Timing and source of subtype-C HIV-1 superinfection in the newly infected partner of Zambian couples with disparate viruses.
ABSTRACT: HIV-1 superinfection occurs at varying frequencies in different at risk populations. Though seroincidence is decreased, in the negative partner of HIV-discordant couples after joint testing and counseling in the Zambia Emory HIV Research Project (ZEHRP) cohort, the annual infection rate remains relatively high at 7-8%. Based on sequencing within the gp41 region of each partner's virus, 24% of new infections between 2004 and 2008 were the result of transmission from a non-spousal partner. Since these seroconvertors and their spouses have disparate epidemiologically-unlinked viruses, there is a risk of superinfection within the marriage. We have, therefore, investigated the incidence and viral origin of superinfection in these couples.Superinfection was detected by heteroduplex mobility assay (HMA), degenerate base counting of the gp41 sequence, or by phylogenetic analysis of the longitudinal sequences. It was confirmed by full-length env single genome amplification and phylogenetic analysis. In 22 couples (44 individuals), followed for up to five years, three of the newly infected (initially HIV uninfected) partners became superinfected. In each case superinfection occurred during the first 12 months following initial infection of the negative partner, and in each case the superinfecting virus was derived from a non-spousal partner. In addition, one probable case of intra-couple HIV-1 superinfection was observed in a chronically infected partner at the time of his seroconverting spouse's initial viremia. Extensive recombination within the env gene was observed following superinfection.In this subtype-C discordant couple cohort, superinfection, during the first year after HIV-1 infection of the previously negative partner, occurred at a rate similar to primary infection (13.6% [95% CI 5.2-34.8] vs 7.8% [7.1-8.6]). While limited intra-couple superinfection may in part reflect continued condom usage within couples, this and our lack of detecting newly superinfected individuals after one year of primary infection raise the possibility that immunological resistance to intra-subtype superinfection may develop over time in subtype C infected individuals.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Acquisition of more than one strain of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) has been reported to occur both during and after primary infection, but the risks and repercussions of dual and superinfection are incompletely understood. In this study, we evaluated a longitudinal cohort of chronically HIV-infected men who were sexual partners to determine if individuals acquired their partners' viral strains. METHODOLOGY:Our cohort of HIV-positive men consisted of 8 couples that identified themselves as long-term sexual partners. Viral sequences were isolated from each subject and analyzed using phylogenetic methods. In addition, strain-specific PCR allowed us to search for partners' viruses present at low levels. Finally, we used computational algorithms to evaluate for recombination between partners' viral strains. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS/CONCLUSIONS:All couples had at least one factor associated with increased risk for acquisition of new HIV strains during the study, including detectable plasma viral load, sexually transmitted infections, and unprotected sex. One subject was dually HIV-1 infected, but neither strain corresponded to that of his partner. Three couples' sequences formed monophyletic clusters at the entry visit, with phylogenetic analysis suggesting that one member of the couple had acquired an HIV strain from his identified partner or that both had acquired it from the same source outside their partnership. The 5 remaining couples initially displayed no evidence of dual infection, using phylogenetic analysis and strain-specific PCR. However, in 1 of these couples, further analysis revealed recombinant viral strains with segments of viral genomes in one subject that may have derived from the enrolled partner. Thus, chronically HIV-1 infected individuals may become superinfected with additional HIV strains from their seroconcordant sexual partners. In some cases, HIV-1 superinfection may become apparent when recombinant viral strains are detected.
Project description:Rates of HIV-1 superinfection, re-infection with a genetically distinct virus despite HIV-1 specific immune responses, vary in different risk populations. We previously found the rates of superinfection were similar to primary HIV infection (PHI) in a Zambian heterosexual transmission cohort. Here, we conduct a similar analysis of 47 HIV-positive Zambians from an acute infection cohort with more frequent follow-up, all infected by non-spousal partners. We identified only one case of superinfection in the first two years, significantly fewer than in our previous study, which was likely due to increased counseling during acute infection and an overall population-wide decline in factors associated with HIV transmission. The predominant virus detected after superinfection was a recombinant of the transmitted founder (TF) and the superinfecting strain. The superinfected individual mounted a neutralizing antibody response to the primary TF virus, which remained TF-specific over time and even after superinfection, did not neutralize the superinfecting variant.
Project description:The potential role of antibodies in protection against intra-subtype HIV-1 superinfection remains to be understood. We compared the early neutralizing antibody (NAb) responses in three individuals, who were superinfected within one year of primary infection, to ten matched non-superinfected controls from a Zambian cohort of subtype C transmission cases. Sequence analysis of single genome amplified full-length envs from a previous study showed limited diversification in the individuals who became superinfected with the same HIV-1 subtype within year one post-seroconversion. We hypothesized that this reflected a blunted NAb response, which may have made these individuals more susceptible to superinfection.Neutralization assays showed that autologous plasma NAb responses to the earliest, and in some cases transmitted/founder, virus were delayed and had low to undetectable titers in all three superinfected individuals prior to superinfection. In contrast, NAbs with a median IC50 titer of 1896 were detected as early as three months post-seroconversion in non-superinfected controls. Early plasma NAbs in all subjects showed limited but variable levels of heterologous neutralization breadth. Superinfected individuals also exhibited a trend toward lower levels of gp120- and V1V2-specific IgG binding antibodies but higher gp120-specific plasma IgA binding antibodies.These data suggest that the lack of development of IgG antibodies, as reflected in autologous NAbs as well as gp120 and V1V2 binding antibodies to the primary infection virus, combined with potentially competing, non-protective IgA antibodies, may increase susceptibility to superinfection in the context of settings where a single HIV-1 subtype predominates.
Project description:Understanding whether the neutralizing antibody (NAb) response impacts HIV-1 superinfection and how superinfection subsequently modulates the NAb response can help clarify correlates of protection from HIV exposures and better delineate pathways of NAb development. We examined associations between the development of NAb and the occurrence of superinfection in a well-characterized, antiretroviral therapy (ART)-naive, primary infection cohort of men who have sex with men. Deep sequencing was applied to blood plasma samples from the cohort to detect cases of superinfection. We compared the NAb activity against autologous and heterologous viruses between 10 participants with intrasubtype B superinfection and 19 monoinfected controls, matched to duration of infection and risk behavior. Three to 6 months after primary infection, individuals who would later become superinfected had significantly weaker NAb activity against tier 1 subtype B viruses (P = 0.003 for SF-162 and P = 0.017 for NL4-3) and marginally against autologous virus (P = 0.054). Lower presuperinfection NAb responses correlated with weaker gp120 binding and lower plasma total IgG titers. Soon after superinfection, the NAb response remained lower, but between 2 and 3 years after primary infection, NAb levels strengthened and reached those of controls. Superinfecting viruses were typically not susceptible to neutralization by presuperinfection plasma. These observations suggest that recently infected individuals with a delayed NAb response against primary infecting and tier 1 subtype B viruses are more susceptible to superinfection.IMPORTANCE Our findings suggest that within the first year after HIV infection, a relatively weak neutralizing antibody response against primary and subtype-specific neutralization-sensitive viruses increases susceptibility to superinfection in the face of repeated exposures. As natural infection progresses, the immune response strengthens significantly in some superinfected individuals. These findings will inform HIV vaccine design by providing testable correlates of protection from initial HIV infection.
Project description:HIV-1 superinfection, in which an infected individual acquires a second HIV-1 infection from a different partner, is one of the only settings in which HIV acquisition occurs in the context of a pre-existing immune response to natural HIV infection. There is evidence that initial infection provides some protection from superinfection, particularly after 6months of initial infection, when development of broad immunity occurs. Comparison of the immune response of superinfected individuals at the time of superinfection acquisition to that of individuals who remain singly infected despite continued exposure can shed light on immune correlates of HIV acquisition to inform prophylactic vaccine design. We evaluated a panel of humoral immune responses in the largest published group of superinfected individuals (n=21), compared to a set of 3:1 matched singly infected controls from the same cohort. The immune functions studied included plasma neutralization, plasma and cervical antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, and plasma IgG and IgA binding to a panel of 18 envelope antigens, including correlates of HIV acquisition in the RV144 vaccine trial, IgG binding to V1V2 and IgA binding to gp140. Association between each immune function and HIV superinfection was evaluated using conditional logistic regression. No significant associations were detected between any of the immune functions and superinfection acquisition. This study constitutes the most comprehensive and detailed characterization of multiple immune correlates of superinfection to date. The results suggest that immune responses not commonly measured in current HIV studies may be important in protection from HIV infection, and these or a more robust humoral response than that seen in naturally infected women may be needed for a protective vaccine.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To determine and compare the rates of HIV superinfection and primary HIV infection in high-risk female sex workers (FSWs) in Kampala, Uganda. DESIGN:A retrospective analysis of individuals who participated in a clinical cohort study among high-risk FSWs in Kampala, Uganda. METHODS:Plasma samples from HIV-infected FSWs in Kampala, Uganda were examined with next-generation sequencing of the p24 and gp41 HIV genomic regions for the occurrence of superinfection. Primary HIV incidence was determined from initially HIV-uninfected FSWs from the same cohort, and incidence rate ratios were compared. RESULTS:The rate of superinfection in these women (7/85; 3.4/100 person-years) was not significantly different from the rate of primary infection in the same population (3.7/100 person-years; incidence rate ratio = 0.91, P = 0.42). Seven women also entered the study dual-infected (16.5% either dual or superinfected). The women with any presence of dual infection were more likely to report sex work as their only source of income (P = 0.05), and trended to be older and more likely to be widowed (P = 0.07). CONCLUSIONS:In this cohort of FSWs, HIV superinfection occurred at a high rate and was similar to that of primary HIV infection. These results differ from a similar study of high-risk female bar workers in Kenya that found the rate of superinfection to be significantly lower than the rate of primary HIV infection.
Project description:Identifying naturally-occurring neutralizing antibodies (NAb) that are cross-reactive against all global subtypes of HIV-1 is an important step toward the development of a vaccine. Establishing the host and viral determinants for eliciting such broadly NAbs is also critical for immunogen design. NAb breadth has previously been shown to be positively associated with viral diversity. Therefore, we hypothesized that superinfected individuals develop a broad NAb response as a result of increased antigenic stimulation by two distinct viruses. To test this hypothesis, plasma samples from 12 superinfected women each assigned to three singly infected women were tested against a panel of eight viruses representing four different HIV-1 subtypes at matched time points post-superinfection (~5 years post-initial infection). Here we show superinfected individuals develop significantly broader NAb responses post-superinfection when compared to singly infected individuals (RR?=?1.68, CI: 1.23-2.30, p?=?0.001). This was true even after controlling for NAb breadth developed prior to superinfection, contemporaneous CD4+ T cell count and viral load. Similarly, both unadjusted and adjusted analyses showed significantly greater potency in superinfected cases compared to controls. Notably, two superinfected individuals were able to neutralize variants from four different subtypes at plasma dilutions >1?300, suggesting that their NAbs exhibit elite activity. Cross-subtype breadth was detected within a year of superinfection in both of these individuals, which was within 1.5 years of their initial infection. These data suggest that sequential infections lead to augmentation of the NAb response, a process that may provide insight into potential mechanisms that contribute to the development of antibody breadth. Therefore, a successful vaccination strategy that mimics superinfection may lead to the development of broad NAbs in immunized individuals.
Project description:HIV superinfection describes the sequential infection of an individual with two or more unrelated HIV strains. Intersubtype superinfection has been shown to cause a broader and more potent heterologous neutralizing antibody response when compared to singly infected controls, yet the effects of intrasubtype superinfection remain controversial. Longitudinal samples were analyzed phylogenetically for pol and env regions using Next-Generation Sequencing and envelope cloning. The impact of CRF02_AG intrasubtype superinfection was assessed for heterologous neutralization and antibody binding responses. We compared two cases of CRF02_AG intrasubtype superinfection that revealed complete replacement of the initial virus by superinfecting CRF02_AG variants with signs of recombination. NYU6564, who became superinfected at an early time point, exhibited greater changes in antibody binding profiles and generated a more potent neutralizing antibody response post-superinfection compared to NYU6501. In contrast, superinfection occurred at a later time point in NYU6501 with strains harboring significantly longer V1V2 regions with no observable changes in neutralization patterns. Here we show that CRF02_AG intrasubtype superinfection can induce a cross-subtype neutralizing antibody response, and our data suggest timing and/or superinfecting viral envelope characteristics as contributing factors. These results highlight differential outcomes in intrasubtype superinfection and provide the first insight into cases with CRF02_AG, the fourth most prevalent HIV-1 strain worldwide.
Project description:Eliciting antibodies that neutralize a broad range of circulating HIV strains (broadly neutralizing antibodies [bnAbs]) represents a key priority for vaccine development. HIV superinfection (re-infection with a second strain following an established infection) has been associated with neutralization breadth, and can provide insights into how the immune system responds to sequential exposure to distinct HIV envelope glycoproteins (Env). Characterizing the neutralizing antibody (nAb) responses in four superinfected women revealed that superinfection does not boost memory nAb responses primed by the first infection or promote nAb responses to epitopes conserved in both infecting viruses. While one superinfected individual developed potent bnAbs, superinfection was likely not the driver as the nAb response did not target an epitope conserved in both viruses. Rather, sequential exposure led to nAbs specific to each Env but did not promote bnAb development. Thus, sequential immunization with heterologous Envs may not be sufficient to focus the immune response onto conserved epitopes.
Project description:HIV-1 superinfection occurs frequently in high-risk populations, but its clinical consequences remain poorly characterized. We undertook this study to determine the impact of HIV-1 superinfection on disease progression.In the largest prospective cohort study of superinfection to date, we compared measures of HIV-1 progression in women who acquired superinfection with those who did not. Clinical and laboratory data were collected at quarterly intervals. Linear mixed effects models were used to compare postacute viral load and CD4 T-cell counts over time in singly infected and superinfected women. Cox proportional hazards analysis was used to determine the effect of superinfection on time to clinical progression [CD4 cell count <200?cells/?l, antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation or death].Among 144 women, 21 of whom acquired superinfection during follow-up, the rate of viral load increase was higher in superinfected than in singly infected women (P?=?0.0008). In adjusted analysis, superinfected women had lower baseline viral load before superinfection (P?=?0.05) and a trend for increased viral load at superinfection acquisition (P?=?0.09). We also observed a borderline association of superinfection with accelerated CD4 cell count decline (P?=?0.06). However, there was no significant difference in time to clinical progression events.These data suggest that superinfection is associated with accelerated progression in laboratory measures of HIV-1 disease, but has a limited impact on the occurrence of clinical events. Our observation that superinfected individuals have lower baseline viral load prior to superinfection suggests that there may be host or viral determinants of susceptibility to superinfection.