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1.  Up-Regulation of TLR2 and TLR4 in Dendritic Cells in Response to HIV Type 1 and Coinfection with Opportunistic Pathogens 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2011;27(10):1099-1109.
Abstract
The ability to trigger an innate immune response against opportunistic pathogens associated with HIV-1 infection is an important aspect of AIDS pathogenesis. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play a critical role in innate immunity against pathogens, but in HIV-1 patients coinfected with opportunistic infections, the regulation of TLR expression has not been studied. In this context, we have evaluated the expression of TLR2 and TLR4 in monocytes, plasmacytoid dendritic cells, and myeloid dendritic cells of HIV-1 patients with or without opportunistic infections. Forty-nine HIV-1-infected individuals were classified according to viral load, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), and the presence or absence of opportunistic infections, and 21 healthy subjects served as controls. Increased expression of TLR2 and TLR4 was observed in myeloid dendritic cells of HIV-1 patients coinfected with opportunistic infections (without HAART), while TLR4 increased in plasmacytoid dendritic cells, compared to both HIV-1 without opportunistic infections and healthy subjects. Moreover, TLR2 expression was higher in patients with opportunistic infections without HAART and up-regulation of TLR expression in HIV-1 patients coinfected with opportunistic infections was more pronounced in dendritic cells derived from individuals coinfected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The results indicate that TLR expression in innate immune cells is up-regulated in patients with a high HIV-1 load and coinfected with opportunistic pathogens. We suggest that modulation of TLRs expression represents a mechanism that promotes HIV-1 replication and AIDS pathogenesis in patients coinfected with opportunistic pathogens.
doi:10.1089/aid.2010.0302
PMCID: PMC3482873  PMID: 21406030
2.  Short Communication: CD8+ T Cell Polyfunctionality Profiles in Progressive and Nonprogressive Pediatric HIV Type 1 Infection 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2011;27(9):1005-1012.
Abstract
Pediatric HIV-1 infection is characterized by rapid disease progression and without antiretroviral therapy (ART), more than 50% of infected children die by the age of 2 years. However, a small subset of infected children progresses slowly to disease in the absence of ART. This study aimed to identify functional characteristics of HIV-1-specific T cell responses that distinguish children with rapid and slow disease progression. Fifteen perinatally HIV-infected children (eight rapid and seven slow progressors) were longitudinally studied to monitor T cell polyfunctionality. HIV-1-specific interferon (IFN)-γ+ CD8+ T cell responses gradually increased over time but did not differ between slow and rapid progressors. However, polyfunctional HIV-1-specific CD8+ T cell responses, as assessed by the expression of four functions (IFN-γ, CD107a, TNF-α, MIP-1β), were higher in slow compared to rapid progressors (p=0.05) early in infection, and was associated with slower subsequent disease progression. These data suggest that the quality of the HIV-specific CD8+ T cell response is associated with the control of disease in children as has been shown in adult infection.
doi:10.1089/aid.2010.0227
PMCID: PMC3332389  PMID: 21288139
3.  A Comparison of Treatment Eligibility for Hepatitis C Virus in HCV-Monoinfected Versus HCV/HIV-Coinfected Persons in Electronically Retrieved Cohort of HCV-Infected Veterans 
Abstract
Treatment rates for hepatitis C virus (HCV) are low in actual clinical settings. However, the proportion of patients eligible for treatment, especially among those coinfected with HIV, is not well known. Our aim was to determine and compare the rates for HCV treatment eligibility among HCV and HCV-HIV-coinfected persons. We assembled a national cohort of HCV-infected veterans in care from 1998–2003, using the VA National Patient Care Database for demographic/clinical information, the Pharmacy Benefits Management database for pharmacy records, and the Decision Support Systems database for laboratory data. We compared the HCV-monoinfected and HCV-HIV-coinfected subjects for treatment indications and eligibility using current treatment guidelines. Of the 27,452 subjects with HCV and 1225 with HCV-HIV coinfection, 74.0% and 84.6% had indications for therapy and among these, 43.9% of HCV-monoinfected and 28.4% of HCV-HIV-coinfected subjects were eligible for treatment. Anemia, decompensated liver disease (DLD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), recent alcohol abuse, and coronary artery disease were the most common contraindications in the HCV, and anemia, DLD, renal failure, recent drug abuse, and COPD in the HCV-HIV-coinfected group. Among those eligible for treatment, only 23% of the HCV-monoinfected and 15% of the HCV-HIV-coinfected subjects received any treatment for HCV. Most veterans with HCV are not eligible for treatment according to the current guidelines. Even for those who are eligible for treatment, only a minority is prescribed treatment. Several contraindications are modifiable and aggressive management of those may improve treatment prescription rates.
doi:10.1089/aid.2011.0004
PMCID: PMC3719436  PMID: 21338329
4.  Safety and Immunogenicity of the MRKAd5 gag HIV Type 1 Vaccine in a Worldwide Phase 1 Study of Healthy Adults 
Abstract
The safety and immunogenicity of the MRK adenovirus type 5 (Ad5) HIV-1 clade B gag vaccine was assessed in an international Phase I trial. Three-hundred and sixty healthy HIV-uninfected adults were enrolled on five continents. Subjects received placebo or 1 × 109 or 1 × 1010 viral particles (vp) per dose of the MRKAd5 HIV-1 gag vaccine at day 1, week 4, and week 26. Immunogenicity was evaluated using an IFN-γ ELISPOT gag 15-mer assay with positive responses defined as ≥55 SFC/106 PBMCs and ≥4-fold over mock control. The vaccine was well tolerated. The most common adverse events were injection site reactions, headache, pyrexia, diarrhea, fatigue, and myalgia. At week 30, geometric mean ELISPOT responses were 24, 114, and 226 SFC/106 PBMCs in the placebo, 1 × 109 vp/dose, and 1 × 1010 vp/dose groups, respectively. Overall, responses to 1 × 1010 vp were 85% and 68% in subjects with low (≤200) and high (>200) baseline Ad5 titers, respectively. The MRKAd5 HIV-1 gag vaccine was immunogenic in diverse geographic regions. Gag ELISPOT responses were greater in the 1 × 1010 vp/dose groups than in the 1 × 109 vp/dose groups. Data from this first international study indicate that adenovirus-vectored vaccines are well tolerated and may be immunogenic in subjects from regions with high prevalence of preexisting Ad5 immunity.
doi:10.1089/aid.2010.0151
PMCID: PMC3422055  PMID: 20854108
6.  HIV-Specific Gag Responses in Early Infancy Correlate with Clinical Outcome and Inversely with Viral Load 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2011;27(12):1311-1316.
Abstract
Many HIV-infected infants progress to AIDS during the first year of life when antiretroviral therapy (ART) is not given. The immune determinants of progression to AIDS are not known. We hypothesized that distinct HIV-specific T cell responses correlate with viral load and survival over the first year of life. Whole blood of infants at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months of age was incubated with HIV antigens Gag and Env. The frequency of specific T cells producing interferon (IFN)-γ was then measured by flow cytometry. Viral load and CD4% in HIV+ infants were determined at each time point. ART was not available for this population at the time of sample collection. Those infants who survived to 12 months of age (n=12) had lower viral loads and higher Gag-specific CD8+ T cell responses at 3 months, compared with infants who died (n=8). Furthermore, the frequency of Gag-specific CD4+ T cells correlated inversely with viral load at 3 and 6 months of age. Together these data indicate that the early presence of quantitatively higher Gag-specific T cell responses in HIV-infected infants is associated with lower viral loads and decreased mortality in the first year of life. Our data support the design of a vaccine that preferentially elicits Gag responses, which may result in lower levels of viremia and possibly improve outcome.
doi:10.1089/aid.2011.0081
PMCID: PMC3227240  PMID: 21476948
7.  Antiretroviral Drug Resistance Mutations Among Treated and Treatment-Naive Patients in Pakistan: Diversity of the HIV Type 1 pol Gene in Pakistan 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2011;27(12):1277-1282.
Abstract
Pakistan is experiencing a growing HIV epidemic. Antiretroviral drugs (ARV) have been smuggled into the country and available without prescription since the early 1990s, but are now provided free of cost by the government. We assessed the prevalence of HIV-1, drug resistance, and subtype distributions. Blood specimens were collected from HIV-1-infected participants registered in Sindh Province on dry blood spot (DBS) cards in 2008. Pol, protease, and partial reverse transcriptase regions were sequenced after reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR). HIV-1 subtype was assigned by phylogenetic analysis. Primary drug resistance was analyzed by the Calibrated Population Resistance (CPR) tool using the Stanford Surveillance Drug Resistance Mutation (SDRM) major mutation list. Out of 100 blood samples collected, 42 were suitable for testing. Out of 42, 11 were ARV-receiving and 31 ARV-naive patients. Among them, 24 were injection drug users (IDUs), four immigrants, two hijras (male transvestites), two men who have sex with men (MSM), four prisoners, one female sex workers, two spouses of HIV-infected persons, and four from the general population. ARV resistance among naive patients was 2/31 (6.5%) and 36.4% (4/11) among ARV-experienced patients making an overall resistance of 14.2%. HIV-1 subtype A1 was the predominant subtype found in 35/42 (83.3%) followed by CRF35_AD and C, 6.5% each. Subtype D and G were found in one (2.4%) each. A significant proportion of Pakistani HIV patients has ARV drug resistance. Physicians treating patients should consider the magnitude of drug resistance while selecting regimens, and address drug adherence aggressively.
doi:10.1089/aid.2010.0324
PMCID: PMC3227241  PMID: 21591988
8.  Molecular Characteristics of HIV Type 1 Infection Among Prisoners from Central Western Brazil 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2011;27(12):1349-1353.
Abstract
This study among antiretroviral-experienced prisoners from central western Brazil investigated mutations associated with secondary resistance to nucleoside/nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI/NNRTI), protease inhibitors (Stanford HIV-1 Resistance/International Aids Society Databases), and HIV-1 subtypes (REGA/phylogenetic analyses/SimPlot). Twenty-seven prisoners from three prisons (16 males and four females from Mato Grosso do Sul State and seven males from Goiás State) had HIV-1 protease and reverse transcriptase fragments sequenced after nested PCR. Median age was 35 years. Seven males and two females were intravenous drug users, three males referred homosexual practice. Resistance mutations were present in 37% (10/27): NRTI+NNRTI mutations (n=5), NRTI mutations (n=3), multidrug-resistant mutations (n=2). Subtype B (48%), subtype C (11%), B/F1, B/C, and F1/B/C recombinants (40.7%) were detected. Possible intraprison transmissions were identified: two intravenous drug user females (subtype C); two clusters among homosexual males (subtype B and B/F1). High resistance rate and possible intraprison transmission highlight the need for improved prevention, counseling, and treatment strategies for prisoners.
doi:10.1089/aid.2011.0153
PMCID: PMC3227242  PMID: 21732793
9.  SIVmac251 Is Inefficiently Transmitted to Rhesus Macaques by Penile Inoculation with a Single SIVenv Variant Found in Ramp-up Phase Plasma 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2011;27(12):1259-1269.
Abstract
Despite the fact that approximately half of all HIV patients acquire infection through penile exposure, there have been no recent studies of penile SIV transmission in rhesus macaques and the nature of the virus variants transmitted, target cells, and pathways of virus dissemination to systemic lymphoid tissues are not known. Single genome amplification (SGA) and sequencing of HIV-1 RNA in plasma of acutely infected humans allows the identification and enumeration of transmitted/founder viruses responsible for productive systemic infection. Studies using the SGA strategy have shown that intrarectal and intravaginal SIV transmission to macaques recapitulates key features of human HIV transmission. To date, no studies have used the SGA assay to identify transmitted/founder virus(es) in macaques infected after penile SIV exposure. Here we report that SIV can be transmitted by penile SIV exposure. However, similar exposure to a high-dose inoculum infects only about half the animals, which is about 50% less efficient transmission than occurs after vaginal SIV challenge. In addition, only a single SIV env variant established the systemic infection in all five animals that became infected after penile exposure, a result that is consistent with low incidence and few transmitted HIV variants in heterosexually infected men. Our results suggest that the penile transmission of SIVmac251 in rhesus macaques recapitulates the key features of penile HIV-1 transmission and may provide insight into host or viral factors that permit penile transmission and dissemination. Furthermore, this SIV challenge exposure route will be useful in testing vaccines and other prophylactic approaches.
doi:10.1089/aid.2011.0090
PMCID: PMC3227244  PMID: 21732792
10.  Significant Genetic Heterogeneity of the SIVmac251 Viral Swarm Derived from Different Sources 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2011;27(12):1327-1332.
Abstract
Infecting rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) with the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) is an established animal model of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pathogenesis. Many studies have used various derivatives of the SIVmac251 viral swarm to investigate several aspects of the disease, including transmission, progression, response to vaccination, and SIV/HIV-associated neurological disorders. However, the lack of standardization of the infecting inoculum complicates comparative analyses. We investigated the genetic diversity and phylogenetic relationships of the 1991 animal-titered SIVmac251 swarm, the peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) passaged SIVmac251, and additional SIVmac251 sequences derived over the past 20 years. Significant sequence divergence and diversity were evident among the different viral sources. This finding highlights the importance of characterizing the exact source and genetic makeup of the infecting inoculum to achieve controlled experimental conditions and enable meaningful comparisons across studies.
doi:10.1089/aid.2011.0100
PMCID: PMC3227245  PMID: 21524235
11.  Predictive Value of Weight Loss on Mortality of HIV-Positive Mothers in a Prolonged Breastfeeding Setting 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2011;27(11):1141-1148.
Abstract
HIV-positive lactating women may be at high risk of weight loss due to increased caloric requirements and postpartum physiological weight loss. Ten percent weight loss is associated with a higher risk of mortality in HIV-positive patients and this alone is a criterion for highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) initiation where CD4 counts are not available. However, no study has investigated this association in lactating postpartum women. We investigated whether 10% weight loss predicts death in postpartum HIV-positive women. A total of 9207 HIV-negative and 4495 HIV-positive mothers were recruited at delivery. Women were weighed at 6 weeks, 3 months, and every 3 months thereafter for up to 24 months postpartum and data on mortality up to 2 years were collected. The median duration of breastfeeding was longer than 18 months. Among HIV-positive women, the independent predictors of ≥10% weight loss were CD4 cell count, body mass index, and household income. Mortality was up to 7.12 (95% CI 3.47–14.61) times higher in HIV-positive women with ≥10% weight loss than those without weight loss. Ten percent weight loss in postpartum lactating HIV-positive women was significantly predictive of death. Our findings suggest that 10% weight loss is an appropriate criterion for HAART initiation among postpartum breastfeeding women.
doi:10.1089/aid.2010.0293
PMCID: PMC3243462  PMID: 21226627
12.  Short Communication Decreased Incidence of Dual Infections in South African Subtype C-Infected Women Compared to a Cohort Ten Years Earlier 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2011;27(11):1167-1172.
Abstract
Previously, we determined the incidence of dual infections in a South African cohort and its association with higher viral setpoint. Ten years later, we compare the incidence and impact of dual infections at transmission on viral setpoint in a geographically similar cohort (n =  46) making use of both the heteroduplex mobility assay (HMA) and the more recent single genome amplification (SGA) approach. HIV incidence was lower in this cohort (7% compared to 18%), and we find a similar reduction in the number of dual infections (9% compared to 19%). Unlike the previous study, there was no association between either dual infection (n =  4) or multivariant transmission (n =  7) and disease progression. This study emphasized the importance of monitoring changes in the HIV epidemic as it may have important ramifications on our understanding of the natural history of disease.
doi:10.1089/aid.2010.0162
PMCID: PMC3206740  PMID: 21198409
13.  Molecular Epidemiology of HIV Type 1 CRF02_AG in Cameroon and African Patients Living in Italy 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2011;27(11):1173-1182.
Abstract
HIV-1 CRF02_AG accounts for >50% of infected individuals in Cameroon. CRF02_AG prevalence has been increasing both in Africa and Europe, particularly in Italy because of migrations from the sub-Saharan region. This study investigated the molecular epidemiology of CRF02_AG in Cameroon by employing Bayesian phylodynamics and analyzed the relationship between HIV-1 CRF02_AG isolates circulating in Italy and those prevalent in Africa to understand the link between the two epidemics. Among 291 Cameroonian reverse transcriptase sequences analyzed, about 70% clustered within three distinct clades, two of which shared a most recent common ancestor, all related to sequences from Western Africa. The major Cameroonian clades emerged during the mid-1970s and slowly spread during the next 30 years. Little or no geographic structure was detected within these clades. One of the major driving forces of the epidemic was likely the high accessibility between locations in Southern Cameroon contributing to the mobility of the population. The remaining Cameroonian sequences and the new strains isolated from Italian patients were interspersed mainly within West and Central African sequences in the tree, indicating a continuous exchange of CRF02_AG viral strains between Cameroon and other African countries, as well as multiple independent introductions in the Italian population. The evaluation of the spread of CRF02_AG may provide significant insight about the future dynamics of the Italian and European epidemic.
doi:10.1089/aid.2010.0333
PMCID: PMC3206741  PMID: 21453131
14.  Effects of Stabilization of the gp41 Cytoplasmic Domain on Fusion Activity and Infectivity of SIVmac239 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2011;27(11):1213-1222.
Abstract
We investigated the effects of introducing specific sequences that are predicted to affect trimer stability into the CT domain of the SIV Env protein. Two constructs, 3HBai and 3HBaa, with additional GCN4-related sequences in the CT domain (45 aa) had enhanced infectivity, and differed in their fusion activity and trimer stability. Another construct, 3HBii, exhibited a very stable trimeric structure. Pseudotyped virions containing 3HBii retained infectivity despite the lack of syncytia formation. In contrast, 3HBai and 3HBaa, which caused extensive syncytia formation, had a less stable trimeric structure. We observed an inverse correlation between trimer stability and fusion activity but no correlation between syncytia formation activity and infectivity. Quantitative cell–cell fusion assays, analysis of Env incorporation, measurement of ectodomain conformation by CD4 binding, and CCR5 blocking assays indicated differential effects on fusion activity and infectivity of the viruses with Env CT modifications. Differences in interaction with CD4 were not affected by trimer stability and were not related to fusion activity or infectivity. The results indicate that changes in the stability of the CT domain can have significant effects on functional activities of the Env external domain and can impact viral biological properties.
doi:10.1089/aid.2010.0321
PMCID: PMC3206742  PMID: 21434848
15.  A Prospective Cohort Study of Periodontal Disease Measures and Cardiovascular Disease Markers in HIV-Infected Adults 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2011;27(11):1157-1166.
Abstract
The determinants of HIV-associated cardiovascular disease (CVD) are not well understood. Periodontal disease (PD) has been linked to CVD but this connection has not been examined in HIV infection. We followed a cohort of HIV-infected adults to ascertain whether PD was associated with carotid artery intima media thickness (IMT) and brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD). We performed a longitudinal observational study of HIV-infected adults on HAART for <2 years with no known heart disease. PD was characterized clinically and microbiologically. Cardiovascular disease was assessed by IMT/FMD. Linear mixed models assessed cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between PD and FMD/IMT. Forty three HIV+ adults completed a median of 24 (6–44) months on the study. Defining delta to be the change in a variable between baseline and a follow-up time, longitudinally, on average and after adjusting for change in time, CVD-specific and HIV-specific potential confounding covariates, a 1-log10 increase in delta Porphyromonas gingivalis was associated with a 0.013 mm increase in delta IMT (95% CI: 0.0006–0.0262; p=0.04). After adjusting for the same potential confounding covariates, a 10% increase in delta gingival recession was associated with a 2.3% increase in delta FMD (95% CI: 0.4–4.2; p=0.03). In a cohort of HIV-infected adults, an increase in subgingival Porphyromonas gingivalis, a known periodontal pathogen, was significantly associated with longitudinal increases in IMT, while increased gingival recession, which herein may represent PD resolution, was significantly associated with longitudinal improvement in FMD. In the context of HIV infection, PD may contribute to CVD risk. Intervention studies treating PD may help clarify this association.
doi:10.1089/aid.2010.0320
PMCID: PMC3206743  PMID: 21443451
16.  Sequence Analysis of the Dimerization Initiation Site of Concordant and Discordant Viral Variants Superinfecting HIV Type 1 Patients 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2011;27(11):1231-1235.
Abstract
For HIV recombination to occur, the RNAs from two infecting strains within a cell must dimerize at the dimerization initiation site (DIS). We examined the sequence identity at the DIS (697–731 bp, Hxb2 numbering engine) in patients superinfected with concordant HIV-1 strains and compared them to those with discordant strains. Viral RNA in sequential plasma from four subjects superinfected with subtype-discordant and two subjects superinfected with subtype-concordant HIV-1 strains was extracted, amplified (5′ LTR-early gag: 526–1200 bp, Hxb2 numbering engine), sequenced, and analyzed to determine their compatibility for dimerization in vivo. The concordant viruses infecting the two subjects exhibited identical sequences in the 35-bp-long DIS region while sequences from the discordant viruses revealed single nucleotide changes that were located in the DIS loop (715 bp), its flanking nucleotides (710 bp and 717 bp), and the DIS stem (719 bp). Evidence from in vitro experiments demonstrates that these in vivo changes identified can abolish dimerization and reduce recombination frequency. Therefore, these results revealing differences in the DIS of discordant strains versus the similarity noted for the concordant strains may contribute to the differences in the frequency of recombination in patients superinfected with such HIV-1 variants.
doi:10.1089/aid.2011.0010
PMCID: PMC3206772  PMID: 21453132
17.  Anal Sex, Vaginal Practices, and HIV Incidence in Female Sex Workers in Urban Kenya: Implications for the Development of Intravaginal HIV Prevention Methods 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2011;27(10):1067-1072.
Abstract
Multiple intravaginal HIV prevention methods, including microbicide gels, barriers, and intravaginal rings, are in clinical development in Africa. Development of intravaginal HIV prevention products requires an understanding of sexual behavior, sexually transmitted infection (STI), and vaginitis prevalences, and sexual and vaginal practices in potential target populations. We assessed these factors in a cohort of Kenyan female sex workers (FSW). Women who reported exchanging sex for money/gifts at least three times in the past month and who were HIV uninfected were enrolled and followed for 6 months. STI prevalence and HIV incidence were analyzed by multivariate logistic regression analysis, controlling for demographic and behavioral factors. Thirty-seven percent (74/200) reported having had anal sex. Frequency of anal sex was higher with regular and casual partners than with primary partners. Women were less likely to use condoms for anal sex than for vaginal sex with regular or casual partners. Vaginal washing was universal (100%). HIV incidence was 5.6 per 100 person-years (95% CI 1.62, 11.67). HIV incidence was not associated with any demographic or risk behavior. The relatively high rate of anal sex and universal vaginal washing may complicate both safety and efficacy evaluation of intravaginal products and should be taken into account in trial design. This FSW population had significant HIV incidence and needs continued HIV prevention interventions.
doi:10.1089/aid.2010.0362
PMCID: PMC3186689  PMID: 21406032
18.  Molecular Epidemiology of HIV Type 1 in Singapore and Identification of Novel CRF01_AE/B Recombinant Forms 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2011;27(10):1135-1137.
Abstract
To investigate HIV-1 molecular epidemiology in Singapore, we sequenced portions of three regions of the HIV-1 genome (protease HXB2: 2163 to 2620, gp120 HXB2: 6904 to 7628, and gp41 HXB2: 7817 to 8264) from 212 plasma samples collected between February 2008 and August 2009. From these samples, 109 (51.4%) generated interpretable data in all regions. Sixty-one (56.0%) were identified as CRF01_AE, 26 (23.9%) as subtype B and 14 (12.8%) as possible novel recombinant forms. The main novel recombinant pattern, detected in 13 sequences, had subtype B in protease and gp41 and CRF01_AE in gp120. There was intermixing of subtypes within transmission risk groups. However, 85% of subjects infected with the novel recombinant forms self-identified as men who have sex with men or bisexuals compared with only 41% of individuals infected with CRF01_AE and 62% infected with subtype B (p = 0.001).
doi:10.1089/aid.2010.0364
PMCID: PMC3186691  PMID: 21235306
19.  Specific Pathogen-Free Status Alters Immunophenotype in Rhesus Macaques: Implications for the Study of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2011;27(10):1033-1042.
Abstract
The repertoire of viruses to which research primates are exposed, even in the absence of clinical disease, may contribute to experimental confounding. In this study we examined whether standard specific pathogen-free (SPF) rhesus macaques exposed to a wider spectrum of enzootic viruses and expanded SPF macaques derived to exclude a greater number of viral agents would display alterations in immune activation or immune cell populations. Given the impact of immunophenotype on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) progression and the importance of the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) model for the study of HIV pathogenesis, we elected to additionally examine the impact of SPF status on the capacity of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) to support SIV replication. The expanded SPF group displayed significant immune alterations including increased serum interleukin (IL)-15 and a greater in vitro elaboration of GM-CSF, IL1ra, VEGF, IL-10, IL12/23, and MIP-1b. Consistent with reduced viral antigenic exposure in expanded SPF macaques, decreased CD4+ and CD8+ transitional and effector memory (TEM) cell populations were observed. Expanded SPF PBMC cultures also demonstrated an increased peak (192.61 ng/ml p27) and area under the curve in in vitro SIV production (1968.64 ng/ml p27) when compared to standard SPF macaques (99.32 ng/ml p27; p=0.03 and 915.17 ng/ml p27; p=0.03, respectively). In vitro SIV replication did not correlate with CD4+ TEM cell counts but was highly correlated with serum IL-15 in the subset of animals examined. Findings suggest that an altered immunophenotype associated with the maintenance of primates under differing levels of bioexclusion has the potential to impact the outcome of SIV studies and models for which the measurement of immunologic endpoints is critical.
doi:10.1089/aid.2010.0155
PMCID: PMC3186704  PMID: 21391843
20.  HIV Variability in the Liver and Evidence of Possible Compartmentalization 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2011;27(10):1117-1126.
Abstract
There is growing evidence to suggest that HIV may interact with several hepatic cell types; however, evaluation of HIV variability in liver tissue has not been addressed to date. Among 16 HIV-positive individuals examined, nine (56%) had detectable HIV RNA in the liver. The mean CD4 cell count for these nine individuals was 337 cells/mm3 (range: 0–601), while their mean plasma HIV RNA level was 106,974 copies/ml (range: 1200–320,740). Among individuals in this study with detectable HIV in both the plasma and the liver, the consensus gag nucleotide sequences for each tissue type were different for seven of seven (100%) individuals, while amino acid sequences were distinct for five of seven (71%). Consensus envelope (env) nucleotide and amino acid sequences were also distinct in the plasma and liver tissue for six of six (100%) individuals. Statistical evidence of compartmentalization between HIV in the plasma and in the liver was demonstrated, and multiple liver-specific amino acids were identified that may distinguish HIV variants replicating within the liver. These preliminary data demonstrate that HIV is frequently detectable in the liver of HIV-positive persons at various levels of immunosuppression. Possible compartmentalization may reflect tissue-specific selection pressures that drive viral adaptation to the liver microenvironment and may facilitate interactions with other hepatotropic viruses.
doi:10.1089/aid.2010.0329
PMCID: PMC3186706  PMID: 21417757
21.  Identification of Personal Lubricants That Can Cause Rectal Epithelial Cell Damage and Enhance HIV Type 1 Replication in Vitro 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2011;27(9):1019-1024.
Abstract
Over-the-counter personal lubricants are used frequently during vaginal and anal intercourse, but they have not been extensively tested for biological effects that might influence HIV transmission. We evaluated the in vitro toxicity anti-HIV-1 activity and osmolality of popular lubricants. A total of 41 lubricants were examined and compared to Gynol II and Carraguard as positive and negative controls for toxicity, respectively. Cytotoxicity was assessed using the XTT assay. The MAGI assay with R5 and X4 HIV-1 laboratory strains was used to evaluate antiviral activity. The effect of the lubricants on differentiated Caco-2 cell monolayers (transepithelial electrical resistance, TEER) was also measured. None of the lubricants tested showed significant activity against HIV-1. Surprisingly, four of them, Astroglide Liquid, Astroglide Warming Liquid, Astroglide Glycerin & Paraben-Free Liquid, and Astroglide Silken Secret, significantly enhanced HIV-1 replication (p<0.0001). A common ingredient in three of these preparations is polyquaternium-15. In vitro testing of a chemically related compound (MADQUAT) confirmed that this similarly augmented HIV-1 replication. Most of the lubricants were found to be hyperosmolar and the TEER value dropped approximately 60% 2 h after exposure to all lubricants tested. Cells treated with Carraguard, saline, and cell controls maintained about 100% initial TEER value after 2–6 h. We have identified four lubricants that significantly increase HIV-1 replication in vitro. In addition, the epithelial damage caused by these and many other lubricants may have implications for enhancing HIV transmission in vivo. These data emphasize the importance of performing more rigorous safety testing on these products.
doi:10.1089/aid.2010.0252
PMCID: PMC3161103  PMID: 21309617
22.  The Role of Dynamin in HIV Type 1 Env-Mediated Cell–Cell Fusion 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2011;27(9):1013-1017.
Abstract
HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins are the key viral proteins that mediate HIV-1 entry and cell–cell fusion. In contrast to HIV-1 entry, the mechanism of HIV-1 Env-mediated cell–cell fusion is relatively unclear. This study demonstrated that dynasore, a dynamin inhibitor, suppressed HIV-1 Env-mediated cell–cell fusion. Dynasore sensitivity of HIV-1 Env-mediated cell–cell fusion varied depending on the viral strains. Results from testing a panel of gp41 cytoplasmic tail truncation mutants suggested that the gp41 cytoplasmic tail might play a role in dynasore sensitivity. HIV-1 Env-mediated cell–cell fusion could also be suppressed by a dynamin dominant-negative mutant DNM2(K44A). In summary, these results suggested that dynamin 2 might play a role in HIV-1 Env-mediated cell–cell fusion.
doi:10.1089/aid.2010.0259
PMCID: PMC3161105  PMID: 21338326
23.  Cryptosporidiosis in Rhesus Macaques Challenged During Acute and Chronic Phases of SIV Infection 
Abstract
The intestinal immune dysfunction due to loss of mucosal and peripheral CD4+ T cells in individuals with HIV/AIDS is presumably responsible for the establishment of persistent cryptosporidiosis. Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected macaques were used to investigate the phase/timing in SIV infection, which permits a self-limiting Cryptosporidium parvum infection to become persistent in immunodeficient hosts because of significant mucosal immune defects. Two groups of SIV-infected macaques were challenged with C. parvum; one was challenged during the acute SIV infection phase (2 weeks post-SIV infection) and the second was challenged during the chronic SIV phase (CD4 counts 200–500 cells/μl of blood). Samples (fecal, blood, biopsy, and necropsy) were collected at different time points after infection to correlate the progression of disease with the immune status of the animals. All seven SIV-infected macaques challenged during the acute phase of SIV infection became persistently infected and excreted oocysts for 1–4 months. However, four of the six in the chronic SIV phase became infected with cryptosporidiosis, of which one survived 2 weeks and one became naturally infected. Sequential analysis of CD4+ in blood and intestines of coinfected macaques exhibited pronounced losses of CD4 T cells during the first 2 weeks after SIV infection, followed by transient rebound of CD4 T cells in the gut after C. parvum infection, and then a gradual loss over subsequent months. Persistent cryptosporidiosis was more consistently induced during the acute SIV phase indicating that profound viral damage to gut lymphoid tissue during the acute phase was more conducive, compared with the chronic phase, to establishing persistent cryptosporidiosis than low circulating CD4 T cells.
doi:10.1089/aid.2010.0229
PMCID: PMC3161110  PMID: 21314434
24.  Rapid Development of Antiretroviral Drug Resistance Mutations in HIV-Infected Children Less Than Two Years of Age Initiating Protease Inhibitor-Based Therapy in South Africa 
Abstract
Data on the development of antiretroviral drug resistance in HIV-1-infected children receiving protease inhibitor (PI)-based antiretroviral therapy (ART) are limited. We examined antiretroviral resistance among a cohort of 323 South African HIV-infected children <2 years old exposed to nevirapine for prevention of mother-to-child transmission. Ritonavir (RTV) was used initially for 138 children who were <6 months old or receiving antimycobacterial therapy; otherwise children received lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r)-based ART. HIV-1 population sequencing of the pol gene was conducted on all pretreatment samples and on posttreatment samples for children who did not achieve HIV-1 plasma RNA <400 copies/ml by 52 weeks. Among children in the cohort, 38 died, 22 had <24 weeks follow-up, 209 achieved virologic suppression, and 54 did not. Of 41 children without virologic suppression with posttreatment HIV genotype data available, major resistance mutations were found in 32 (78%): 14 (36%) had PI mutations including V82A, M46I, and L90M; 29 (71%) had M184V/I; and three had NNRTI mutations (K103N, Y181C, and G190A). Among the children who did not achieve virologic suppression, none of the seven children treated exclusively with LPV/r developed PI-related mutations, compared with 14 of 32 (44%) who received RTV-based regimens (p=0.036); PI genotypes were unavailable for two children. Seventy-eight percent of children without virologic suppression developed resistance mutations that impact second-line ART options. Only children who received RTV-based ART developed major PI-related resistance mutations, and use of this regimen should be avoided.
doi:10.1089/aid.2010.0205
PMCID: PMC3161115  PMID: 21345162
25.  The Role of Toxicity-Related Regimen Changes in the Development of Antiretroviral Resistance 
Abstract
In an effort to evaluate factors associated with the development of antiretroviral (ARV) resistance, we assessed the prevalence of toxicity-related regimen changes and modeled its association to the subsequent development of ARV resistance in a cohort of treatment-naive individuals initiating ARV therapy (ART). A retrospective analysis of patients initiating ART was conducted at the UAB 1917 Clinic from 1 January 2000 to 30 September 2007. Cox proportional hazards models were fit to identify factors associated with the development of resistance to ≥1 ARV drug class. Among 462 eligible participants, 14% (n=64) developed ARV resistance. Individuals with ≥1 toxicity-related regimen change (HR=3.94, 95% CI=1.09–14.21), initiating ART containing ddI or d4T (4.12, 1.19–14.26), and from a minority race (2.91, 1.16–7.28) had increased risk of developing resistance. Achieving virologic suppression within 12 months of ART initiation (0.10, 0.05–0.20) and higher pretreatment CD4 count (0.85 per 50 cells/mm3, 0.75–0.96) were associated with decreased hazards of resistance. Changes in ART due to drug intolerance were associated with the subsequent development of ARV resistance. Understanding the role of ARV drug selection and other factors associated with the emergence of ARV resistance will help inform interventions to improve patient care and ensure long-term treatment success.
doi:10.1089/aid.2010.0291
PMCID: PMC3192056  PMID: 21342052

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