Virus population homogenization following acute human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection.
ABSTRACT: Understanding the properties of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) variants capable of establishing infection is critical to the development of a vaccine against AIDS. Previous studies of men have shown that the HIV-1 env gene is homogeneous early in infection, leading to the suggestion that infection is established by a single transmitted variant. However, we report here that all of eight homosexual men evaluated beginning 3.7 to 9 weeks following onset of symptoms of acute infection harbored diverse virus populations in their blood, with median genetic distances averaging 1.08% in the env C2V5 region and 0.81% in the gag p17 gene. Within another 4.7 to 11 weeks, the variant lineage in env became more homogeneous, while gag sequences continued to diversify. Thus, the homogenization that has been reported to characterize acute infection is actually preceded by the replication of multiple virus variants. This early selective process focuses on viral properties within Env but not Gag p17. Hence, the viral homogeneity observed early in HIV-1 infection results from a selective process that occurs during the establishment of infection.
Project description:Viral RNA was extracted from plasma samples collected from five individuals during the period of viremia before seroconversion in primary infection with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and amplified by polymerase chain reaction. Nucleotide sequence analysis of amplified DNA from the V3 and V4 hypervariable regions indicated that the initial virus population of each acutely infected individual was completely homogeneous in sequence. No intrasample variability was found among the 44,090 nucleotides sequenced in this region of env, contrasting with the high degree of variability normally found in seropositive individuals. Paradoxically, substantial sequence variability was found in the normally high conserved gag gene (encoding p17) in most of the preseroconversion samples. The diversity of p17 sequences in samples that were homogeneous in V3 and V4 can most readily be explained by the existence of strong selection for specific env sequences either upon transmission or in the interval between exposure and seroconversion in the exposed individual. Evidence that localizes the selected region upon transmission to V3 is provided by the similarity or identity of V3 loop sequences in five individuals with epidemiologically unrelated HIV-1 infections, while regions flanking the V3 loop and the V4 hypervariable region were highly divergent. The actual V3 sequences were similar to those associated with macrophage tropism in primary isolates of HIV, irrespective of whether infection was acquired by sexual contact or parenterally through transfusion of contaminated factor VIII. Proviral DNA sequences in peripheral blood mononuclear cells remained homogeneous in the V3 and V4 regions (and variable in p17gag) for several months after seroconversion. The persistence of HIV sequences in peripheral blood mononuclear cells identical to those found at primary infection in the absence of continued virus expression provides an explanation for the previously observed differences in the composition of circulating DNA and RNA populations in sequential samples from seropositive individuals.
Project description:It has been suggested that immune-pressure-mediated positive selection operates to maintain the antigenic polymorphism on the third variable (V3) loop of the gp120 of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Here we present evidence, on the basis of sequencing 147 independently cloned env C2/V3 segments from a single family (father, mother, and their child), that the intensity of positive selection is related to the V3 lineage. Phylogenetic analysis and amino acid comparison of env C2/V3 and gag p17/24 regions indicated that a single HIV-1 subtype E source had infected the family. The analyses of unique env C2/V3 clones revealed that two V3 lineage groups had evolved in the parents. Group 1 was maintained with low variation in all three family members regardless of the clinical state or the length of infection, whereas group 2 was only present in symptomatic individuals and was more positively charged and diverse than group 1. Only virus isolates carrying the group 2 V3 sequences infected and induced syncytia in MT2 cells, a transformed CD4(+)-T-cell line. A statistically significant excess of nonsynonymous substitutions versus synonymous substitutions was demonstrated only for the group 2 V3 region. The data suggest that HIV-1 variants, possessing the more homogeneous group 1 V3 element and exhibiting the non-syncytium-inducing phenotype, persist in infected individuals independent of clinical status and appear to be more resistant to positive selection pressure.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:In April 2004, 13 susceptible women were exposed to a single acutely HIV-1-infected man while employed to perform various sex acts for the production of adult films; three women were subsequently found to have acquired HIV infection (23% attack rate). As part of the investigation of this infection cluster, we evaluated whether viral strains collected from infected individuals were significantly related. METHODS:We determined nucleotide sequences from the C2V3C3 and gp41 region of env and the p17 region of gag in viruses from the three infected individuals from whom specimens were available. We then compared these sequences phylogenetically to comparable sequences from available reference strains. Genotypic and phenotypic antiretroviral drug resistance was determined for plasma virus from the male index case and one female contact at a separate commercial laboratory. RESULTS:The env and gag sequences of the HIV strains from the male index case and two of the infected women were 100% similar. Genotyping of the male index case's virus identified 12 mutations, which represented known naturally occurring polymorphisms in the subtype B consensus sequence that are not associated with antiretroviral drug resistance. Genotyping of the virus from the female contact identified 10 mutations, all of which were shared by the virus from the male index case. Phenotyping demonstrated that both viruses were susceptible to all antiretroviral drugs tested. CONCLUSION:Molecular and virological data strongly support the epidemiological conclusion that these women were infected with an identical strain of HIV through occupational exposure to an individual with an acute HIV infection.
Project description:The human immune deficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) matrix protein p17 (p17), although devoid of a signal sequence, is released by infected cells and detected in blood and in different organs and tissues even in HIV-1-infected patients undergoing successful combined antiretroviral therapy (cART). Extracellularly, p17 deregulates the function of different cells involved in AIDS pathogenesis. The mechanism of p17 secretion, particularly during HIV-1 latency, still remains to be elucidated. A recent study showed that HIV-1-infected cells can produce Gag without spreading infection in a model of viral latency. Here we show that in Gag-expressing cells, secretion of biologically active p17 takes place at the plasma membrane and occurs following its interaction with phosphatidylinositol-(4,5)-bisphosphate and its subsequent cleavage from the precursor Gag (Pr55<sup>Gag</sup>) operated by cellular aspartyl proteases. These enzymes operate a more complex Gag polypeptide proteolysis than the HIV-1 protease, thus hypothetically generating slightly truncated or elongated p17s in their C-terminus. A 17 C-terminal residues excised p17 was found to be structurally and functionally identical to the full-length p17 demonstrating that the final C-terminal region of p17 is irrelevant for the protein's biological activity. These findings offer new opportunities to identify treatment strategies for inhibiting p17 release in the extracellular microenvironment.
Project description:BACKGROUND: We conducted molecular analyses to confirm four clustering HIV-1 infections (Patient A, B, C & D) in Guangzhou, China. These cases were identified by epidemiological investigation and suspected to acquire the infection through a common heterosexual transmission chain. METHODS: Env C2V3V4 region, gag p17/p24 junction and partial pol gene of HIV-1 genome from serum specimens of these infected cases were amplified by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and nucleotide sequenced. RESULTS: Phylogenetic analyses indicated that their viral nucleotide sequences were significantly clustered together (bootstrap value is 99%, 98% and 100% in env, gag and pol tree respectively). Evolutionary distance analysis indicated that their genetic diversities of env, gag and pol genes were significantly lower than non-clustered controls, as measured by unpaired t-test (env gene comparison: p < 0.005; gag gene comparison: p < 0.005; pol gene comparison: p < 0.005). CONCLUSION: Epidemiological results and molecular analyses consistently illustrated these four cases represented a transmission chain which dispersed in the locality through heterosexual contact involving commercial sex worker.
Project description:The generation of vaccines against HIV/AIDS able to induce long-lasting protective immunity remains a major goal in the HIV field. The modest efficacy (31.2%) against HIV infection observed in the RV144 phase III clinical trial highlighted the need for further improvement of HIV vaccine candidates, formulation, and vaccine regimen. In this study, we have generated two novel NYVAC vectors, expressing HIV-1 clade C gp140(ZM96) (NYVAC-gp140) or Gag(ZM96)-Pol-Nef(CN54) (NYVAC-Gag-Pol-Nef), and defined their virological and immunological characteristics in cultured cells and in mice. The insertion of HIV genes does not affect the replication capacity of NYVAC recombinants in primary chicken embryo fibroblast cells, HIV sequences remain stable after multiple passages, and HIV antigens are correctly expressed and released from cells, with Env as a trimer (NYVAC-gp140), while in NYVAC-Gag-Pol-Nef-infected cells Gag-induced virus-like particles (VLPs) are abundant. Electron microscopy revealed that VLPs accumulated with time at the cell surface, with no interference with NYVAC morphogenesis. Both vectors trigger specific innate responses in human cells and show an attenuation profile in immunocompromised adult BALB/c and newborn CD1 mice after intracranial inoculation. Analysis of the immune responses elicited in mice after homologous NYVAC prime/NYVAC boost immunization shows that recombinant viruses induced polyfunctional Env-specific CD4 or Gag-specific CD8 T cell responses. Antibody responses against gp140 and p17/p24 were elicited. Our findings showed important insights into virus-host cell interactions of NYVAC vectors expressing HIV antigens, with the activation of specific immune parameters which will help to unravel potential correlates of protection against HIV in human clinical trials with these vectors.We have generated two novel NYVAC-based HIV vaccine candidates expressing HIV-1 clade C trimeric soluble gp140 (ZM96) and Gag(ZM96)-Pol-Nef(CN54) as VLPs. These vectors are stable and express high levels of both HIV-1 antigens. Gag-induced VLPs do not interfere with NYVAC morphogenesis, are highly attenuated in immunocompromised and newborn mice after intracranial inoculation, trigger specific innate immune responses in human cells, and activate T (Env-specific CD4 and Gag-specific CD8) and B cell immune responses to the HIV antigens, leading to high antibody titers against gp140. For these reasons, these vectors can be considered vaccine candidates against HIV/AIDS and currently are being tested in macaques and humans.
Project description:Evidence for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) superinfection was sought among 37 HIV-1-positive street-recruited active injection drug users (IDUs) from the San Francisco Bay area. HIV-1 sequences from pairs of samples collected 1 to 12 years apart, spanning a total of 215 years of exposure, were generated at p17 gag, the V3-V5 region of env, and/or the first exon of tat and phylogenetically analyzed. No evidence of HIV-1 superinfection was detected in which a highly divergent HIV-1 variant emerged at a frequency >20% of the serum viral quasispecies. Based on the reported risk behavior of the IDUs and the HIV-1 incidence in uninfected subjects in the same cohort, a total of 3.4 new infections would have been expected if existing infection conferred no protection from superinfection. Adjusted for risk behaviors, the estimated relative risk of superinfection compared with initial infection was therefore 0.0 (95% confidence interval, 0.00, 0.79; P = 0.02), indicating that existing infection conferred a statistically significant level of protection against superinfection with an HIV-1 strain of the same subtype, which was between 21 and 100%.
Project description:BACKGROUND:We conducted a phase I/II randomized placebo-controlled trial with the aim of exploring whether priming with a low intradermal dose of a multiclade, multigene HIV-1 DNA vaccine could improve the immunogenicity of the same vaccine given intramuscularly prior to boosting with a heterologous HIV-1 MVA among healthy adults in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. METHODS:Sixty HIV-uninfected volunteers were randomized to receive DNA plasmid vaccine 1mg intradermally (id), n=20, or 3.8mg intramuscularly (im), n=20, or placebo, n=20, using a needle-free injection device. DNA plasmids encoding HIV-1 genes gp160 subtype A, B, C; rev B; p17/p24 gag A, B and Rtmut B were given at weeks 0, 4 and 12. Recombinant MVA (10(8)pfu) expressing HIV-1 Env, Gag, Pol of CRF01_AE or placebo was administered im at month 9 and 21. RESULTS:The vaccines were well tolerated. Two weeks after the third HIV-DNA injection, 22/38 (58%) vaccinees had IFN-? ELISpot responses to Gag. Two weeks after the first HIV-MVA boost all 35 (100%) vaccinees responded to Gag and 31 (89%) to Env. Two to four weeks after the second HIV-MVA boost, 28/29 (97%) vaccinees had IFN-? ELISpot responses, 27 (93%) to Gag and 23 (79%) to Env. The id-primed recipients had significantly higher responses to Env than im recipients. Intracellular cytokine staining for Gag-specific IFN-?/IL-2 production showed both CD8(+) and CD4(+) T cell responses. All vaccinees had HIV-specific lymphoproliferative responses. All vaccinees reacted in diagnostic HIV serological tests and 26/29 (90%) had antibodies against gp160 after the second HIV-MVA boost. Furthermore, while all of 29 vaccinee sera were negative for neutralizing antibodies against clade B, C and CRF01_AE pseudoviruses in the TZM-bl neutralization assay, in a PBMC assay, the response rate ranged from 31% to 83% positives, depending upon the clade B or CRF01_AE virus tested. CONCLUSIONS:This vaccine approach is safe and highly immunogenic. Low dose, id HIV-DNA priming elicited higher and broader cell-mediated immune responses to Env after HIV-MVA boost compared to a higher HIV-DNA priming dose given im. Three HIV-DNA priming immunizations followed by two HIV-MVA boosts efficiently induced Env-antibody responses.
Project description:It has been proposed that human immunodeficiency virus type 2 (HIV-2) originated from simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs) that are natural infections of sooty mangabeys (Cercocebus torquatus atys). To test this hypothesis, SIVs from eight sooty mangabeys, including six new viruses from West Africa, were genetically characterized. gag and env sequences showed that while the viruses of all eight sooty mangabeys belonged to the SIVsm/HIV-2 family, each was widely divergent from SIVs found earlier in captive monkeys at American primate centers. In two SIVs from sooty mangabeys discovered about 100 miles (ca. 161 Km) from each other in rural West Africa, the amino acids of a conserved gag p17-p26 region differed by 19.3%, a divergence greater than that in four of five clades of HIV-2 and in SIVs found in other African monkey species. Analysis of gag region sequences showed that feral mangabeys in one small troop harbored four distinct SIVs. Three of the newly found viruses were genetically divergent, showing as much genetic distance from each other as from the entire SIVsm/HIV-2 family. Sequencing and heteroduplex analysis of one feral animal-derived SIV showed a mosaic genome containing an env gene that was homologous with other feral SIVsm env genes in the troop but having a gag gene from another, distinct SIV. Surprisingly a gag phylogenetic tree based on nucleotide sequences showed that the African relatives closest to all three household-derived SIVs were HIV-2 subtypes D and E from humans in the same West African areas. In one case, the SIV/HIV-2 cluster was from the same village. The findings support the hypothesis that each HIV-2 subtype in West Africans originated from widely divergent SIVsm strains, transmitted by independent cross-species events in the same geographic locations.
Project description:West Central Africa has been implicated as the epicenter of the HIV-1 epidemic, and almost all group M subtypes can be found there. Previous analysis of early HIV-1 group M sequences from Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire, revealed that isolates from a number of individuals fall in different positions in phylogenetic trees constructed from sequences from opposite ends of the genome as a result of recombination between viruses of different subtypes. Here, we use discrete ancestral trait mapping to develop a procedure for quantifying HIV-1 group M intersubtype recombination across phylogenies, using individuals' gag (p17) and env (gp41) subtypes. The method was applied to previously described HIV-1 group M sequences from samples obtained in Kinshasa early in the global radiation of HIV. Nine different p17 and gp41 intersubtype recombinant combinations were present in the data set. The mean number of excess ancestral subtype transitions (NEST) required to map individuals' p17 subtypes onto the gp14 phylogeny samples, compared to the number required to map them onto the p17 phylogenies, and vice versa, indicated that excess subtype transitions occurred at a rate of approximately 7 × 10(-3) to 8 × 10(-3) per lineage per year as a result of intersubtype recombination. Our results imply that intersubtype recombination may have occurred in approximately 20% of lineages evolving over a period of 30 years and confirm intersubtype recombination as a substantial force in generating HIV-1 group M diversity.