIV-infected primary T cells. The data indicate that the LFA-1/ICAM-1 interaction may limit apoptosis in HIV-1-infected T cells. This phenomenon appears similar to anoikis wherein epithelial cells are protected from apoptosis conferred by ligand-bound integrins. These results have implications for further understanding HIV pathogenesis and replication in peripheral compartments and lymphoid organs.
Even in the setting of maximally suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART), HIV persists indefinitely. Several mechanisms might contribute to this persistence, including chronic inflammation and immune dysfunction. In this study, we have explored a preclinical model for the evaluation of potential interventions that might serve to eradicate or to minimize the level of persistent virus. Given data that metabolic products of the inducible enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygeanse (IDO) might foster inflammation and viral persistence, chronically simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected, ART-treated rhesus macaques were treated with the IDO inhibitor 1-methyl tryptophan (1mT). Orally administered 1mT achieved targeted plasma levels, but did not impact tryptophan metabolism or decrease viral RNA or DNA in plasma or in intestinal tissues beyond levels achieved by ART alone. Animals treated with 1mT showed no difference in the levels of T cell activation or differentiation, or in the kinetics or magnitude of viral rebound following cessation of ART. Notwithstanding these negative results, our observations suggest that the chronically SIV-infected rhesus macaque on suppressive ART can serve as a tractable model in which to test and to prioritize the selection of other potential interventions designed to eradicate HIV in vivo. In addition, this model might be used to optimize the route and dose by which such interventions are administered and the methods by which their effects are monitored.
New evidence indicates that astrocytes of the central nervous system (CNS) are extensively infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in vivo. Although no new virus is produced, this nonproductive or restricted infection contributes to the pathogenesis of HIV-associated dementia (HAD) and compromises virus eradication strategies. The HIV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR) plays a critical role in regulating virus production from infected cells. Here, we determined whether LTRs derived from CNS and non-CNS compartments are genetically and functionally distinct and contribute to the restricted nature of astrocyte infection. CNS- and/or non-CNS-derived LTRs (n=82) were cloned from primary HIV-1 viruses isolated from autopsy tissues of seven patients who died with HAD. Phylogenetic analysis showed interpatient and intrapatient clustering of LTR nucleotide sequences. Functional analysis showed reduced basal transcriptional activity of CNS-derived LTRs in both astrocytes and T cells compared to that of non-CNS-derived LTRs. However, LTRs were heterogeneous in their responsiveness to activation by Tat. Therefore, using a relatively large, independent panel of primary HIV-1 LTRs derived from clinically well-characterized subjects, we show that LTRs segregate CNS- from non-CNS-derived tissues both genetically and functionally. The reduced basal transcriptional activity of LTRs derived from the CNS may contribute to the restricted HIV-1 infection of astrocytes and latent infection within the CNS. These findings have significance for understanding the molecular basis of HIV-1 persistence within cellular reservoirs of the CNS that need to be considered for strategies aimed at eradicating HIV-1.
Treatment of HIV infection with conventional antiretroviral therapy (ART) is a lifelong challenge with significant long-term risks of adverse events and treatment failure-induced HIV resistance being major concerns. One potential alternative to standard treatment is the use of viral decay accelerators, antiviral agents that theoretically can drive the rate of viral mutation beyond the compensatory capacity of the virus, thereby inducing viral extinction. One such drug, KP-1461, was tested in a population of HIV-infected persons not receiving ART to assess the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of the strategy in vivo. Of 24 highly treatment-experienced HIV-infected patients who received at least one dose of KP-1461, 13 completed the planned 4 months of monotherapy. The drug was generally well tolerated; it did not significantly affect either HIV viral load or CD4 lymphocyte count over the period of dosing. Pharmacokinetic sampling suggested adequate drug exposure was achieved. There were no new mutations induced by KP-1461 that changed viral susceptibility to standard antiretroviral agents. After the study was completed, analysis of more than 7 million base pairs of HIV samples from study patients and controls demonstrated changes in the pattern of viral mutations that differed significantly from what would be encountered naturally. The identified alterations were consistent with an effect resulting from KP-1461's proposed mechanism of action. These findings suggest that the novel antiretroviral approach illustrated by this study should be further investigated, particularly given the relatively good tolerability and the demonstrated excellent safety in this limited cohort study.
Tenofovir (TFV) disoproxil fumarate (TDF)±emtricitabine (FTC) are widely used for HIV treatment and chemoprophylaxis, but variable adherence may lead to suboptimal responses. Methods that quantify adherence would allow for interventions to improve treatment and prevention outcomes. Our objective was to characterize the pharmacokinetics of TFV-diphosphate (TFV-DP) and FTC-triphosphate (FTC-TP) in red blood cells (RBCs) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs); to extend the RBC analysis to dried blood spots (DBSs); and to model how RBC/DBS monitoring could inform recent and cumulative drug exposure/adherence. Blood samples were collected from 17 HIV-negative adults at 5 visits over a 30-day pharmacokinetics study of daily oral TDF/FTC. Dosing was discontinued on day 30 and blood was collected on days 35, 45, and 60 during the washout period. Plasma/RBCs/PBMCs/DBSs were all quantified by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. DBSs were paired with RBCs and plasma for comparisons. The median (interquartile range) RBC TFV-DP half-life was 17.1 (15.7–20.2) versus 4.2 (3.7–5.2) days in PBMCs. At steady state, TFV-DP was 130 fmol/106 RBCs versus 98 fmol/106 PBMCs. FTC-TP was not quantifiable in most RBC samples. TFV-DP in RBCs versus DBSs yielded an r2=0.83. TFV-DP in DBSs was stable at −20°C. Simulations of TFV-DP in RBCs/DBSs, when dosed from one to seven times per week, demonstrated that each dose per week resulted in an average change of approximately 19 fmol/106 RBCs and 230 fmol/punch. TFV and FTC in plasma versus DBSs was defined by y=1.4x; r2=0.96 and y=0.8x; r2=0.99, respectively. We conclude that DBSs offer a convenient measure of recent (TFV/FTC) and cumulative (TFV-DP in RBCs) drug exposure with potential application to adherence monitoring.
Herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) infection increases HIV susceptibility. We previously established a rhesus macaque model of vaginal HSV-2 preexposure followed by cochallenge with HSV-2 and simian/human immunodeficiency virus-reverse transcriptase (SHIV-RT). Using this model, we showed that a gel containing the nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) MIV-150 in carrageenan (CG) reduced SHIV-RT infection. To evaluate the efficacy of new generation microbicides against both viruses, we first established dual infection after single vaginal cochallenge with SHIV-RT and HSV-2 in HSV-2-naive macaques. All animals (6/6) became HSV-2 infected, with 4/6 coinfected with SHIV-RT. In a control group cochallenged with SHIV-RT and UV-inactivated HSV-2, 2/4 became SHIV-RT infected, and none had detectable HSV-2. Low-level HSV-2-specific antibody and T cell responses were detected in some HSV-2-infected animals. To test a CG gel containing MIV-150 and zinc acetate (MZC), which provided naive animals full protection from SHIV-RT for at least 8 h, MZC (vs. CG) was applied daily for 14 days followed by cochallenge 8 h later. MZC prevented SHIV-RT infection (0/9 infected, p=0.04 vs. 3/6 in CG controls), but only reduced HSV-2 infection by 20% (6/9 infected vs. 5/6 in CG, p=0.6). In HSV-2-infected animals, none of the gel-treated animals seroconverted, and only the CG controls had measurable HSV-2-specific T cell responses. This study shows the promise of MZC to prevent immunodeficiency virus infection (even in the presence of HSV-2) and reduce HSV-2 infection after exposure to a high-dose inoculum. Additionally, it demonstrates the potential of a macaque coinfection model to evaluate broad-spectrum microbicides.
In order to test the accuracy of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) to predict mean glycemia in HIV-infected patients, we recorded consecutive HbA1c measurements from 1238 non-HIV-infected and 112 HIV-infected patients, all devoid of any hemoglobinopathy, in a retrospective, transversal study. Mean fasting glycemia from the six previous weeks (Measured-Gly) and HbA1c-estimated glycemia [HbA1c-Gly, (1.85 x %HbA1c – 4.78) mM] were compared. Mean hemoglobin, red cell volume, serum creatinine, CD4 count, and HIV-viral load from the same period were collected in HIV-infected patients. Although Measured-Gly was not significantly different between non-HIV-infected (6.95 ± 3.23 mM) and HIV-infected patients (6.62 ± 2.42 mM), HbA1c underestimated the mean fasting glycemia by 12.3% in HIV-infected as compared to non-HIV-infected patients (p<0.0001). The difference “Measured-Gly - HbA1c-Gly” was correlated with the red cell volume (p=0.0001) in HIV-infected patients. We then searched for the presence of sub-clinical hemolysis, a cause of both macrocytosis and reduced HbA1c levels, in HIV-infected patients. To this end, we prospectively measured serum haptoglobin in 249 consecutive samples from HIV-infected subjects without any known cause of hemolysis. A very low haptoglobin level, a marker of hemolysis, was frequent and negatively correlated with the red cell volume in these patients. Treatment with nucleoside analogueswas significantly associated with macrocytosis and low haptoglobin. In conclusion, HbA1c could be inappropriately low in HIV-infected patients. Its underestimation of mean fasting glycemia could be due to an antiretroviral-induced sub-clinical hemolysis, but further studies are needed to explore this hypothesis. Self-monitoring of blood glucose should be promoted in diabetic HIV-infected patients.
Adult; Anti-Retroviral Agents; adverse effects; Blood Glucose; analysis; metabolism; Female; HIV Infections; blood; drug therapy; metabolism; Haptoglobins; analysis; Hemoglobin A, Glycosylated; analysis; metabolism; Hemolysis; drug effects; physiology; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Predictive Value of Tests; Prospective Studies; Retrospective Studies
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection has altered both the epidemiology and outcome of enteric opportunistic parasitic infections. This study was done to determine the prevalence and species/genotypes of intestinal coccidian and microsporidial infections among HIV/AIDS patients with diarrhea and/or a history of diarrhea alternately with an asymptomatic interval, and their association with CD4 T cell count. This cross-sectional study was done from May 2010 to May 2011 in Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, South of Iran. A blood sample was obtained from HIV-positive patients for a CD4 T cell count upon enrollment. Sociodemographic data and a history of diarrhea were collected by interviewing 356 consecutive participants (273 males and 83 females). Whenever possible more than a fecal sample was collected from all the participants and examined for parasites using direct, physiological saline solution ethyl acetate, an acid-fast trichrome stain, nested polymerase chain reaction, and sequencing techniques for the detection, confirmation, and genotyping of Cryptosporidium spp., Cyclospora cayetanensis, Isospora belli, and intestinal microsporidia (Enterocytozoon bieneusi). The most common opportunistic and nonopportunistic pathogens were Cryptosporidium spp. (C. parvum and C. andersoni), E. bieneusi, Giardia lamblia, Sarcocystis spp., and Blastocystis homonis affecting 34, 8, 23, 1, and 14 patients, respectively. C. cayetanensis, I. belli, Enterobius vermicularis, and Hymenolepis nana were observed in few patients. A CD4 count <200 cells/μl was significantly associated with the presence of opportunistic parasites and diarrhea (p<0.05). Opportunistic intestinal parasites should be suspected in any HIV/AIDS patient with chronic diarrhea. Tropical epidemic nonopportunistic enteric parasitic infections among such patients should not be neglected in Iran.
Candidiasis in HIV/AIDS patients continues to be a public health problem. Effective antifungal therapies are few in number and have inherent problems such as selecting for drug-resistant strains of Candida species. To evaluate the state of Candida colonization of the oral and vaginal mucosa, we recruited 80 women, both HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected, from the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). Diet diaries were collected by participants to examine the role of diet on fungal growth. Baseline studies were initially done in participants that followed the colonization of both mucosal sites over 0–90 days. The most common Candida species from both groups of patients were C. albicans and C. glabrata. Among the HIV-infected cohort, the percentage of participants who were positive for Candida spp. was higher than in the HIV-uninfected control group. Furthermore, the frequency of colonization (1 episode versus >1 episode) was also increased in the HIV-infected cohort. These data indicate that Candida species remain an important component of the microbial community in both populations.
Entry of HIV virus into cells is mediated by chemokine receptors. Genetic variations in chemokine receptors have been shown to modulate susceptibility to HIV infection and disease course. In this study, the frequencies of CCR5 (CCR5-Δ32), CCR2 (CCR2-64I), and SDF-1 (SDF-1-3′) gene polymorphisms were determined in a Jordanian population. A total of 540 subjects were randomly selected from different regions of Jordan (South, Middle, and North). Six individuals were found to carry the CCR5-Δ32 allele (0.6%) and only in the heterozygous genotype. The frequencies of CCR2-64I and SDF1-3′A were 17.5% and 34.2%, respectively. In addition, no significant difference in the distribution of the examined polymorphisms among different regions of Jordan was detected. In conclusion, the CCR5-Δ32 allele is rare, whereas the CCR2-64I and SDF1-3′A alleles are common among Jordanians.
Presenting episodes of intermittent viremia (EIV) under combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) is frequent, but there exists some controversy about their consequences. They have been described as inducing changes in immune responses potentially associated with a better control of HIV infection. Conversely, it has been suggested that EIV increases the risk of virological failure. A retrospective analysis of a prospective, randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled study was performed. Twenty-six successfully treated HIV-infected adults were randomized to receive an immunization schedule or placebo, and after 1 year of follow-up cART was discontinued. The influence of EIV on T cell subsets, HIV-1-specific T cell immune responses, and viral load rebound, and the risk of developing genotypic mutations were evaluated, taking into account the immunization received. Patients with EIV above 200 copies/ml under cART had a lower proportion of CD4+ and CD4+CD45RA+RO− T cells, a higher proportion of CD8+ and CD4+CD38+HLADR+ T cells, and higher HIV-specific CD8+ T cell responses compared to persistently undetectable patients. After cART interruption, patients with EIV presented a significantly higher viral rebound (p=0.007), associated with greater increases in HIV-specific lymphoproliferative responses and T cell populations with activation markers. When patients with EIV between 20 and 200 copies/ml were included, most of the differences disappeared. Patients who present EIV above 200 copies/ml showed a lower CD4+ T cell count and higher activation markers under cART. After treatment interruption, they showed greater specific immune responses against HIV, which did not prevent a higher virological rebound. EIV between 20 and 200 copies/ml did not have this deleterious effect.
In 1998 a collaboration between Duke University and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (UNC) was founded to enhance identification of persons with acute HIV-1 infection (AHI). The Duke-UNC AHI Research Consortium Cohort consists of patients ≥18 years old with a positive nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) and either a negative enzyme immunoassay (EIA) test or a positive EIA with a negative/indeterminate Western blot. Patients were referred to the cohort from acute care settings and state-funded HIV testing sites that use NAAT testing on pooled HIV-1 antibody-negative samples. Between 1998 and 2010, 155 patients with AHI were enrolled: 81 (52%) African-Americans, 63 (41%) white, non-Hispanics, 137 (88%) males, 108 (70%) men who have sex with men (MSM), and 18 (12%) females. The median age was 27 years (IQR 22–38). Most (n=138/155) reported symptoms with a median duration of 17.5 days. The median nadir CD4 count was 408 cells/mm3 (IQR 289–563); the median observed peak HIV-1 level was 726,859 copies/ml (IQR 167,585–3,565,728). The emergency department was the most frequent site of initial presentation (n=55/152; 3 missing data). AHI diagnosis was made at time of first contact in 62/137 (45%; 18 missing data) patients. This prospectively enrolled cohort is the largest group of patients with AHI reported from the Southeastern United States. The demographics reflect the epidemic of this geographic area with a high proportion of African-Americans, including young black MSM. Highlighting the challenges of diagnosing AHI, less than half of the patients were diagnosed at the first healthcare visit. Women made up a small proportion despite increasing numbers in our clinics.
The WHO recommends regular surveillance for transmitted antiretroviral drug-resistant viruses in HIV antiretroviral treatment (ART)-naive patients in resource-limited settings. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of mutations associated with resistance in ART-naive patients newly diagnosed with HIV in Bamako and Ségou in Mali. HIV-positive patients who never received ART were recruited in Bamako and Ségou, Mali. The reverse transcriptase (RT) and protease (PR) genes of these patients were sequenced by the “ViroSeq” method. Analysis and interpretation of the resistance were made according to the WHO 2009 list of drug resistance mutations. In all, 51/54 (94.4%) sample patients were sequenced. The median age (IQR) of our patients was 24 (22–27) years and the median CD4 count was 380 (340–456) cells/mm3. The predominant subtype was recombinant HIV-1 CRF02_AG (66.7%) followed by CRF06_cpx (12%) and CRF09_cpx (4%). Four patients had mutations associated with resistance, giving an overall prevalence of resistance estimated at 7.9%. There were two (4%) patients with nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) mutations (one M184V and one T215Y), two (4%) with non-NRTI mutations (two K103N), and one (2%) with a protease inhibitor mutation (one I54V). The prevalence of primary resistance in newly infected patients in Mali is moderate (7.9%). This indicates that the standard NNRTI-based first-line regimen used in Mali is suboptimal for some patients. This study should be done regularly to inform clinical practice.
Drug-resistant HIV complicates management of HIV infection. Although an estimated 14% of all HIV-positive persons pass through a prison or jail in the United States each year, little is known about the overall prevalence of antiretroviral (ARV) resistance in incarcerated persons. All genotypic sequence data on HIV-positive prisoners in the North Carolina (NC) Department of Corrections (DOC) were obtained from LabCorp. Screening for major resistance mutations in protease (PI) and reverse transcriptase (NRTI and NNRTI) was done using Genosure and the Stanford HIV Database. For subjects with multiple genotype reports, each mutation was counted only once and considered present on all subsequent genotypes. Between October 2006 and February 2010, the NC DOC incarcerated 1,911 HIV+ individuals of whom 19.2% (n=367) had at least one genotype performed. The overall prevalence of a major resistance mutation was 28.3% (95% CI 23.7, 33.0). Among prisoners ever exposed to an ARV during incarceration (n=329) prevalence of a major resistance mutation was 29.8% (95% CI 24.9, 34.7); resistance by class was 20.4% (95% CI 16.0, 24.7) for NRTIs, 19.8% (95% CI 15.5, 24.1) for NNRTIs, and 8.8% (95% CI 5.8,11.9) for PIs. Single class drug resistance was most prevalent at 14.2% (10.2,17.7) followed by dual 12.5% (I8.9,16.0) and triple class 3.3% (1.4,5.3) resistance. The three most prevalent mutations were K103N 15.8% (12.0, 20.2), M184V 14.3% (10.7,18.5), and M41L 4.9% (2.8,7.8). In the NC DOC ARV resistance prevalence, dual and triple class drug resistance was moderate over the study period. Resistance to PIs was lower than NNRTIs and NRTIs, likely reflecting higher usage of these two classes or a lower barrier to resistance.
Cellular immune responses play a critical role in the control of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), but less is known about the impact of transmission routes on immune defenses against HIV-1. Here, we report that subjects infected with HIV-1 through contaminated blood showed stronger HIV-specific T cell responses than those infected through mucosa, both in breadth (6.9±2.5 vs. 2.3±0.5, p=0.0293) and in magnitude [1270.0±544.9 vs. 409.5±121.3 SFU per million peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), p=0.0223], by using a matrix of 404 overlapping peptides spanning all expressed HIV-1 proteins in an interferon (IFN)-γ enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISpot) assay. Our observation indicates that different mechanisms might be involved in the priming/generating of anti-HIV-specific T cell responses through different transmission routes.