Impact of seminal cytomegalovirus replication on HIV-1 dynamics between blood and semen.
ABSTRACT: The genital tract of individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is an anatomic compartment that supports local HIV-1 and cytomegalovirus (CMV) replication. This study investigated the association of seminal CMV replication with changes in HIV-1 clonal expansion, evolution and phylogenetic compartmentalization between blood and semen. Fourteen paired blood and semen samples were analyzed from four untreated subjects. Clonal sequences (n?=?607) were generated from extracted HIV-1 RNA (env C2-V3 region), and HIV-1 and CMV levels were measured in the seminal plasma by real-time PCR. Sequence alignments were evaluated for: (i) viral compartmentalization between semen and blood samples using Slatkin-Maddison and F(ST) methods, (ii) different nucleotide substitution rates in semen and blood, and (iii) association between proportions of clonal HIV-1 sequences in each compartment and seminal CMV levels. Half of the semen samples had detectable CMV DNA, with at least one CMV positive sample for each patient. Seminal CMV DNA levels correlated positively with seminal HIV-1 RNA levels (Spearman P?=?0.05). A trend towards an association between compartmentalization of HIV-1 sequences sampled from blood and semen and presence of seminal CMV was observed (Cochran Q test P?=?0.12). Evolutionary rates between semen and blood HIV-1 populations did not differ significantly, and there was no significant association between seminal CMV DNA levels and the frequency of non-unique clonal HIV-1 sequences in the semen. In conclusion, the effects of CMV replication on HIV-1 viral and immunologic dynamics within the male genital tract are not significant enough to perturb evolution or disrupt compartmentalization in the genital tract.
Project description:To determine the influence of asymptomatic genital viral infections on the cellular components of semen and blood, we evaluated the associations between the numbers and activation statuses of CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes in both compartments and the seminal levels of cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes simplex virus (HSV), and human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV). Paired blood and semen samples were collected from 36 HIV-infected antiretroviral-naïve individuals and from 40 HIV-uninfected participants. We performed multiparameter flow cytometry analysis (CD45, CD45RA, CD3, CD4, CD8, and CD38) of seminal and blood cellular components and measured HIV RNA and CMV and HSV DNA levels in seminal and blood plasma by real-time PCR. Compared to HIV-uninfected participants, in the seminal compartment HIV-infected participants had higher levels of CMV (P < 0.05), higher numbers of total CD3+ (P < 0.01) and CD8+ subset (P < 0.01) T lymphocytes, and higher CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocyte activation (RA-CD38+) (P < 0.01). Seminal CMV levels positively correlated with absolute numbers of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in semen (P < 0.05) and with the activation status of CD4+ T cells in semen and in blood (P < 0.01). HIV levels in semen (P < 0.05) and blood (P < 0.01) were positively associated with T-cell activation in blood. Activation of CD8+ T cells in blood remained an independent predictor of HIV levels in semen in multivariate analysis. The virologic milieu in the male genital tract strongly influences the recruitment and activation of immune cells in semen and may also modulate T-cell immune activation in blood. These factors likely influence replication dynamics, sexual transmission risk, and disease outcomes for all three viruses.
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:<h4>Background</h4>Semen is the main carrier of sexually transmitted viruses, including human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). However, semen is not just a mere passive transporter of virions but also plays an active role in HIV-1 transmission through cytokines and other biological factors.<h4>Methods</h4>To study the relationship between viruses and the chemokine-cytokine network in the male genital tract, we measured the concentrations of 21 cytokines/chemokines and the loads of HIV-1 and of 6 herpesviruses in seminal and blood plasma from HIV-1-infected and HIV-uninfected men.<h4>Results</h4>We found that (1) semen is enriched in cytokines and chemokines that play key roles in HIV-1 infection or transmission; (2) HIV-1 infection changes the chemokine-cytokine network in semen, further enriching it in cytokines that modulate its replication; (3) HIV-1 infection is associated with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV) compartmentalized seminal reactivation; (4) CMV and EBV concomitant seminal shedding is associated with higher HIV-1 loads in blood and seminal plasma; and (5) CMV seminal reactivation increases the seminal levels of the CCR5 ligands RANTES and eotaxin, and of the CXCR3 ligand monokine induced by gamma interferon (MIG).<h4>Conclusions</h4>HIV-1 infection results in an aberrant production of cytokines and reactivation of EBV and CMV that further changes the seminal cytokine network. The altered seminal milieu in HIV-1 infection may be a determinant of HIV-1 sexual transmission.
Project description:To investigate the role of genital shedding of herpesviruses in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV) transmission, we compared 20 HIV-infected men who did and 26 who did not transmit HIV to their sex partners. As described previously, HIV transmission was associated with the potential source partner having higher levels of HIV RNA in blood and semen, having lower CD4(+) T cell counts, having bacterial coinfections in the genital tract, and not using antiretroviral therapy. This study extended these findings by observing significant associations between HIV transmission and the following characteristics, especially among therapy-naive potential source partners: seminal cytomegalovirus (CMV) shedding, seminal Epstein-Barr virus shedding, and levels of anti CMV immunoglobulin in blood plasma.
Project description:Asymptomatic cytomegalovirus (CMV) replication occurs frequently in the genital tract in untreated HIV-infected men and is associated with increased immune activation and HIV disease progression. To determine the connections between CMV-associated immune activation and the size of the viral reservoir, we evaluated the interactions between (i) asymptomatic seminal CMV replication, (ii) levels of T cell activation and proliferation in blood, and (iii) the size and transcriptional activity of the HIV DNA reservoir in blood from 53 HIV-infected men on long-term antiretroviral therapy (ART) with suppressed HIV RNA in blood plasma. We found that asymptomatic CMV shedding in semen was associated with significantly higher levels of proliferating and activated CD4(+) T cells in blood (P < 0.01). Subjects with detectable CMV in semen had approximately five times higher average levels of HIV DNA in blood CD4(+) T cells than subjects with no CMV. There was also a trend for CMV shedders to have increased cellular (multiply spliced) HIV RNA transcription (P = 0.068) compared to participants without CMV, but it is unclear if this transcription pattern is associated with residual HIV replication. In multivariate analysis, the presence of seminal plasma CMV (P = 0.04), detectable 2-long terminal repeat (2-LTR), and lower nadir CD4(+) (P < 0.01) were independent predictors of higher levels of proviral HIV DNA in blood. Interventions aimed at reducing seminal CMV and associated immune activation may be important for HIV curative strategies. Future studies of anti-CMV therapeutics will help to establish causality and determine the mechanisms underlying these described associations. Importance: Almost all individuals infected with HIV are also infected with cytomegalovirus (CMV), and the replication dynamics of the two viruses likely influence each other. This study investigated interactions between asymptomatic CMV replication within the male genital tract, levels of inflammation in blood, and the size of the HIV DNA reservoir in 53 HIV-infected men on long-term antiretroviral therapy (ART) with suppressed HIV RNA in blood plasma. In support of our primary hypothesis, shedding of CMV DNA in semen was associated with increased activation and proliferation of T cells in blood and also significantly higher levels of HIV DNA in blood cells. These results suggest that CMV reactivation might play a role in the maintenance of the HIV DNA reservoir during suppressive ART and that it could be a target of pharmacologic intervention in future studies.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Understanding the dynamics of HIV across anatomic compartments is important to design effective eradication strategies. In this study, we evaluated viral trafficking between blood and semen during primary HIV infection in 6 antiretroviral-naive men who have sex with men. METHODS:Deep sequencing data of HIV env were generated from longitudinal blood plasma, peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and seminal plasma samples. The presence or absence of viral compartmentalization was assessed using tree-based Slatkin-Maddison and distance-based Fst methods. Phylogeographic analyses were performed using a discrete Bayesian asymmetric approach of diffusion with Markov jump count estimation to evaluate the gene flow between blood and semen during primary HIV infection. Levels of DNA from human herpesviruses and selected inflammatory cytokines were also measured on genital secretions collected at baseline to evaluate potential correlates of increased viral migration between anatomic compartments. RESULTS:We detected varying degrees of compartmentalization in all 6 individuals evaluated. None of them maintained viral compartmentalization between blood and seminal plasma throughout the analyzed time points. Phylogeographic analyses revealed that the HIV population circulating in blood plasma populated the seminal compartment during the earliest stages of infection. In our limited data set, we found no association between local inflammation or herpesvirus shedding at baseline and viral trafficking between semen and blood. CONCLUSIONS:The early spread of virus from blood plasma to genital tract and the complex viral interplay between these compartments suggest that viral eradication efforts will require monitoring viral subpopulations in anatomic sites and viral trafficking during the course of infection.
Project description:Multiple viruses coinfect the male genital tract, influencing each other’s replication and perhaps affecting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pathogenesis and disease progression.This study included 453 longitudinal seminal samples from 195 HIV-infected men from the San Diego Primary Infection Resource Consortium and 67 seminal samples from HIV-negative healthy controls. Seminal HIV RNA and DNA from 7 human herpesviruses (HHVs) were measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Longitudinal shedding rates were determined by Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. Predictors of viral shedding were determined using backwards selection in a multivariable generalized estimating equation model.HIV-infected participants presented significantly increased rates of seminal HHV shedding compared with HIV-uninfected controls. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) were the most commonly detected HHV in semen of HIV-infected participants. Persistent shedding was more common for CMV and EBV when compared to other HHVs. With exception of HHV-7, HHV shedding was not significantly influenced by HIV RNA levels, CD4+ cell counts, or antiretroviral therapy. Presence of CMV, EBV, and herpes simplex virus (HSV) were independent predictors of genital HIV RNA shedding after adjusting for plasma HIV RNA and longitudinal measurements.Seminal replication of multiple HHVs is common in our HIV primary infection cohort. Genital replication of CMV and EBV was the most common and was significantly associated with seminal HIV RNA shedding. Prevalence of HSV shedding was lower and mostly intermittent, but its association with seminal HIV RNA was the strongest. Understanding the complex viral milieu in semen is important for HIV transmission but might also play a role in HIV pathogenesis and disease progression.
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:Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in the male genital tract may comprise virus produced locally in addition to virus transported from the circulation. Virus produced in the male genital tract may be genetically distinct, due to tissue-specific cellular characteristics and immunological pressures. HIV-1 env sequences derived from paired blood and semen samples from the Los Alamos HIV Sequence Database were analyzed to ascertain a male genital tract-specific viral signature. Machine learning algorithms could predict seminal tropism based on env sequences with accuracies exceeding 90%, suggesting that a strong genetic signature does exist for virus replicating in the male genital tract. Additionally, semen-derived viral populations exhibited constrained diversity (P < 0.05), decreased levels of positive selection (P < 0.025), decreased CXCR4 coreceptor utilization, and altered glycosylation patterns. Our analysis suggests that the male genital tract represents a distinct selective environment that contributes to the apparent genetic bottlenecks associated with the sexual transmission of HIV-1.
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.