Monotypic human immunodeficiency virus type 1 genotypes across the uterine cervix and in blood suggest proliferation of cells with provirus.
ABSTRACT: Understanding the dynamics and spread of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) within the body, including within the female genital tract with its central role in heterosexual and peripartum transmission, has important implications for treatment and vaccine development. To study HIV-1 populations within tissues, we compared viruses from across the cervix to those in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) during effective and failing antiretroviral therapy (ART) and in patients not receiving ART. Single-genome sequences of the C2-V5 region of HIV-1 env were derived from PBMC and three cervical biopsies per subject. Maximum-likelihood phylogenies were evaluated for differences in genetic diversity and compartmentalization within and between cervical biopsies and PBMC. All subjects had one or more clades with genetically identical HIV-1 env sequences derived from single-genome sequencing. These sequences were from noncontiguous cervical biopsies or from the cervix and circulating PBMC in seven of eight subjects. Compartmentalization of virus between genital tract and blood was observed by statistical methods and tree topologies in six of eight subjects, and potential genital lineages were observed in two of eight subjects. The detection of monotypic sequences across the cervix and blood, especially during effective ART, suggests that cells with provirus undergo clonal expansion. Compartmentalization of viruses within the cervix appears in part due to viruses homing to and/or expanding within the cervix and is rarely due to unique viruses evolving within the genital tract. Further studies are warranted to investigate mechanisms producing monotypic viruses across tissues and, importantly, to determine whether the proliferation of cells with provirus sustain HIV-1 persistence in spite of effective ART.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Compartmentalization of HIV-1 between the genital tract and blood was noted in half of 57 women included in 12 studies primarily using cell-free virus. To further understand differences between genital tract and blood viruses of women with chronic HIV-1 infection cell-free and cell-associated virus populations were sequenced from these tissues, reasoning that integrated viral DNA includes variants archived from earlier in infection, and provides a greater array of genotypes for comparisons. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Multiple sequences from single-genome-amplification of HIV-1 RNA and DNA from the genital tract and blood of each woman were compared in a cross-sectional study. Maximum likelihood phylogenies were evaluated for evidence of compartmentalization using four statistical tests. Genital tract and blood HIV-1 appears compartmentalized in 7/13 women by >/=2 statistical analyses. These subjects' phylograms were characterized by low diversity genital-specific viral clades interspersed between clades containing both genital and blood sequences. Many of the genital-specific clades contained monotypic HIV-1 sequences. In 2/7 women, HIV-1 populations were significantly compartmentalized across all four statistical tests; both had low diversity genital tract-only clades. Collapsing monotypic variants into a single sequence diminished the prevalence and extent of compartmentalization. Viral sequences did not demonstrate tissue-specific signature amino acid residues, differential immune selection, or co-receptor usage. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:In women with chronic HIV-1 infection multiple identical sequences suggest proliferation of HIV-1-infected cells, and low diversity tissue-specific phylogenetic clades are consistent with bursts of viral replication. These monotypic and tissue-specific viruses provide statistical support for compartmentalization of HIV-1 between the female genital tract and blood. However, the intermingling of these clades with clades comprised of both genital and blood sequences and the absence of tissue-specific genetic features suggests compartmentalization between blood and genital tract may be due to viral replication and proliferation of infected cells, and questions whether HIV-1 in the female genital tract is distinct from blood.
Project description:Whether unique human immunodeficiency type 1 (HIV) genotypes occur in the genital tract is important for vaccine development and management of drug resistant viruses. Multiple cross-sectional studies suggest HIV is compartmentalized within the female genital tract. We hypothesize that bursts of HIV replication and/or proliferation of infected cells captured in cross-sectional analyses drive compartmentalization but over time genital-specific viral lineages do not form; rather viruses mix between genital tract and blood.Eight women with ongoing HIV replication were studied during a period of 1.5 to 4.5 years. Multiple viral sequences were derived by single-genome amplification of the HIV C2-V5 region of env from genital secretions and blood plasma. Maximum likelihood phylogenies were evaluated for compartmentalization using 4 statistical tests.In cross-sectional analyses compartmentalization of genital from blood viruses was detected in three of eight women by all tests; this was associated with tissue specific clades containing multiple monotypic sequences. In longitudinal analysis, the tissues-specific clades did not persist to form viral lineages. Rather, across women, HIV lineages were comprised of both genital tract and blood sequences.The observation of genital-specific HIV clades only in cross-sectional analysis and an absence of genital-specific lineages in longitudinal analyses suggest a dynamic interchange of HIV variants between the female genital tract and blood.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:During effective antiretroviral therapy (ART), low-level plasma viremias (LLV) (HIV RNA >30-1000?copies/ml) can be detected intermittently. We hypothesized that systemic inflammation is associated with LLV either as the cause or result of the production of virions from clonally expanded cells. METHODS:Prospective cohort study of HIV-infected ART-naive Peruvians enrolled prior to ART and followed for 2 years. Plasma HIV RNA and peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) HIV DNA concentrations were quantified pre-ART from individuals whose plasma HIV RNA was ART-suppressed. Inflammatory biomarker concentrations were measured pre and during ART. Single-genome amplification (SGA) derived HIV env and pol genotypes from pre-ART and LLV specimens. Antiretroviral levels during ART assessed adherence. Statistical associations and phylogenetic relationships were examined. RESULTS:Among 82 participants with median plasma HIV RNA less than 30?copies/ml, LLV were detected in 33 of 82 (40%), with a LLV median HIV RNA of 73?copies/ml. Participants with vs. without LLV had significantly higher pre-ART plasma HIV RNA (P?<?0.001) and PBMC HIV DNA (P?<?0.007); but, during ART, their antiretroviral drug levels were similar. LLV env sequences were monotypic in 17 of 28 (61%) and diverse in 11 of 28 (39%) participants. Those with the monotypic vs. diverse LLV pattern had elevated hsCRP and sCD163 (P?=?0.004) and LLV with more X4 variants (P?=?0.02). CONCLUSION:In individuals with monotypic LLV sequences, higher levels of pre-ART HIV DNA and RNA, systemic inflammation and X4 viruses suggest an interaction between inflammation and the production of virions from proliferating infected cells, and that naïve T cells may be a source of LLV.
Project description:The concentration of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is generally lower in breast milk than in blood. Mastitis, or inflammation of the breast, is associated with increased levels of milk HIV-1 and risk of mother-to-child transmission through breastfeeding. We hypothesized that mastitis facilitates the passage of HIV-1 from blood into milk or stimulates virus production within the breast. HIV-1 env sequences were generated from single amplicons obtained from breast milk and blood samples in a cross-sectional study. Viral compartmentalization was evaluated using several statistical methods, including the Slatkin and Maddison (SM) test. Mastitis was defined as an elevated milk sodium (Na(+)) concentration. The association between milk Na(+) and the pairwise genetic distance between milk and blood viral sequences was modeled using linear regression. HIV-1 was compartmentalized within milk by SM testing in 6/17 (35%) specimens obtained from 9 women, but all phylogenetic clades included viral sequences from milk and blood samples. Monotypic sequences were more prevalent in milk samples than in blood samples (22% versus 13%; P = 0.012), which accounted for half of the compartmentalization observed. Mastitis was not associated with compartmentalization by SM testing (P = 0.621), but Na(+) was correlated with greater genetic distance between milk and blood HIV-1 populations (P = 0.041). In conclusion, local production of HIV-1 within the breast is suggested by compartmentalization of virus and a higher prevalence of monotypic viruses in milk specimens. However, phylogenetic trees demonstrate extensive mixing of viruses between milk and blood specimens. HIV-1 replication in breast milk appears to increase with inflammation, contributing to higher milk viral loads during mastitis.
Project description:Compartmentalization of HIV-1 between the systemic circulation and the male genital tract may have a substantial impact on which viruses are available for sexual transmission to new hosts. We studied compartmentalization and clonal amplification of HIV-1 populations between the blood and the genital tract from 10 antiretroviral-naive men using Illumina MiSeq with a PrimerID approach. We found evidence of some degree of compartmentalization in every study participant, unlike previous studies, which collectively showed that only ?50% of analyzed individuals exhibited compartmentalization of HIV-1 lineages between the male genital tract (MGT) and blood. Using down-sampling simulations, we determined that this disparity can be explained by differences in sampling depth in that had we sequenced to a lower depth, we would also have found compartmentalization in only ?50% of the study participants. For most study participants, phylogenetic trees were rooted in blood, suggesting that the male genital tract reservoir is seeded by incoming variants from the blood. Clonal amplification was observed in all study participants and was a characteristic of both blood and semen viral populations. We also show evidence for independent viral replication in the genital tract in the individual with the most severely compartmentalized HIV-1 populations. The degree of clonal amplification was not obviously associated with the extent of compartmentalization. We were also unable to detect any association between history of sexually transmitted infections and level of HIV-1 compartmentalization. Overall, our findings contribute to a better understanding of the dynamics that affect the composition of virus populations that are available for transmission.<b>IMPORTANCE</b> Within an individual living with HIV-1, factors that restrict the movement of HIV-1 between different compartments-such as between the blood and the male genital tract-could strongly influence which viruses reach sites in the body from which they can be transmitted. Using deep sequencing, we found strong evidence of restricted HIV-1 movements between the blood and genital tract in all 10 men that we studied. We additionally found that neither the degree to which particular genetic variants of HIV-1 proliferate (in blood or genital tract) nor an individual's history of sexually transmitted infections detectably influenced the degree to which virus movements were restricted between the blood and genital tract. Last, we show evidence that viral replication gave rise to a large clonal amplification in semen in a donor with highly compartmentalized HIV-1 populations, raising the possibility that differential selection of HIV-1 variants in the genital tract may occur.
Project description:Understanding how HIV-1 persists during effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) should inform strategies to cure HIV-1 infection. We hypothesize that proliferation of HIV-1-infected cells contributes to persistence of HIV-1 infection during suppressive ART. This predicts that identical or monotypic HIV-1 DNA sequences will increase over time during ART. We analyzed 1,656 env and pol sequences generated following single-genome amplification from the blood and sputum of six individuals during long-term suppressive ART. The median proportion of monotypic sequences increased from 25.0% prior to ART to 43.2% after a median of 9.8 years of suppressive ART. The proportion of monotypic sequences was estimated to increase 3.3% per year (95% confidence interval, 2.3 to 4.4%; P < 0.001). Drug resistance mutations were not more common in the monotypic sequences, arguing against viral replication during times with lower antiretroviral concentrations. Bioinformatic analysis found equivalent genetic distances of monotypic and nonmonotypic sequences from the predicted founder virus sequence, suggesting that the relative increase in monotypic variants over time is not due to selective survival of cells with viruses from the time of acute infection or from just prior to ART initiation. Furthermore, while the total HIV-1 DNA load decreased during ART, the calculated concentration of monotypic sequences was stable in children, despite growth over nearly a decade of observation, consistent with proliferation of infected CD4(+) T cells and slower decay of monotypic sequences. Our findings suggest that proliferation of cells with proviruses is a likely mechanism of HIV-1 DNA persistence, which should be considered when designing strategies to eradicate HIV-1 infection.
Project description:Initiation of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) for HIV-infected individuals is associated with control of viremia, improved CD4 counts, and declining systemic HIV-specific immune responses. While HAART effectively reduces plasma viremia, it remains unclear how effectively antiretroviral drugs reach mucosal surfaces, such as those of the genital tract. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of HAART on genital tract CD4 T cell reconstitution, HIV shedding, and HIV-specific T cell responses. Cervical cytobrush and blood specimens were obtained from 35 HIV-infected, HAART-naïve women and 27 women on HAART in order to investigate HIV Gag-specific T cell responses by intracellular gamma interferon (IFN-?) staining. Interleukin 1? (IL-1?), IL-6, and IL-8 concentrations were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). We show that for HIV-infected women, HAART is associated with significantly improved CD4 T cell counts both in blood and at the cervix. While HAART effectively suppressed both blood and cervical viremia, HIV-specific CD8 T cell responses in blood were lost, while those at the cervix were preserved.
Project description:Transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) usually results in outgrowth of viruses with macrophage-tropic phenotype and consensus non-syncytium-inducing (NSI) V3 loop sequences, despite the presence of virus with broader host range and the syncytium-inducing (SI) phenotype in the blood of many donors. We examined proviruses in contemporaneous peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and non-spermatozoal semen mononuclear cells (NSMC) of five HIV-1-infected individuals to determine if this preferential outgrowth could be due to compartmentalization and thus preferential transmission of viruses of the NSI phenotype from the male genital tract. Phylogenetic reconstructions of approximately 700-bp sequences covering the second constant region through the fifth variable region (C2 to V5) of the viral envelope gene revealed distinct variant populations in the blood versus the semen in two patients with AIDS and in one asymptomatic individual (patient 613), whereas similar variant populations were found in both compartments in two other asymptomatic individuals. Variants with amino acids in the V3 loop that predict the SI phenotype were found in both AIDS patients and in patient 613; however, the distribution of these variants between the two compartments was not consistent. SI variants were found only in the PBMC of one AIDS patient but only in the NSMC of the other, while they were found in both compartments in patient 613. It is therefore unlikely that restriction of SI variants from the male genital tract accounts for the observed NSI transmission bias. Furthermore, no evidence for a semen-specific signature amino acid sequence was detected.
Project description:If strategies currently in development succeed in eradicating HIV reservoirs in peripheral blood and lymphoid tissues, residual sources of virus may remain in anatomic compartments. Paired blood and semen samples were collected from 12 individuals enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled therapeutic vaccine clinical trial in people with HIV (PWH) who began antiretroviral therapy (ART) during acute or early infection (ClinicalTrials registration no. NCT01859325). After the week 56 visit (postintervention), all participants interrupted ART. At the first available time points after viral rebound, we sequenced HIV-1 <i>env</i> (C2-V3), <i>gag</i> (p24), and <i>pol</i> (reverse transcriptase) regions amplified from cell-free HIV RNA in blood and seminal plasma using the MiSeq Illumina platform. Comprehensive sequence and phylogenetic analyses were performed to evaluate viral population structure, compartmentalization, and viral diversity in blood and seminal plasma. Compared to that in blood, HIV RNA rebound in semen occurred significantly later (median of 66 versus 42?days post-ART interruption, <i>P</i> < 0.01) and reached lower levels (median 164 versus 16,090 copies/ml, <i>P</i> < 0.01). Three of five participants with available sequencing data presented compartmentalized viral rebound between blood and semen in one HIV coding region. Despite early ART initiation, HIV RNA molecular diversity was higher in semen than in blood in all three coding regions for most participants. Higher HIV RNA molecular diversity in the genital tract (compared to that in blood plasma) and evidence of compartmentalization illustrate the distinct evolutionary dynamics between these two compartments after ART interruption. Future research should evaluate whether the genital compartment might contribute to viral rebound in some PWH interrupting ART.<b>IMPORTANCE</b> To cure HIV, we likely need to target the reservoirs in all anatomic compartments. Here, we used sophisticated statistical and phylogenetic methods to analyze blood and semen samples collected from 12 persons with HIV who began antiretroviral therapy (ART) during very early HIV infection and who interrupted their ART as part of a clinical trial. First, we found that HIV RNA rebound in semen occurred significantly later and reached lower levels than in blood. Second, we found that the virus in semen was genetically different in some participants compared to that in blood. Finally, we found increased HIV RNA molecular diversity in semen compared to that in blood in almost all study participants. These data suggest that the HIV RNA populations emerging from the genital compartment after ART interruption might not be the same as those emerging from blood plasma. Future research should evaluate whether the genital compartment might contribute to viral rebound in some people with HIV (PWH) interrupting ART.
Project description:Even when antiretroviral therapy (ART) is started early after infection, HIV DNA might persist in the central nervous system (CNS), possibly contributing to inflammation, brain damage and neurocognitive impairment. Paired blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were collected from 16 HIV-infected individuals on suppressive ART: 9 participants started ART <4 months of the estimated date of infection (EDI) ("early ART"), and 7 participants started ART >14 months after EDI ("late ART"). For each participant, neurocognitive functioning was measured by Global Deficit Score (GDS). HIV DNA levels were measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and CSF cell pellets by droplet digital (dd)PCR. Soluble markers of inflammation (sCD163, IL-6, MCP-1, TNF-?) and neuronal damage (neurofilament light [NFL]) were measured in blood and CSF supernatant by immunoassays. HIV-1 partial C2V3 env deep sequencing data (Roche 454) were obtained for 8 paired PBMC and CSF specimens and used for phylogenetic and compartmentalization analysis. Median exposure to ART at the time of sampling was 2.6 years (IQR: 2.2-3.7) and did not differ between groups. We observed that early ART was significantly associated with lower molecular diversity of HIV DNA in CSF (p<0.05), and lower IL-6 levels in CSF (p = 0.02), but no difference for GDS, NFL, or HIV DNA detectability compared to late ART. Compartmentalization of HIV DNA populations between CSF and blood was detected in 6 out of 8 participants with available paired HIV DNA sequences (2 from early and 4 from late ART group). Phylogenetic analysis confirmed the presence of monophyletic HIV DNA populations within the CSF in 7 participants, and the same population was repeatedly sampled over a 5 months period in one participant with longitudinal sampling. Such compartmentalized provirus in the CNS needs to be considered for the design of future eradication strategies and might contribute to the neuropathogenesis of HIV.