Faster Adaptation in Smaller Populations: Counterintuitive Evolution of HIV during Childhood Infection.
ABSTRACT: Analysis of HIV-1 gene sequences sampled longitudinally from infected individuals can reveal the evolutionary dynamics that underlie associations between disease outcome and viral genetic diversity and divergence. Here we extend a statistical framework to estimate rates of viral molecular adaptation by considering sampling error when computing nucleotide site-frequencies. This is particularly beneficial when analyzing viral sequences from within-host viral infections if the number of sequences per time point is limited. To demonstrate the utility of this approach, we apply our method to a cohort of 24 patients infected with HIV-1 at birth. Our approach finds that viral adaptation arising from recurrent positive natural selection is associated with the rate of HIV-1 disease progression, in contrast to previous analyses of these data that found no significant association. Most surprisingly, we discover a strong negative correlation between viral population size and the rate of viral adaptation, the opposite of that predicted by standard molecular evolutionary theory. We argue that this observation is most likely due to the existence of a confounding third variable, namely variation in selective pressure among hosts. A conceptual non-linear model of virus adaptation that incorporates the two opposing effects of host immunity on the virus population can explain this counterintuitive result.
Project description:The emergence of a distinct subpopulation of human or simian immunodeficiency virus (HIV/SIV) sequences within the brain (compartmentalization) during infection is hypothesized to be linked to AIDS-related central nervous system (CNS) neuropathology. However, the exact evolutionary mechanism responsible for HIV/SIV brain compartmentalization has not been thoroughly investigated. Using extensive viral sampling from several different peripheral tissues and cell types and from three distinct regions within the brain from two well-characterized rhesus macaque models of the neurological complications of HIV infection (neuroAIDS), we have been able to perform in-depth evolutionary analyses that have been unattainable in HIV-infected subjects. The results indicate that, despite multiple introductions of virus into the brain over the course of infection, brain sequence compartmentalization in macaques with SIV-associated CNS neuropathology likely results from late viral entry of virus that has acquired through evolution in the periphery sufficient adaptation for the distinct microenvironment of the CNS.HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders remain prevalent among HIV type 1-infected individuals, whereas our understanding of the critical components of disease pathogenesis, such as virus evolution and adaptation, remains limited. Building upon earlier findings of specific viral subpopulations in the brain, we present novel yet fundamental results concerning the evolutionary patterns driving this phenomenon in two well-characterized animal models of neuroAIDS and provide insight into the timing of entry of virus into the brain and selective pressure associated with viral adaptation to this particular microenvironment. Such knowledge is invaluable for therapeutic strategies designed to slow or even prevent neurocognitive impairment associated with AIDS.
Project description:A thorough understanding of the role of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) intrahost evolution in AIDS pathogenesis has been limited by the need for longitudinally sampled viral sequences from the vast target space within the host, which are often difficult to obtain from human subjects. CD8+ lymphocyte-depleted macaques infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) provide an increasingly utilized model of pathogenesis due to clinical manifestations similar to those for HIV-1 infection and AIDS progression, as well as a characteristic rapid disease onset. Comparison of this model with SIV-infected non-CD8+ lymphocyte-depleted macaques also provides a unique opportunity to investigate the role of CD8+ cells in viral evolution and population dynamics throughout the duration of infection. Using several different phylogenetic methods, we analyzed viral gp120 sequences obtained from extensive longitudinal sampling of multiple tissues and enriched leukocyte populations from SIVmac251-infected macaques with or without CD8+ lymphocyte depletion. SIV evolutionary and selection patterns in non-CD8+ lymphocyte-depleted animals were characterized by sequential population turnover and continual viral adaptation, a scenario readily comparable to intrahost evolutionary patterns during human HIV infection in the absence of antiretroviral therapy. Alternatively, animals that were depleted of CD8+ lymphocytes exhibited greater variation in population dynamics among tissues and cell populations over the course of infection. Our findings highlight the major role for CD8+ lymphocytes in prolonging disease progression through continual control of SIV subpopulations from various anatomical compartments and the potential for greater independent viral evolutionary behavior among these compartments in response to immune modulation.IMPORTANCE Although developments in combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) strategies have successfully prolonged the time to AIDS onset in HIV-1-infected individuals, a functional cure has yet to be found. Improvement of drug interventions for a virus that is able to infect a wide range of tissues and cell types requires a thorough understanding of viral adaptation and infection dynamics within this target milieu. Although it is difficult to accomplish in the human host, longitudinal sampling of multiple anatomical locations is readily accessible in the SIV-infected macaque models of neuro-AIDS. The significance of our research is in identifying the impact of immune modulation, through differing immune selective pressures, on viral evolutionary behavior in a multitude of anatomical compartments. The results provide evidence encouraging the development of a more sophisticated model that considers a network of individual viral subpopulations within the host, with differing infection and transmission dynamics, which is necessary for more effective treatment strategies.
Project description:Previous studies have demonstrated that single HIV-1 genotypes are commonly transmitted from mother to child, but such analyses primarily used single samples from mother and child. It is possible that in a single sample, obtained early after infection, only the most replication competent virus is detected even when other forms may have been transmitted. Such forms may have advantages later in infection, and may thus be detected in follow-up samples. Because HIV-1 frequently recombines, phylogenetic analyses that ignore recombination may miss transmission of multiple forms if they recombine after transmission. Moreover, recombination may facilitate adaptation, thus providing an advantage in establishing infection. The effect of recombination on viral evolution in HIV-1 infected children has not been well defined.We analyzed full-length env sequences after single genome amplification from the plasma of four subtype B HIV-1 infected women (11-67 env clones from 1 time point within a month prior to delivery) and their non-breastfed, intrapartum-infected children (3-6 longitudinal time points per child starting at the time of HIV-1 diagnosis). To address the potential beneficial or detrimental effects of recombination, we used a recently developed hierarchical recombination detection method based on the pairwise homoplasy index (PHI)-test. Recombination was observed in 9-67% of the maternal sequences and in 25-60% of the child sequences. In the child, recombination only occurred between variants that had evolved after transmission; taking recombination into account, we identified transmission of only 1 or 2 phylogenetic lineages from mother to child. Effective HIV-1 evolutionary rates of HIV-1 were initially high in the child and slowed over time (after 1000 days). Recombination was associated with elevated evolutionary rates.Our results confirm that 1-2 variants are typically transmitted from mothers to their newborns. They also demonstrate that early abundant recombination elevates the effective evolutionary rate, suggesting that recombination increases the rate of adaptation in HIV-1 evolution.
Project description:HIV latency is the chief obstacle to eradicating HIV but is widely believed to be an evolutionary accident providing no lentiviral fitness advantage. However, findings of latency being "hardwired" into HIV's gene-regulatory circuitry appear inconsistent with latency being an evolutionary accident, given HIV's rapid mutation rate. Here, we propose that latency is an evolutionary "bet-hedging" strategy whose frequency has been optimized to maximize lentiviral transmission by reducing viral extinction during mucosal infections. The model quantitatively fits the available patient data, matches observations of high-frequency latency establishment in cell culture and primates, and generates two counterintuitive but testable predictions. The first prediction is that conventional CD8-depletion experiments in SIV-infected macaques increase latent cells more than viremia. The second prediction is that strains engineered to have higher replicative fitness—via reduced latency—will exhibit lower infectivity in animal-model mucosal inoculations. Therapeutically, the theory predicts treatment approaches that may substantially enhance "activate-and-kill" HIV-cure strategies.
Project description:HIV-1 mutations, which reduce or abolish CTL responses against virus-infected cells, are frequently selected in acute and chronic HIV infection. Among population HIV-1 sequences, immune selection is evident as human leukocyte antigen (HLA) allele-associated substitutions of amino acids within or near CD8 T-cell epitopes. In these cases, the non-adapted epitope is susceptible to immune recognition until an escape mutation renders the epitope less immunogenic. However, several population-based studies have independently identified HLA-associated viral changes, which lead to the formation of a new T-cell epitope, suggesting that the immune responses that these variants or 'neo-epitopes' elicit provide an evolutionary advantage to the virus rather than the host. Here, we examined the functional characteristics of eight CD8 T-cell responses that result from viral adaptation in 125 HLA-genotyped individuals with chronic HIV-1 infection. Neo-epitopes included well-characterized immunodominant epitopes restricted by common HLA alleles, and in most cases the T-cell responses against the neo-epitope showed significantly greater functional avidity and higher IFN? production than T cells for non-adapted epitopes, but were not more cytotoxic. Neo-epitope formation and emergence of cognate T-cell response coincident with a rise in viral load was then observed in vivo in an acutely infected individual. These findings show that HIV-1 adaptation not only abrogates the immune recognition of early targeted epitopes, but may also increase immune recognition to other epitopes, which elicit immunodominant but non-protective T-cell responses. These data have implications for immunodominance associated with polyvalent vaccines based on the diversity of chronic HIV-1 sequences.
Project description:Existing concepts can be a major barrier to learning new counterintuitive concepts that contradict pre-existing experience-based beliefs or misleading perceptual cues. When reasoning about counterintuitive concepts, inhibitory control is thought to enable the suppression of incorrect concepts. This study investigated the association between inhibitory control and counterintuitive science and maths reasoning in adolescents (N = 90, 11-15 years). Both response and semantic inhibition were associated with counterintuitive science and maths reasoning, when controlling for age, general cognitive ability, and performance in control science and maths trials. Better response inhibition was associated with longer reaction times in counterintuitive trials, while better semantic inhibition was associated with higher accuracy in counterintuitive trials. This novel finding suggests that different aspects of inhibitory control may offer unique contributions to counterintuitive reasoning during adolescence and provides further support for the hypothesis that inhibitory control plays a role in science and maths reasoning.
Project description:While a clear understanding of the events leading to successful establishment of host-specific viral populations and productive infection in the central nervous system (CNS) has not yet been reached, the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected rhesus macaque provides a powerful model for the study of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) intrahost evolution and neuropathogenesis. The evolution of the gp120 and nef genes, which encode two key proteins required for the establishment and maintenance of infection, was assessed in macaques that were intravenously inoculated with the same viral swarm and allowed to naturally progress to simian AIDS and potential SIV-associated encephalitis (SIVE). Longitudinal plasma samples and immune markers were monitored until terminal illness. Single-genome sequencing was employed to amplify full-length env through nef transcripts from plasma over time and from brain tissues at necropsy. nef sequences diverged from the founder virus faster than gp120 diverged. Host-specific sequence populations were detected in nef (~92 days) before they were detected in gp120 (~182 days). At necropsy, similar brain nef sequences were found in different macaques, indicating convergent evolution, while gp120 brain sequences remained largely host specific. Molecular clock and selection analyses showed weaker clock-like behavior and stronger selection pressure in nef than in gp120, with the strongest nef selection in the macaque with SIVE. Rapid nef diversification, occurring prior to gp120 diversification, indicates that early adaptation of nef in the new host is essential for successful infection. Moreover, the convergent evolution of nef sequences in the CNS suggests a significant role for nef in establishing neurotropic strains.The SIV-infected rhesus macaque model closely resembles HIV-1 immunopathogenesis, neuropathogenesis, and disease progression in humans. Macaques were intravenously infected with identical viral swarms to investigate evolutionary patterns in the gp120 and nef genes leading to the emergence of host-specific viral populations and potentially linked to disease progression. Although each macaque exhibited unique immune profiles, macaque-specific nef sequences evolving under selection were consistently detected in plasma samples at 3 months postinfection, significantly earlier than in gp120 macaque-specific sequences. On the other hand, nef sequences in brain tissues, collected at necropsy of two animals with detectable infection in the central nervous system (CNS), revealed convergent evolution. The results not only indicate that early adaptation of nef in the new host may be essential for successful infection, but also suggest that specific nef variants may be required for SIV to efficiently invade CNS macrophages and/or enhance macrophage migration, resulting in HIV neuropathology.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Recently there has been an increasing interest and appreciation for the gut as both a viral reservoir as well as an important host-pathogen interface in human immunodefiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection. The gut associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) is the largest lymphoid organ infected by HIV-1. In this study we examined if different HIV-1 quasispecies are found in different parts of the gut of HIV-1 infected individuals. RESULTS: Gut biopsies (esophagus, stomach, duodenum and colorectum) were obtained from eight HIV-1 infected preHAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy) patients. HIV-1 Nef and Reverse transcriptase (RT) encoding sequences were obtained through nested PCR amplification from DNA isolated from the gut biopsy tissues. The PCR fragments were cloned and sequenced. The resulting sequences were subjected to various phylogenetic analyses. Expression of the nef gene and viral RNA in the different gut tissues was determined using real-time RT-PCR. Phylogenetic analysis of the Nef protein-encoding region revealed compartmentalization of viral replication in the gut within patients. Viral diversity in both the Nef and RT encoding region varied in different parts of the gut. Moreover, increased nef gene expression (p < 0.05) and higher levels of viral genome were observed in the colorectum (p < 0.05). These differences could reflect an adaptation of HIV-1 to the various tissues. CONCLUSION: Our results indicated that different HIV-1 quasispecies populate different parts of the gut, and that viral replication in the gut is compartmentalized. These observations underscore the importance of the gut as a host-pathogen interface in HIV-1 infection.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To explore the issue of counterintuitive data via analysis of a representative case in which the data obtained was unexpected and inconsistent with current knowledge. We then discuss the issue of counterintuitive data while developing a framework for approaching such findings. DESIGN:The case study is a retrospective analysis of a cohort of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) patients. Regression was used to examine the association between perceived pain in the intensive care unit (ICU) and selected outcomes. SETTING:Medical Information Mart for Intensive Care-III, a publicly available, de-identified critical care patient database. PARTICIPANTS:844 adult patients from the database who underwent CABG surgery and were extubated within 24?hours after ICU admission. OUTCOMES:30?day mortality, 1?year mortality and hospital length of stay (LOS). RESULTS:Increased pain levels were found to be significantly associated with reduced mortality at 30 days and 1?year, and shorter hospital LOS. A one-point increase in mean pain level was found to be associated with a reduction in the odds of 30?day and 1?year mortality by a factor of 0.457 (95% CI 0.304 to 0.687, p<0.01) and 0.710 (95% CI 0.571 to 0.881, p<0.01) respectively, and a 0.916 (95% CI -1.159 to -0.673, p<0.01) day decrease in hospital LOS. CONCLUSION:The finding of an association between increased pain and improved outcomes was unexpected and clinically counterintuitive. In an increasingly digitised age of medical big data, such results are likely to become more common. The reliability of such counterintuitive results must be carefully examined. We suggest several issues to consider in this analytic process. If the data is determined to be valid, consideration must then be made towards alternative explanations for the counterintuitive results observed. Such results may in fact indicate that current clinical knowledge is incomplete or not have been firmly based on empirical evidence and function to inspire further research into the factors involved.
Project description:Due to constitutive expression in cells targeted by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and immediate mode of viral restriction upon HIV entry into the host cell, APOBEC3G (A3G) and APOBEC3F (A3F) have been considered primarily as agents of innate immunity. Recent bioinformatic and mouse model studies hint at the possibility that mutation of the HIV genome by these enzymes may also affect adaptive immunity but whether this occurs in HIV-infected individuals has not been examined. We evaluated whether APOBEC-mediated mutations within common HIV CD8+ T cell epitopes can potentially enhance or diminish activation of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells from infected individuals. We compared ex vivo activation of CD8+ T lymphocytes from HIV-infected individuals by wild type HIV peptide epitopes and synthetic variants bearing simulated A3G/F-induced mutations by measuring interferon-? (IFN-?) production. We found that A3G/F-induced mutations consistently diminished HIV-specific CD8+ T cell responses against the common epitopes we tested. If this reflects a significant trend in vivo, then adaptation by HIV to enrich sequences that are favored for mutation by A3G/F (A3G/F hotspots) in portions of its genome that encode immunogenic CD8+ T cell epitopes would favor CTL escape. Indeed, we found the most frequently mutated A3G motif (CCC) is enriched up to 6-fold within viral genomic sequences encoding immunodominant CD8+ T cell epitopes in Gag, Pol and Nef. Within each gene, A3G/F hotspots are more abundant in sequences encoding epitopes that are commonly recognized due to their HLA restriction. Thus, in our system, mutations of the HIV genome, mimicking A3G/F activity, appeared to abrogate or severely reduce CTL recognition. We suggest that the physiological significance of this potential effect in facilitating CTL escape is echoed in the adaptation of the HIV genome to enrich A3G/F hotspots in sequences encoding CTL epitopes that are more immunogenic at the population level.