HIV-1 broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) develop in a subset of infected adults and exhibit high levels of somatic hypermutation (SHM) due to years of affinity maturation. There is no precedent for eliciting highly mutated antibodies by vaccination, nor is it practical to wait years for a desired response. Infants develop broad responses early, which may suggest a more direct path to generating bnAbs. Here, we isolated ten neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) contributing to plasma breadth of an infant at ∼1 year post-infection, including one with cross-clade breadth. The nAbs bind to envelope trimer from the transmitted virus, suggesting that this interaction may have initiated development of the infant nAbs. The infant cross-clade bnAb targets the N332 supersite on envelope but, unlike adult bnAbs targeting this site, lacks indels and has low SHM. The identification of this infant bnAb illustrates that HIV-1-specific neutralization breadth can develop without prolonged affinity maturation and extensive SHM.
In nonhealthcare settings, widespread screening for acute human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection (AHI) is limited by cost and decision algorithms to better prioritize use of resources. Comparative cost analyses for available strategies are lacking.
To determine cost-effectiveness of community-based testing strategies, we evaluated annual costs of 3 algorithms that detect AHI based on HIV nucleic acid amplification testing (EarlyTest algorithm) or on HIV p24 antigen (Ag) detection via Architect (Architect algorithm) or Determine (Determine algorithm) as well as 1 algorithm that relies on HIV antibody testing alone (Antibody algorithm). The cost model used data on men who have sex with men (MSM) undergoing community-based AHI screening in San Diego, California. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) per diagnosis of AHI were calculated for programs with HIV prevalence rates between 0.1% and 2.9%.
Among MSM in San Diego, EarlyTest was cost-savings (ie, ICERs per AHI diagnosis less than $13.000) when compared with the 3 other algorithms. Cost analyses relative to regional HIV prevalence showed that EarlyTest was cost-effective (ie, ICERs less than $69.547) for similar populations of MSM with an HIV prevalence rate >0.4%; Architect was the second best alternative for HIV prevalence rates >0.6%.
Identification of AHI by the dual EarlyTest screening algorithm is likely to be cost-effective not only among at-risk MSM in San Diego but also among similar populations of MSM with HIV prevalence rates >0.4%.
HIV cure efforts are hampered by limited characterization of the cells supporting HIV replication in vivo and inadequate methods for quantifying the latent viral reservoir in patients receiving antiretroviral therapy. We combine fluorescent in situ RNA hybridization with detection of HIV protein and flow cytometry, enabling detection of 0.5-1 gag-pol mRNA(+)/Gag protein(+)-infected cells per million. In the peripheral blood of untreated persons, active HIV replication correlated with viremia and occurred in CD4 T cells expressing T follicular helper cell markers and inhibitory co-receptors. In virally suppressed subjects, the approach identified latently infected cells capable of producing HIV mRNA and protein after stimulation with PMA/ionomycin and latency-reversing agents (LRAs). While ingenol-induced reactivation mirrored the effector and central/transitional memory CD4 T cell contribution to the pool of integrated HIV DNA, bryostatin-induced reactivation occurred predominantly in cells expressing effector memory markers. This indicates that CD4 T cell differentiation status differentially affects LRA effectiveness.
Housing instability has been linked to HIV risk behaviors. Many studies have focused on the implications of one's housing structure or lack thereof. This study focuses on residential transience as an additional dimension of housing instability. Specifically, we assessed the associations between transience and four HIV risk behaviors. Transience was defined as moving twice or more in the past six months. Multivariate analyses of a sample of current injectors (n = 807) indicated that transience had an independent effect on HIV risk behaviors. Transient individuals were more likely to share needles and go to a shooting gallery than non-transient individuals. Transience was not associated with exchanging sex or having multiple sex partners when homelessness was included in the models. Further examination of the association between housing and HIV should consider the role of transience. Interventions that promote housing stability among IDUs and address HIV risk during times of instability are needed.
Functional impairment of T cells is characteristic of many chronic mouse and human viral infections. The inhibitory receptor programmed death 1 (PD-1; also known as PDCD1), a negative regulator of activated T cells, is markedly upregulated on the surface of exhausted virus-specific CD8 T cells in mice. Blockade of this pathway using antibodies against the PD ligand 1 (PD-L1, also known as CD274) restores CD8 T-cell function and reduces viral load. To investigate the role of PD-1 in a chronic human viral infection, we examined PD-1 expression on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-specific CD8 T cells in 71 clade-C-infected people who were naive to anti-HIV treatments, using ten major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I tetramers specific for frequently targeted epitopes. Here we report that PD-1 is significantly upregulated on these cells, and expression correlates with impaired HIV-specific CD8 T-cell function as well as predictors of disease progression: positively with plasma viral load and inversely with CD4 T-cell count. PD-1 expression on CD4 T cells likewise showed a positive correlation with viral load and an inverse correlation with CD4 T-cell count, and blockade of the pathway augmented HIV-specific CD4 and CD8 T-cell function. These data indicate that the immunoregulatory PD-1/PD-L1 pathway is operative during a persistent viral infection in humans, and define a reversible defect in HIV-specific T-cell function. Moreover, this pathway of reversible T-cell impairment provides a potential target for enhancing the function of exhausted T cells in chronic HIV infection.
Inadequate local cell-mediated immunity appears crucial for the establishment of chronic HIV infection. Accumulation of regulatory T cells (Treg) at the site of HIV replication, the lymphoid organs, may influence the outcome of HIV infection. Our data provide the first evidence that chronic HIV infection changes Treg tissue distribution. Several molecules characteristics of Treg (FoxP3, CTLA-4, glucocorticoid-induced TNFR family-related receptor, and CD25) were expressed more in tonsils of untreated patients compared with antiretroviral-treated patients. Importantly, most FoxP3+ cells expressed CTLA-4, but not CD69. Furthermore, a direct correlation between FoxP3 levels and viral load was evident. In contrast, FoxP3 expression was decreased in circulating T cells from untreated patients, but normalized after initiation of treatment. Functional markers of Treg activity (indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase, TGF-beta, and CD80) were markedly increased in the tonsils of untreated patients. Our data could provide a new basis for immune-based therapies that counteract in vivo Treg and thereby reinforce appropriate antiviral immunity.
Although antiretroviral therapy has the ability to fully restore a normal CD4(+) cell count (>500 cells/mm(3)) in most patients, it is not yet clear whether all patients can achieve normalization of their CD4(+) cell count, in part because no study has followed up patients for >7 years.
Three hundred sixty-six patients from 5 clinical cohorts who maintained a plasma human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) RNA level 1000 copies/mL for at least 4 years after initiation of antiretroviral therapy were included. Changes in CD4(+) cell count were evaluated using mixed-effects modeling, spline-smoothing regression, and Kaplan-Meier techniques.
The majority (83%) of the patients were men. The median CD4(+) cell count at the time of therapy initiation was 201 cells/mm(3) (interquartile range, 72-344 cells/mm(3)), and the median age was 47 years. The median follow-up period was 7.5 years (interquartile range, 5.5-9.7 years). CD4(+) cell counts continued to increase throughout the follow-up period, albeit slowly after year 4. Although almost all patients (95%) who started therapy with a CD4(+) cell count 300 cells/mm(3) were able to attain a CD4(+) cell count 500 cells/mm(3), 44% of patients who started therapy with a CD4(+) cell count <100 cells/mm(3) and 25% of patients who started therapy with a CD4(+) cell count of 100-200 cells/mm(3) were unable to achieve a CD4(+) cell count >500 cells/mm(3) over a mean duration of follow-up of 7.5 years; many did not reach this threshold by year 10. Twenty-four percent of individuals with a CD4(+) cell count <500 cells/mm(3) at year 4 had evidence of a CD4(+) cell count plateau after year 4. The frequency of detectable viremia ("blips") after year 4 was not associated with the magnitude of the CD4(+) cell count change.
A substantial proportion of patients who delay therapy until their CD4(+) cell count decreases to <200 cells/mm(3) do not achieve a normal CD4(+) cell count, even after a decade of otherwise effective antiretroviral therapy. Although the majority of patients have evidence of slow increases in their CD4(+) cell count over time, many do not. These individuals may have an elevated risk of non-AIDS-related morbidity and mortality.
Although several virologic and immunologic factors associated with an increased risk of perinatal human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) transmission have been described, the mechanism of mother-to-child transmission is still unclear. More specifically, the question of whether selective pressures influence the transmission remains unanswered. The aim of this study was to assess the genetic diversity of the transmitted virus after in utero transmission and after peripartum transmission and to compare the viral heterogeneity in the child with the viral heterogeneity in the mother. To allow a very accurate characterization of the viral heterogeneity in a single sample, limiting-dilution sequencing of a 1016-bp fragment of the env gene was performed. Thirteen children were tested, including 6 with in utero infections and 7 with peripartum infections. Samples were taken the day after birth and at the ages of 6 and 14 weeks. A homogeneous virus population was seen in six (46.2%) infants, of whom two were infected in utero and four were infected peripartum. A more heterogeneous virus population was detected in seven infants (53.8%), four infected in utero and three infected peripartum. The phylogenetic trees of the mother-child pairs presented a whole range of different tree topologies and showed infection of the child by one or more maternal variants. In conclusion, after HIV-1 transmission from mother to child a heterogeneous virus population was detected in approximately one-half of the children examined. Heterogeneous virus populations were found after peripartum infection as well as after in utero infection. Phylogenetic tree topologies argue against selection processes as the major mechanism driving mother-to-child transmission but support the hypothesis that virus variability is mainly driven by the inoculum level and/or exposure time.
To test the hypothesis that beta-chemokine levels may be relevant to the control of HIV in vivo, we compared RANTES, MIP-1alpha, and MIP-1beta production from purified CD8(+) T cells from 81 HIV-infected subjects and from 28 uninfected donors. Asymptomatic HIV(+) subjects produced significantly higher levels of MIP-1alpha and MIP-1beta, but not RANTES, than uninfected donors or patients that progressed to AIDS. In contrast, beta chemokines in plasma were either nondetectable or showed no correlation with clinical status. The high beta-chemokine-mediated anti-HIV activity was against the macrophage tropic isolate HIV-1(BAL), with no demonstrable effect on the replication of the T-cell tropic HIV-1(IIIB). These findings suggest that constitutive beta-chemokine production may play an important role in the outcome of HIV-1 infection.
Depletion of CD4+ T cells from the gut occurs rapidly during acute HIV-1 infection. This has been linked to systemic inflammation and disease progression as a result of translocation of microbial products from the gut lumen into the bloodstream. Combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) substantially restores CD4+ T cell numbers in peripheral blood, but the gut compartment remains largely depleted of such cells for poorly understood reasons. Here, we show that a lack of recruitment of CD4+ T cells to the gut could be involved in the incomplete mucosal immune reconstitution of cART-treated HIV-infected individuals. We investigated the trafficking of CD4+ T cells expressing the gut-homing receptors CCR9 and integrin α4β7 and found that many of these T cells remained in the circulation rather than repopulating the mucosa of the small intestine. This is likely because expression of the CCR9 ligand CCL25 was lower in the small intestine of HIV-infected individuals. The defective gut homing of CCR9+β7+ CD4+ T cells - a population that we found included most gut-homing Th17 cells, which have a critical role in mucosal immune defense - correlated with high plasma concentrations of markers of mucosal damage, microbial translocation, and systemic T cell activation. Our results thus describe alterations in CD4+ T cell homing to the gut that could prevent efficient mucosal immune reconstitution in HIV-infected individuals despite effective cART.
Potent combinations of antiretroviral drugs diminish the turnover of CD4+ T lymphocytes productively infected with HIV-1 and reduce the large pool of virions deposited in lymphoid tissue (LT). To determine to what extent suppression of viral replication and reduction in viral antigens in LT might lead correspondingly to repopulation of the immune system, we characterized CD4+ T lymphocyte populations in LT in which we previously had quantitated viral load and turnover of infected cells before and after treatment. We directly measured by quantitative image analysis changes in total CD4+ T cell counts, the CD45RA+ subset, and fractions of proliferating or apoptotic CD4+ T cells. Compared with normal controls, we documented decreased numbers of CD4+ T cells and increased proliferation and apoptosis. After treatment, proliferation returned to normal levels, and total CD4+ T and CD45RA+ cells increased. We discuss the effects of HIV-1 on this subset based on the concept that renewal mechanisms in the adult are operating at full capacity before infection and cannot meet the additional demand imposed by the loss of productively infected cells. The slow increases in the CD45RA+ CD4+ T cells are consistent with the optimistic conclusions that (i) renewal mechanisms have not been damaged irreparably even at relatively advanced stages of infection and (ii) CD4+ T cell populations can be partially restored by control of active replication without eradication of HIV-1.
The biologically relevant form of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) envelope (Env) glycoprotein is oligomeric, with the major points of contact between oligomeric partners located in the ectodomain of gp41. To identify and map conserved epitopes and regions in gp41 where structure is influenced by quaternary interactions, we used a panel of 38 conformation-dependent and 9 conformation-independent anti-gp41 monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) produced by immunization of mice with oligomeric Env protein. By cross-competition experiments using these MAbs and several others previously described, six distinct antigenic determinants were identified and mapped. Three of these determinants are conformational in nature and dependent in part on Env oligomeric structure. MAbs to two of these determinants were broadly cross-reactive with Env proteins derived from primary virus strains. The prevalence of antibodies in HIV-1-positive human sera to the antigenic determinants was determined by the ability of such sera to block binding of MAbs to Env protein. Strong blocking activity that correlated with cross-reactivity was found.
Natural killer (NK) cells are an important component of the innate immune response against viral infections. NK cell-mediated cytolytic activity is defective in HIV-infected individuals with high levels of viral replication. In the present study, we examined the phenotypic and functional characteristics of an unusual CD56(-)/CD16(+) (CD56(-)) NK subset that is greatly expanded in HIV-viremic individuals. The higher level of expression of inhibitory NK receptors and the lower level of expression of natural cytotoxicity receptors observed in the CD56(-) NK fraction compared with that of CD56(+) NK cells was associated with extremely poor in vitro cytotoxic function of this subset. In addition, the secretion of certain cytokines known to be important in initiating antiviral immune responses was markedly reduced in the CD56(-), as compared with the CD56(+) NK cell subset. These data suggest that the expansion of this highly dysfunctional CD56(-) NK cell subset in HIV-viremic individuals largely accounts for the impaired function of the total NK cell population.
APOBEC3F (apolipoprotein B mRNA-editing enzyme catalytic polypeptide 1-like protein 3F) is a cytidine deaminase that, like APOBEC3G, is able to restrict the replication of HIV-1/delta vif. Initial studies revealed high numbers of mutations in the cDNA of viruses produced in the presence of these proteins, suggesting that cytidine deamination underpinned the inhibition of infection. However, we have recently shown that catalytically inactive APOBEC3G proteins, derived through mutation of the C-terminal cytidine deaminase motif, still exert a substantial antiviral effect. Here, we have generated a panel of APOBEC3F mutant proteins and show that the C-terminal cytidine deaminase motif is essential for catalytic activity and that catalytic activity is not necessary for the antiviral effect of APOBEC3F. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the antiviral activities of wild-type and catalytically inactive APOBEC3F and APOBEC3G proteins correspond well with reductions in the accumulation of viral reverse transcription products. Additional comparisons between APOBEC3F and APOBEC3G suggest that the loss of deaminase activity is more detrimental to APOBEC3G function than to APOBEC3F function, as reflected by perturbations to the suppression of reverse transcript accumulation as well as antiviral activity. Taken together, these data suggest that both APOBEC3F and APOBEC3G are able to function as antiviral factors in the absence of cytidine deamination, that this editing-independent activity is an important aspect of APOBEC protein-mediated antiviral phenotypes, but that APOBEC3F may be a better model in which to study it.
The aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI), a tool with limited expense and widespread availability, is a promising noninvasive alternative to liver biopsy for detecting hepatic fibrosis. The objective of this study was to update the 2007 meta-analysis to systematically assess the accuracy of APRI in predicting significant fibrosis, severe fibrosis, and cirrhosis stage in hepatitis C virus (HCV) monoinfected and HCV / human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) coinfected individuals. Studies comparing APRI versus biopsy in HCV patients were identified via a thorough literature search. Areas under summary receiver operating characteristic curves (AUROC), sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) were used to examine the APRI accuracy for the diagnosis of significant fibrosis, severe fibrosis, and cirrhosis. Heterogeneity was explored using meta-regression. Twenty-one additional studies were eligible for the update and, in total, 40 studies were included in this review (n = 8,739). The summary AUROC of the APRI for the diagnosis of significant fibrosis, severe fibrosis, and cirrhosis were 0.77, 0.80, and 0.83, respectively. For significant fibrosis, an APRI threshold of 0.7 was 77% sensitive and 72% specific. For severe fibrosis, a threshold of 1.0 was 61% sensitive and 64% specific. For cirrhosis, a threshold of 1.0 was 76% sensitive and 72% specific. Moreover, we found that the APRI was less accurate for the identification of significant fibrosis, severe fibrosis, and cirrhosis in HIV/HCV coinfected patients.
Our large meta-analysis suggests that APRI can identify hepatitis C-related fibrosis with a moderate degree of accuracy. Application of this index may decrease the need for staging liver biopsy specimens among chronic hepatitis C patients.
Effective strategies are urgently needed to reduce mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) through breast-feeding in resource-limited settings.
Women with HIV-1 infection who were breast-feeding infants were enrolled in a randomized, phase 3 trial in Blantyre, Malawi. At birth, the infants were randomly assigned to one of three regimens: single-dose nevirapine plus 1 week of zidovudine (control regimen) or the control regimen plus daily extended prophylaxis either with nevirapine (extended nevirapine) or with nevirapine plus zidovudine (extended dual prophylaxis) until the age of 14 weeks. Using Kaplan-Meier analyses, we assessed the risk of HIV-1 infection among infants who were HIV-1-negative on DNA polymerase-chain-reaction assay at birth.
Among 3016 infants in the study, the control group had consistently higher rates of HIV-1 infection from the age of 6 weeks through 18 months. At 9 months, the estimated rate of HIV-1 infection (the primary end point) was 10.6% in the control group, as compared with 5.2% in the extended-nevirapine group (P<0.001) and 6.4% in the extended-dual-prophylaxis group (P=0.002). There were no significant differences between the two extended-prophylaxis groups. The frequency of breast-feeding did not differ significantly among the study groups. Infants receiving extended dual prophylaxis had a significant increase in the number of adverse events (primarily neutropenia) that were deemed to be possibly related to a study drug.
Extended prophylaxis with nevirapine or with nevirapine and zidovudine for the first 14 weeks of life significantly reduced postnatal HIV-1 infection in 9-month-old infants. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00115648.)
Postnatal transmission of human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV) via breastfeeding reverses gains achieved by perinatal antiretroviral interventions.
To compare the efficacy and safety of 2 infant feeding strategies for the prevention of postnatal mother-to-child HIV transmission.
A 2 x 2 factorial randomized clinical trial with peripartum (single-dose nevirapine vs placebo) and postpartum infant feeding (formula vs breastfeeding with infant zidovudine prophylaxis) interventions. In Botswana between March 27, 2001, and October 29, 2003, 1200 HIV-positive pregnant women were randomized from 4 district hospitals. Infants were evaluated at birth, monthly until age 7 months, at age 9 months, then every third month through age 18 months.
All of the mothers received zidovudine 300 mg orally twice daily from 34 weeks' gestation and during labor. Mothers and infants were randomized to receive single-dose nevirapine or placebo. Infants were randomized to 6 months of breastfeeding plus prophylactic infant zidovudine (breastfed plus zidovudine), or formula feeding plus 1 month of infant zidovudine (formula fed).
Primary efficacy (HIV infection by age 7 months and HIV-free survival by age 18 months) and safety (occurrence of infant adverse events by 7 months of age) end points were evaluated in 1179 infants.
The 7-month HIV infection rates were 5.6% (32 infants in the formula-fed group) vs 9.0% (51 infants in the breastfed plus zidovudine group) (P = .04; 95% confidence interval for difference, -6.4% to -0.4%). Cumulative mortality or HIV infection rates at 18 months were 80 infants (13.9%, formula fed) vs 86 infants (15.1% breastfed plus zidovudine) (P = .60; 95% confidence interval for difference, -5.3% to 2.9%). Cumulative infant mortality at 7 months was significantly higher for the formula-fed group than for the breastfed plus zidovudine group (9.3% vs 4.9%; P = .003), but this difference diminished beyond month 7 such that the time-to-mortality distributions through age 18 months were not significantly different (P = .21).
Breastfeeding with zidovudine prophylaxis was not as effective as formula feeding in preventing postnatal HIV transmission, but was associated with a lower mortality rate at 7 months. Both strategies had comparable HIV-free survival at 18 months. These results demonstrate the risk of formula feeding to infants in sub-Saharan Africa, and the need for studies of alternative strategies.
clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00197587.
Human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) integrase is one of the three virally encoded enzymes required for replication and therefore a rational target for chemotherapeutic intervention in the treatment of HIV-1 infection. We report here the discovery of Raltegravir, the first HIV-integrase inhibitor approved by FDA for the treatment of HIV infection. It derives from the evolution of 5,6-dihydroxypyrimidine-4-carboxamides and N-methyl-4-hydroxypyrimidinone-carboxamides, which exhibited potent inhibition of the HIV-integrase catalyzed strand transfer process. Structural modifications on these molecules were made in order to maximize potency as HIV-integrase inhibitors against the wild type virus, a selection of mutants, and optimize the selectivity, pharmacokinetic, and metabolic profiles in preclinical species. The good profile of Raltegravir has enabled its progression toward the end of phase III clinical trials for the treatment of HIV-1 infection and culminated with the FDA approval as the first HIV-integrase inhibitor for the treatment of HIV-1 infection.
Neutralizing antibodies are likely to play a crucial part in a preventative HIV-1 vaccine. Although efforts to elicit broadly cross-neutralizing (BCN) antibodies by vaccination have been unsuccessful, a minority of individuals naturally develop these antibodies after many years of infection. How such antibodies arise, and the role of viral evolution in shaping these responses, is unknown. Here we show, in two HIV-1-infected individuals who developed BCN antibodies targeting the glycan at Asn332 on the gp120 envelope, that this glycan was absent on the initial infecting virus. However, this BCN epitope evolved within 6 months, through immune escape from earlier strain-specific antibodies that resulted in a shift of a glycan to position 332. Both viruses that lacked the glycan at amino acid 332 were resistant to the Asn332-dependent BCN monoclonal antibody PGT128 (ref. 8), whereas escaped variants that acquired this glycan were sensitive. Analysis of large sequence and neutralization data sets showed the 332 glycan to be significantly under-represented in transmitted subtype C viruses compared to chronic viruses, with the absence of this glycan corresponding with resistance to PGT128. These findings highlight the dynamic interplay between early antibodies and viral escape in driving the evolution of conserved BCN antibody epitopes.