Significant genetic heterogeneity of the SIVmac251 viral swarm derived from different sources.
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.
Project description:Infection of CD8-depleted rhesus macaques with the genetically heterogeneous simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)mac251 viral swarm provides a rapid-disease model for simian acquired immune deficiency syndrome and SIV-encephalitis (SIVE). The objective was to evaluate how the diversity of the swarm influences the initial seeding of the infection that may potentially affect disease progression. Plasma, lymphoid and non-lymphoid (brain and lung) tissues were collected from two infected macaques euthanized at 21 days post-infection (p.i.), as well as longitudinal specimens and post-mortem tissues from four macaques followed throughout the infection. About 1300 gp120 viral sequences were obtained from the infecting SIVmac251 swarm and the macaques longitudinal and post-mortem samples. Phylogenetic and amino acid signature pattern analyses were carried out to assess frequency, transmission dynamics and persistence of specific viral clusters. Although no significant reduction in viral heterogeneity was found early in infection (21 days p.i.), transmission and replication of SIV variants was not entirely random. In particular, two distinct motifs under-represented (<4 %) in the infecting swarm were found at high frequencies (up to 14 %) in all six macaques as early as 21 days p.i. Moreover, a macrophage tropic variant not detected in the viral swarm (<0.3 %) was present at high frequency (29-100 %) in sequences derived from the brain of two macaques with meningitis or severe SIVE. This study demonstrates the highly efficient transmission and persistence in vivo of multiple low frequency SIVmac251 founder variants, characterized by specific gp120 motifs that may be linked to pathogenesis in the rapid-disease model of neuroAIDS.
Project description:A better understanding of the host and viral factors associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission is essential to developing effective strategies to curb the global HIV epidemic. Here we used the rhesus macaque-simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) animal model of HIV infection to study the range of viral genotypes that are transmitted by different routes of inoculation and by different types of viral inocula. Analysis of transmitted variants was undertaken in outbred rhesus macaques inoculated intravenously (IV) or intravaginally (IVAG) with a genetically heterogeneous SIVmac251 stock derived from a well-characterized rhesus macaque viral isolate. In addition, we performed serial IV and IVAG passage experiments using plasma from SIV-infected macaques as the inoculum. We analyzed the V1-V2 region of the SIV envelope gene from virion-associated RNA in plasma from infected animals by the heteroduplex mobility assay (HMA) and by DNA sequence analysis. We found that a more diverse population of SIV genetic variants was present in the earliest virus-positive plasma samples from all five IV SIVmac251-inoculated monkeys and from two of five IVAG SIVmac251-inoculated monkeys. In contrast, we found a relatively homogeneous population of SIV envelope variants in three of five monkeys inoculated IVAG with SIVmac251 stock and in two monkeys infected after IVAG inoculation with plasma from an SIV-infected animal. In some IVAG-inoculated animals, the transmitted SIV variant was the most common variant in the inoculum. However, a specific viral variant in the SIVmac251 stock was not consistently transmitted by IVAG inoculation. Thus, it is likely that host factors or stochastic processes determine the specific viral variants that infect an animal after IVAG SIV exposure. In addition, our results clearly demonstrate that the route of inoculation is associated with the extent and breadth of the genetic complexity of the viral variant population in the earliest stages of systemic infection.
Project description:Despite optimization of preventative measures for vertical HIV-1 transmission, daily, roughly 400 infants become HIV infected, most of them through breastfeeding. Viral entry has been presumed to occur in the gastrointestinal tract; however, the exact entry site(s) have not been defined. Therefore, we quantified simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) RNA and DNA in oral, intestinal, and systemic tissues of 15 infant macaques within 48-96 h after oral SIVmac251 exposure. SIV DNA was detected as early as 48 h, whereas SIV RNA was typically detected at later time points (72-96 h). Transmitted founder viruses were identical or very similar to a single genotype in the SIVmac251 challenge stock. SIV RNA and DNA were most frequently found in lymph nodes (LNs) draining the oral cavity and in the ileum. Using in situ hybridization, SIV-infected cells in LNs were exclusively represented by CD3+ T cells. SIV RNA and DNA were also detected in the lungs of 20% of the animals, and 60% of the animals had detectable SIV DNA in the cerebrum. The early detection of viral RNA or DNA in lung and brain tissues emphasizes the need for early treatment of pediatric HIV infection to prevent damage not only to the immune system but also to the respiratory tract and central nervous system.
Project description:A recombinant vaccine containing Aventis Pasteur's canarypox vector (ALVAC)-HIV and gp120 alum decreased the risk of HIV acquisition in the RV144 vaccine trial. The substitution of alum with the more immunogenic MF59 adjuvant is under consideration for the next efficacy human trial. We found here that an ALVAC-simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) and gp120 alum (ALVAC-SIV + gp120) equivalent vaccine, but not an ALVAC-SIV + gp120 MF59 vaccine, was efficacious in delaying the onset of SIVmac251 in rhesus macaques, despite the higher immunogenicity of the latter adjuvant. Vaccine efficacy was associated with alum-induced, but not with MF59-induced, envelope (Env)-dependent mucosal innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) that produce interleukin (IL)-17, as well as with mucosal IgG to the gp120 variable region 2 (V2) and the expression of 12 genes, ten of which are part of the RAS pathway. The association between RAS activation and vaccine efficacy was also observed in an independent efficacious SIV-vaccine approach. Whether RAS activation, mucosal ILCs and antibodies to V2 are also important hallmarks of HIV-vaccine efficacy in humans will require further studies.
Project description:Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection of rhesus macaques is a valuable animal model for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 vaccine development. Our laboratory recently described the immunogenicity and limited efficacy of a vif-deleted SIVmac239 proviral DNA (SIV/CMVDelta vif) vaccine. The current report characterizes immunogenicity and efficacy for the SIV/CMVDelta vif proviral DNA vaccine when co-inoculated with an optimized rhesus interleukin (rIL)-15 expression plasmid. Macaques co-inoculated with rIL-15 and SIV/CMVDelta vif proviral plasmids showed significantly improved SIV-specific CD8 T cell immunity characterized by increased IFN-gamma ELISPOT and polyfunctional CD8 T cell responses. Furthermore, these animals demonstrated a sustained suppression of plasma virus loads after multiple low dose vaginal challenges with pathogenic SIVmac251. Importantly, SIV-specific cellular responses were greater in immunized animals compared to unvaccinated controls during the initial 12 weeks after challenge. Taken together, these findings support the use of IL-15 as an adjuvant in prophylactic anti-HIV vaccine strategies.
Project description:While the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected rhesus monkey is an important animal model for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection of humans, much remains to be learned about the evolution of the humoral immune response in this model. In HIV-1 infection, autologous neutralizing antibodies emerge 2 to 3 months after infection. However, the ontogeny of the SIV-specific neutralizing antibody response in mucosally infected animals has not been defined. We characterized the kinetics of the autologous neutralizing antibody response to the transmitted/founder SIVmac251 using a pseudovirion-based TZM-bl cell assay and monitored env sequence evolution using single-genome amplification in four rhesus animals that were infected via intrarectal inoculations. We show that the SIVmac251 founder viruses induced neutralizing antibodies at 5 to 8 months after infection. Despite their slow emergence and low titers, these neutralizing antibodies selected for escape mutants that harbored substitutions and deletions in variable region 1 (V1), V2, and V4 of Env. The neutralizing antibody response was initially focused on V4 at 5 to 8 months after infection and then targeted V1/V2 and V4 by 16 months. These findings reveal a striking delay in the development of neutralizing antibodies in SIVmac-infected animals, thus raising questions concerning the suitability of SIVmac251 as a challenge strain to screen AIDS vaccines that elicit neutralizing antibodies as a means to prevent virus acquisition. They also illustrate the capacity of the SIVmac quasispecies to modify antigenic determinants in response to very modest titers of neutralizing antibodies.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Understanding natural HIV control may lead to new preventative or therapeutic strategies. Several protective major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genotypes were found in humans and rhesus macaques. Here, we report a simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) controller MHC genotype in Mauritian cynomolgus macaques (MCMs). METHODS:Twelve MHC-genotyped MCMs were infected with SIVmac251 and monitored for viral loads and CD4+ T-cell counts. RESULTS:Two macaques with M3M4 genotype exhibited the lowest peak viral loads (log plasma SIV RNA copies/mL), nearly 3 logs lower than those in most macaques with other MHC haplotype combinations, and set point viral loads below the level of detection limit by RT-qPCR (<2 log RNA copies/mL). They maintained healthy CD4+ T-cell counts of >500 cells/?L blood, while CD4 counts in the vast majority of other macaques were below this level. CONCLUSIONS:The M3M4 MHC genotype may confer enhanced control of SIV replication in MCMs.
Project description: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.
Project description:As an alternative to targeting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), we have developed vaccines targeting CCR5, a self-protein critically involved in HIV replication and pathogenesis. By displaying peptides derived from CCR5 at high density on the surface of virus-like particles, we can efficiently induce high-titer IgG antibodies against this self-molecule. Here, we investigated whether prophylactic immunization of rhesus macaques with a particle-based vaccine targeting two regions of macaque CCR5 could prevent or suppress vaginal infection with highly virulent SIVmac251. Twelve macaques were vaccinated with a bacteriophage Qß-based vaccine targeting macaque CCR5 (Qß.CCR5). Six control animals were immunized with the Qß platform alone. All animals immunized with Qß.CCR5 developed high-titer anti-CCR5 antibody responses. Macaques were vaginally challenged with a high dose of SIVmac251. The mean peak viral RNA levels in the vaccinated groups were 30-fold lower than in the control group (10(6.8) versus 10(8.3) copies/ml plasma). Three of the 12 vaccinated macaques dramatically suppressed simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) replication: peak viral loads were low (10(3) to 10(4) RNA copies/ml), and SIV RNA became undetectable from 6 weeks onward. No viral RNA or DNA could be detected in colon and lymph node biopsy specimens collected 13 months after challenge. In vivo depletion of CD8(+) cells failed to induce a viral rebound. However, once anti-CCR5 antibody responses had waned, the 3 animals became infected after intravaginal and/or intravenous rechallenge. In conclusion, vaccination against CCR5 was associated with dramatic suppression of virus replication in a subset (25%) of macaques. These data support further research of vaccination against CCR5 to combat HIV infection.
Project description:CEMx174- and C8166-45-based cell lines which contain a secreted alkaline phosphatase (SEAP) reporter gene under the control of a tat-responsive promoter derived from either SIVmac239 or HIV-1(NL4-3) were constructed. Basal levels of SEAP activity from these cell lines were low but were greatly stimulated upon transfection of tat expression plasmids. Infection of these cell lines with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) or human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) resulted in a dramatic increase in SEAP production within 48 to 72 h that directly correlated with the amount of infecting virus. When combined with chemiluminescent measurement of SEAP activity in the cell-free supernatant, these cells formed the basis of a rapid, sensitive, and quantitative assay for SIV and HIV infectivity and neutralization. Eight of eight primary isolates of HIV-1 that were tested induced readily measurable SEAP activity in this system. While serum neutralization of cloned SIVmac239 was difficult to detect with other assays, neutralization of SIVmac239 was readily detected at low titers with this new assay system. The neutralization sensitivities of two stocks of SIVmac251 with different cell culture passage histories were tested by using sera from SIV-infected monkeys. The primary stock of SIVmac251 had been passaged only twice through primary cultures of rhesus monkey peripheral blood mononuclear cells, while the laboratory-adapted stock had been extensively passaged through the MT4 immortalized T-cell line. The primary stock of SIVmac251 was much more resistant to neutralization by a battery of polyclonal sera from SIV-infected monkeys than was the laboratory-adapted virus. Thus, SIVmac appears to be similar to HIV-1 in that extensive laboratory passage through T-cell lines resulted in a virus that is much more sensitive to serum neutralization.