Occult hepatitis B virus infection in chacma baboons, South Africa.
ABSTRACT: During previous studies of susceptibility to hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, HBV DNA was detected in 2/6 wild-caught baboons. In the present study, HBV DNA was amplified from 15/69 wild-caught baboons. All animals were negative for HBV surface antigen and antibody against HBV core antigen. Liver tissue from 1 baboon was immunohistochemically negative for HBV surface antigen but positive for HBV core antigen. The complete HBV genome of an isolate from this liver clustered with subgenotype A2. Reverse transcription PCR of liver RNA amplified virus precore and surface protein genes, indicating replication of virus in baboon liver tissue. Four experimentally naive baboons were injected with serum from HBV DNA-positive baboons. These 4 baboons showed transient seroconversion, and HBV DNA was amplified from serum at various times after infection. The presence of HBV DNA at relatively low levels and in the absence of serologic markers in the baboon, a nonhuman primate, indicates an occult infection.
Project description:AIM:To determine whether one genotype (A or non-A genotypes of HBV) predominated over the other during the course of HBV infection. METHODS:Four baboons were inoculated with HBV. DNA was extracted from serum obtained at monthly intervals post-inoculation for 52 weeks and HBV DNA was amplified using primers specific for the core region containing an insert characteristic of genotype A (nt 2 354-2 359, numbering from the EcoRI site). The amplicons were cloned into PCR-Script(TM) and a minimum of 15 clones per time point were sequenced in both directions. RESULTS:Both genotypes persisted for the entire follow-up period of 52 weeks. Genotype non-A predominated in two baboons and genotype A in one baboon. Neither genotype predominated in the fourth baboon, as shown at a 5 % level of testing. CONCLUSION:No conclusions concerning the dominance of either genotype or the natural progression or replication rates of HBV could be drawn because the pattern of the genotypes found may have been caused by sampling fluctuations at the time of DNA extraction and cloning as a result of the very low viral loads in the baboon sera.
Project description:Simian hemorrhagic fever virus is an arterivirus that naturally infects species of African nonhuman primates causing acute or persistent asymptomatic infections. Although it was previously estimated that 1% of baboons are SHFV-positive, more than 10% of wild-caught and captive-bred baboons tested were SHFV positive and the infections persisted for more than 10 years with detectable virus in the blood (100-1000 genomes/ml). The sequences of two baboon SHFV isolates that were amplified by a single passage in primary macaque macrophages had a high degree of identity to each other as well as to the genome of SHFV-LVR, a laboratory strain isolated in the 1960s. Infection of Japanese macaques with 100PFU of a baboon isolate consistently produced high level viremia, pro-inflammatory cytokines, elevated tissue factor levels and clinical signs indicating coagulation defects. The baboon virus isolate provides a reliable BSL2 model of viral hemorrhagic fever disease in macaques.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Although higher levels of hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication in HIV-HBV co-infection may relate to liver disease progression, this has not been completely elucidated. We used expression of hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg) in liver biopsies from HIV-HBV co-infected and HBV mono-infected patients as a marker for HBV replication, and related these findings to clinical and histological parameters. METHODS:Data from 244 HBV patients were compared with 34 HIV-HBV patients. Liver biopsies were scored for inflammation, fibrosis, HBcAg, and hepatitis B surface antigen. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed. RESULTS:HBcAg, but not hepatitis B surface antigen, staining was stronger in HIV co-infected than in HBV mono-infected. Co-infected and HBV mono-infected had similar alanine aminotransferase, inflammatory and fibrosis scores, and hepatitis B e antigen status. HBcAg staining correlated with HIV after correcting for HBV DNA and hepatitis B e antigen. CD4 counts and HIV RNA level did not correlate with intensity of HBcAg staining. HBV DNA levels were higher in HIV co-infected and correlated with HBcAg staining. CONCLUSIONS:By looking at HBcAg as a reflection of HBV replication in HIV-HBV co-infected with controlled HIV, our findings suggest that these patients may have subtle immune function defects, which could lead to adverse liver disease outcomes.
Project description:In 2002 Takamatsu and co-workers described the human DSCR9 gene and observed that it was transcriptionally active in human testicular tissue, but no protein was identified as a product of this transcript. Similar results were obtained in chimpanzee tissue. This gene has not been detected in species other than primates, suggesting that DSCR9 is exclusively found in these mammals.We report evidence of DSCR9 expression in placenta, testis and kidney of baboon (Papio hamadryas). We used primers specific for DSCR9 to amplify transcripts through reverse transcription (RT) coupled to polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Furthermore, PCR was used to amplify the complete DSCR9 gene from genomic DNA from three baboons. We amplified and sequenced five overlapping segments that were assembled into the 3284?bp baboon DSCR9 gene, including the putative promoter and the entire transcriptional unit (5'-UTR, CDS and 3'-UTR).The baboon DSCR9 gene is highly similar to the human counterpart. The isolated transcripts from baboon tissues (placenta, testis and kidney) of three different baboons correspond to the human orthologous gene.
Project description:Simian virus 40 (SV40) is a polyomavirus for which non-human primates are the permissive host. The baboon (Papio spp.) is an old world monkey that is used in a variety of research investigations; however, natural infection of SV40 among baboons has not been thoroughly examined or reported. Initially, we were interested in determining the prevalence of SV40 infection among a captive colony of baboons based on the presence of antibodies to SV40 large T-antigen (Tag). An overall seroprevalence rate of >50% was found after screening sera from 142 baboons in the colony based on ELISA. Endpoint titer values for serum antibody binding to SV40 Tag reached as high as 1280 for 5 out of 142 baboons. Peptide binding assays revealed that a range of SV40 Tag epitopes are immunogenic in the baboon, and that individual animals differ in their humoral immune responses to SV40 Tag based on epitope recognition. Specificity to SV40 Tag and not some other primate polyomavirus encoded large Tag was further examined by serologic reactivity to peptide epitopes unique to SV40 Tag. Additional serology was performed to assess SV40 Tag reactivity by Western blot and whether antibodies were capable of neutralizing SV40 infectivity in vitro. Although antibodies with high levels of SV40 neutralization were observed in a number of the baboons, there was a lack of correlation between viral neutralization and antibodies to SV40 Tag. Further examination using molecular-based diagnosis and SV40 Tag specific real-time quantitative PCR determined that some of the baboons appeared to be exposed to SV40. DNA sequence analysis of the PCR products confirmed that SV40 Tag specific sequences were detected in baboons.
Project description:Occult hepatitis B virus (O-HBV) infection is characterized by the presence of HBV DNA without detectable hepatitis B surface antigen (HBV DNA+/HBsAg-) in the serum. Although O-HBV is more prevalent during HBV/HIV co-infection, analysis of HBV mutations in co-infected patients is limited. In this preliminary study, HBV PreSurface (PreS) and surface (S) regions were amplified from 33 HIV-positive patient serum samples - 27 chronic HBV (C-HBV) and six O-HBV infections. HBV genotype was determined by phylogenetic analysis, while quasispecies diversity was quantified for the PreS, S and overlapping polymerase regions. C-HBV infections harboured genotypes A, D and G, compared to A, E, G and one mixed A/G infection for O-HBV. Interestingly, nonsynonymous-synonymous mutation values indicated positive immune selection in three regions for O-HBV vs one for C-HBV. Sequence analysis further identified new O-HBV mutations, in addition to several previously reported mutations within the HBsAg antigenic determinant. Several of these O-HBV mutations likely contribute to the lack of detectable HBsAg in O-HBV infection by interfering with detection in serologic assays, altering antigen secretion and/or decreasing replicative fitness.
Project description:Infections with hepatitis B virus (HBV) can initiate chronic hepatitis and liver injury, causing more than 600,000 deaths each year worldwide. Current treatments for chronic hepatitis B are inadequate and leave an unmet need for immunotherapeutic approaches. We designed virus-like vesicles (VLV) as self-amplifying RNA replicons expressing three HBV antigens (polymerase, core, and middle surface) from a single vector (HBV-VLV) to break immune exhaustion despite persistent HBV replication. The HBV-VLV induces HBV-specific T cells in naive mice and renders them resistant to acute challenge with HBV. Using a chronic model of HBV infection, we demonstrate efficacy of HBV-VLV priming in combination with DNA booster immunization, as 40% of treated mice showed a decline of serum HBV surface antigen below the detection limit and marked reduction in liver HBV RNA accompanied by induction of HBsAg-specific CD8 T cells. These results warrant further evaluation of HBV-VLV for immunotherapy of chronic hepatitis B.
Project description:Baboons naturally infected with simian T lymphotropic virus (STLV) are a potentially useful model system for the study of vaccination against human T lymphotropic virus (HTLV). Here we expanded the number of available full-length baboon STLV-1 sequences from one to three and related the T cell responses that recognize the immunodominant Tax protein to the tax sequences present in two individual baboons. Continuously growing T cell lines were established from two baboons, animals 12141 and 12752. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) of complete STLV genome sequences from these T cell lines revealed them to be closely related but distinct from each other and from the baboon STLV-1 sequence in the NCBI sequence database. Overlapping peptides corresponding to each unique Tax sequence and to the reference baboon Tax sequence were used to analyze recognition by T cells from each baboon using intracellular cytokine staining (ICS). Individual baboons expressed more gamma interferon and tumor necrosis factor alpha in response to Tax peptides corresponding to their own STLV-1 sequence than in response to Tax peptides corresponding to the reference baboon STLV-1 sequence. Thus, our analyses revealed distinct but closely related STLV-1 genome sequences in two baboons, extremely low heterogeneity of STLV sequences within each baboon, no evidence for superinfection within each baboon, and a ready ability of T cells in each baboon to recognize circulating Tax sequences. While amino acid substitutions that result in escape from CD8+ T cell recognition were not observed, premature stop codons were observed in 7% and 56% of tax sequences from peripheral blood mononuclear cells from animals 12141 and 12752, respectively.IMPORTANCE It has been estimated that approximately 100,000 people suffer serious morbidity and 10,000 people die each year from the consequences associated with human T lymphotropic virus (HTLV) infection. There are no antiviral drugs and no preventive vaccine. A preventive vaccine would significantly impact the global burden associated with HTLV infections. Here we provide fundamental information on the simian T lymphotropic virus (STLV) naturally transmitted in a colony of captive baboons. The limited viral sequence heterogeneity in individual baboons, the identity of the viral gene product that is the major target of cellular immune responses, the persistence of viral amino acid sequences that are the major targets of cellular immune responses, and the emergence in vivo of truncated variants in the major target of cellular immune responses all parallel what are seen with HTLV infection of humans. These results justify the use of STLV-infected baboons as a model system for vaccine development efforts.
Project description:Occult hepatitis B is characterized by the absence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) but the presence of HBV DNA. Because diagnosis of hepatitis B virus (HBV) typically includes HBsAg detection, occult HBV remains largely undiagnosed. Occult HBV is associated with increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma, reactivation to chronic HBV during immune suppression, and transmission during blood transfusion and liver transplant. The mechanisms leading to occult HBV infection are unclear, although viral mutations are likely a significant factor. In this study, sera from 394 HIV-positive South Africans were tested for HBV DNA and HBsAg. For patients with detectable HBV DNA, the overlapping surface and polymerase open reading frames (ORFs) were sequenced. Occult-associated mutations-those mutations found exclusively in individuals with occult HBV infection but not in individuals with chronic HBV infection from the same cohort or GenBank references-were identified. Ninety patients (22.8%) had detectable HBV DNA. Of these, 37 had detectable HBsAg, while 53 lacked detectable surface antigen. The surface and polymerase ORFs were cloned successfully for 19 patients with chronic HBV and 30 patients with occult HBV. In total, 235 occult-associated mutations were identified. Ten occult-associated mutations were identified in more than one patient. Additionally, 15 amino acid positions had two distinct occult-associated mutations at the same residue. Occult-associated mutations were common and present in all regions of the surface and polymerase ORFs. Further study is underway to determine the effects of these mutations on viral replication and surface antigen expression in vitro.
Project description:Baboons (genus Papio) are distributed over most of sub-Saharan Africa and in the southern portion of the Arabian Peninsula. Six distinct morphotypes, with clearly defined geographic distributions, are recognized (the olive, chacma, yellow, Guinea, Kinda, and hamadryas baboons). The evolutionary relationships among baboon forms have long been a controversial issue. Phylogenetic analyses based on mitochondrial DNA sequences revealed that the modern baboon morphotypes are mitochondrially paraphyletic or polyphyletic. The discordance between mitochondrial lineages and morphology is indicative of extensive introgressive hybridization between ancestral baboon populations. To gain insights into the evolutionary relationships among morphotypes and their demographic history, we performed an analysis of nuclear variation in baboons. We sequenced 13 noncoding, putatively neutral, nuclear regions, and scored the presence/absence of 18 polymorphic transposable elements in a sample of 45 baboons belonging to five of the six recognized baboon forms. We found that the chacma baboon is the sister-taxon to all other baboons and the yellow baboon is the sister-taxon to an unresolved northern clade containing the olive, Guinea, and hamadryas baboons. We estimated that the diversification of baboons occurred entirely in the Pleistocene, the earliest split dating ?1.5 million years ago, and that baboons have experienced relatively large and constant effective population sizes for most of their evolutionary history (?30,000 to 95,000 individuals).