Longitudinal Viral Dynamics in Semen During Early HIV Infection.
ABSTRACT: 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:<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:Detection of human herpesviruses (HHVs) other than cytomegalovirus (CMV) in colonic mucosa of individuals with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) remains unknown. This study identified eight HHVs in the colonic mucosa of individuals with IBD and compared the results with immunocompetent and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals.A total of 89 individuals who had colorectal ulcer on colonoscopy were enrolled: 26 with immunocompetency (n = 26), 41 with IBD, and 22 with HIV infection. We examined the colonic ulcers for the presence of eight HHVs-herpes simplex virus (HSV)-1/2, varicella zoster virus (VZV), CMV, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), HHV-6, HHV-7, and HHV-8-using mucosal PCR.The IBD group had positivity rates of 0%, 0%, 0%, 53.7%, 24.4%, 39%, 39%, and 0% for HSV-1, HSV-2, VZV, EBV, CMV, HHV-6, HHV-7, and HHV-8, respectively. The positivity rates of EBV and CMV in colonic mucosa increased significantly in the order of the immunocompetent, IBD, and HIV groups (EBV: 23.1%, 53.7%, 72.7%, P for trend = 0.0005; CMV, 7.7%, 24.4%, 54.5%, P for trend = 0.0003, respectively), but no increase was found in the other HHVs. Median mucosal EBV DNA values in the immunocompetent, IBD, and HIV groups were 0, 76, and 287 copies/?g DNA, respectively (P for trend = 0.002). Corresponding median mucosal CMV DNA values were 0, 0, and 17 copies/?g DNA (P for trend = 0.0001). There was no significant difference in the positivity rates of the eight HHVs between ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.The HHVs of EBV, CMV, HHV-6, and HHV-7, but not of HSV-1, HSV-2, VZV, or HHV-8, were identified in the colonic mucosa of IBD individuals. EBV and CMV in colonic mucosa was correlated with host immune status in increasing order of immunocompetent, IBD, and HIV-infected individuals.
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: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:Human herpes viruses (HHVs) are widely distributed pathogens. In immuno-competent individuals their clinical outcomes are generally benign but in immuno-compromised hosts, primary infection or extensive viral reactivation can lead to critical diseases. Plasmodium falciparum malaria profoundly affects the host immune system. In this retrospective study, we evaluated the direct effect of acute P. falciparum infection on reactivation and shedding of all known human herpes viruses (HSV-1, HSV-2, VZV, EBV, CMV, HHV-6, HHV-7, HHV-8). We monitored their presence by real time PCR in plasma and saliva of Ugandan children with malaria at the day of admission to the hospital (day-0) and 14 days later (after treatment), or in children with mild infections unrelated to malaria. For each child screened in this study, at least one type of HHV was detected in the saliva. HHV-7 and HHV-6 were detected in more than 70% of the samples and CMV in approximately half. HSV-1, HSV-2, VZV and HHV-8 were detected at lower frequency. During salivary shedding the highest mean viral load was observed for HSV-1 followed by EBV, HHV-7, HHV-6, CMV and HHV-8. After anti-malarial treatment the salivary HSV-1 levels were profoundly diminished or totally cleared. Similarly, four children with malaria had high levels of circulating EBV at day-0, levels that were cleared after anti-malarial treatment confirming the association between P. falciparum infection and EBV reactivation. This study shows that acute P. falciparum infection can contribute to EBV reactivation in the blood and HSV-1 reactivation in the oral cavity. Taken together our results call for further studies investigating the potential clinical implications of HHVs reactivation in children suffering from malaria.
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:Seroprevalence data of human herpesviruses (HHVs) are limited for sub-Saharan Africa. These are important to provide an indication of potential burden of HHV-related disease, in particular in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals who are known to be at increased risk of these conditions in the Western world. In this cross-sectional study among 405 HIV-infected and antiretroviral therapy naïve individuals in rural South Africa the seroprevalence of HHVs was: herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) (98%), herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) (87%), varicella zoster virus (VZV) (89%), and 100% for both Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV). Independent factors associated with VZV seropositivity were low educational status and having children. Lack of in-house access to drinking water was independently associated with positive HSV-1 serostatus, whereas Shangaan ethnicity was associated with HSV-2 seropositivity. Increasing age was associated with higher IgG titres to both EBV and CMV, whereas CD4 cell count was negatively associated with EBV and CMV IgG titres. Moreover, IgG titres of HSV-1 and 2, VZV and CMV, and CMV and EBV were positively correlated. The high HHV seroprevalence emphasises the importance of awareness of these viral infections in HIV-infected individuals in South Africa.
Project description:<h4>Unlabelled</h4>A number of men receiving prolonged suppressive highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) still shed human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in semen. To investigate whether this seminal shedding may be due to poor drug penetration and/or viral production by long-lived cells within male genital tissues, we analyzed semen and reproductive tissues from macaques chronically infected with simian immunodeficiency virus mac251 (SIVmac251) who were treated for 4 months with HAART, which was intensified over the last 7 weeks with an integrase inhibitor. We showed that a subset of treated animals continued shedding SIV in semen despite efficient HAART. This shedding was not associated with low antiretroviral drug concentrations in semen or in testis, epididymis, seminal vesicles, and prostate. HAART had no significant impact on SIV RNA in the urethra, whereas it drastically reduced SIV RNA levels in the prostate and vas deferens and to a lesser extent in the epididymis and seminal vesicle. The only detectable SIV RNA-positive cells within the male genital tract after HAART were urethral macrophages. SIV DNA levels in genital tissues were not decreased by HAART, suggesting the presence throughout the male genital tract of nonproductively infected cells. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that 4 months of HAART induced variable and limited control of viral infection in the male reproductive organs, particularly in the urethra, and suggest that infected long-lived cells in the male genital tract may be involved in persistent seminal shedding during HAART. These results pave the way for further investigations of male genital organ infection in long-term-treated infected individuals.<h4>Importance</h4>A substantial subset of men receiving prolonged HAART suppressing viral loads in the blood still harbor HIV in semen, and cases of sexual transmission have been reported. To understand the origin of this persistence, we analyzed the semen and male reproductive tissues from SIV-infected macaques treated with HAART. We demonstrated that persistent seminal shedding was not linked to poor drug penetration in semen or semen-producing prostate, seminal vesicle, epididymis, and testis. We revealed that HAART decreased SIV RNA to various extents in all male genital organs, with the exception of the urethra, in which SIV RNA(+) macrophages were observed despite HAART. Importantly, HAART did not impact SIV DNA levels in the male genital organs. These results suggest that infection of male genital organs, and particularly the urethra, could be involved in the release of virus in semen during HAART.
Project description:BACKGROUND:This longitudinal study described Cytomegalovirus (CMV) DNA, Epstein-Barr (EBV) DNA and human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) DNA asymptomatic salivary shedding in HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM). We aimed to 1-analyze frequency and persistence of herpesvirus shedding, 2-correlate herpesvirus positivity and HIV viroimmunological parameters and 3-assess the association between HIV-RNA suppression and herpesvirus replication. METHODS:Herpesvirus DNA was tested with an in-house real-time PCR in 2 salivary samples obtained at T0 and T1 (24 months after T0). HIV-RNA was evaluated in the 24 months prior to T0 and in the 24 months prior to T1; MSM were classified as successfully suppressed patients (SSPs), viremic patients (VPs) and partially suppressed patients (PSPs). EBV DNA load was classified as low viral load (EBV-LVL, value ≤10,000 copies/ml) and as high viral load (EBV-HVL,> 10,000 copies/ml). Mann-Whitney U test tested the difference of the median between groups of patients. Chi-squared test and Fisher's exact test compared categorical variables according to the frequencies. Kruskal-Wallis test compared continuous data distributions between levels of categorical variables. RESULTS:Ninety-two patients (median CD4+ count 575 cells/mm3, median nadir 330 CD4+ cells/mm3) were included: 40 SSPs,33 VPs and 19 PSPs. The more frequently single virus detected was EBV, both at T0 and at T1 (in 67.5 and 70% of SSPs, in 84.8 and 81.8% of VPs and in 68.4 and 73.7% of SPSs) and the most frequently multiple positivity detected was EBV + HHV-8. At T1, the percentage of CMV positivity was higher in VPs than in SSPs (36.4% vs 5%, p < 0.001), the combined shedding of HHV-8, CMV and EBV was present only in VPs (15.1%, p = 0.01 respect to SSPs) and no VPs confirmed the absence of shedding found at T0 (vs 17.5% of SSPs, p = 0.01). EBV-HVL was more frequent in VPs than in SSPs: 78.6% at T0 (p = 0.03) and 88.9% at T1 (p = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS:The relationship between uncontrolled plasma HIV viremia and CMV, EBV, and HHV-8 shedding is multifaceted, as demonstrated by the focused association with EBV DNA load and not with its frequency and by the persistent combined detection of two oncogenic viruses as EBV and HHV-8 regardless of HIV virological control.
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.