Compartmentalization and Clonal Amplification of HIV-1 in the Male Genital Tract Characterized Using Next-Generation Sequencing.
ABSTRACT: 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.IMPORTANCE 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: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.
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:Whether unique human immunodeficiency type 1 (HIV) genotypes occur in the genital tract is important for vaccine development and management of drug resistant viruses. Multiple cross-sectional studies suggest HIV is compartmentalized within the female genital tract. We hypothesize that bursts of HIV replication and/or proliferation of infected cells captured in cross-sectional analyses drive compartmentalization but over time genital-specific viral lineages do not form; rather viruses mix between genital tract and blood.Eight women with ongoing HIV replication were studied during a period of 1.5 to 4.5 years. Multiple viral sequences were derived by single-genome amplification of the HIV C2-V5 region of env from genital secretions and blood plasma. Maximum likelihood phylogenies were evaluated for compartmentalization using 4 statistical tests.In cross-sectional analyses compartmentalization of genital from blood viruses was detected in three of eight women by all tests; this was associated with tissue specific clades containing multiple monotypic sequences. In longitudinal analysis, the tissues-specific clades did not persist to form viral lineages. Rather, across women, HIV lineages were comprised of both genital tract and blood sequences.The observation of genital-specific HIV clades only in cross-sectional analysis and an absence of genital-specific lineages in longitudinal analyses suggest a dynamic interchange of HIV variants between the female genital tract and blood.
Project description:Understanding the dynamics and spread of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) within the body, including within the female genital tract with its central role in heterosexual and peripartum transmission, has important implications for treatment and vaccine development. To study HIV-1 populations within tissues, we compared viruses from across the cervix to those in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) during effective and failing antiretroviral therapy (ART) and in patients not receiving ART. Single-genome sequences of the C2-V5 region of HIV-1 env were derived from PBMC and three cervical biopsies per subject. Maximum-likelihood phylogenies were evaluated for differences in genetic diversity and compartmentalization within and between cervical biopsies and PBMC. All subjects had one or more clades with genetically identical HIV-1 env sequences derived from single-genome sequencing. These sequences were from noncontiguous cervical biopsies or from the cervix and circulating PBMC in seven of eight subjects. Compartmentalization of virus between genital tract and blood was observed by statistical methods and tree topologies in six of eight subjects, and potential genital lineages were observed in two of eight subjects. The detection of monotypic sequences across the cervix and blood, especially during effective ART, suggests that cells with provirus undergo clonal expansion. Compartmentalization of viruses within the cervix appears in part due to viruses homing to and/or expanding within the cervix and is rarely due to unique viruses evolving within the genital tract. Further studies are warranted to investigate mechanisms producing monotypic viruses across tissues and, importantly, to determine whether the proliferation of cells with provirus sustain HIV-1 persistence in spite of effective ART.
Project description:Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-associated dementia (HAD) is a severe neurological disease that affects a subset of HIV-1-infected individuals. Increased compartmentalization has been reported between blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) HIV-1 populations in subjects with HAD, but it is still not known when compartmentalization arises during the course of infection. To assess HIV-1 genetic compartmentalization early during infection, we compared HIV-1 populations in the peripheral blood and CSF in 11 primary infection subjects, with analysis of longitudinal samples over the first 18 months for a subset of subjects. We used heteroduplex tracking assays targeting the variable regions of env and single-genome amplification and sequence analysis of the full-length env gene to identify CSF-compartmentalized variants and to examine viral genotypes within the compartmentalized populations. For most subjects, HIV-1 populations were equilibrated between the blood and CSF compartments. However, compartmentalized HIV-1 populations were detected in the CSF of three primary infection subjects, and longitudinal analysis of one subject revealed that compartmentalization during primary HIV-1 infection was resolved. Clonal amplification of specific HIV-1 variants was identified in the CSF population of one primary infection subject. Our data show that compartmentalization can occur in the central nervous system (CNS) of subjects in primary HIV-1 infection in part through persistence of the putative transmitted parental variant or via viral genetic adaptation to the CNS environment. The presence of distinct HIV-1 populations in the CSF indicates that independent HIV-1 replication can occur in the CNS, even early after HIV-1 transmission.
Project description:Worldwide, 90% of HIV-1 infections are transmitted heterosexually. Because the genital mucosa are the sites of initial contact with HIV-1 for most exposed individuals, study of the virus from the genital tract is critical for the development of vaccines and therapeutics. Previous analyses of HIV-1 in various tissues have documented compartmentalization of viral genomes. Whether compartmentalization was associated with viral phenotypic differences or immune status, however, was not well understood. We compared HIV-1 gp120 env sequences from the genital tract and plasma of 12 women. Eight women displayed compartmentalized HIV-1 RNA genomes, with viral sequences from each site that were clearly discrete, yet phylogenetically related. The remaining four exhibited env sequences that were intermingled between the two sites. Women with compartmentalized HIV-1 genomes had higher CD4+ cell counts than those displaying intermingled strains (P = 0.02). Intrapatient HIV-1 recombinants comprising sequences that were characteristic of both sites were identified. We next compared viral phenotypes in each compartment. HIV-1 coreceptor usage was often compartmentalized (P 0.01). The number of N-linked glycosylation sites, associated with neutralization resistance, also differed between compartments (P < 0.01). Furthermore, disparities between the density of gp120 glycosylations in each compartment correlated with higher CD4+ counts (P = 0.03). These data demonstrate that the genital tract and plasma can harbor populations of replicating HIV-1 with different phenotypes. The association of higher CD4+ cell counts with compartmentalization of viral genomes and density of gp120 glycosylations suggests that the immune response influences the development of viral genotypes in each compartment. These findings are relevant to the prevention and control of HIV-1 infection.
Project description:Investigation of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in the genital tract of women is crucial to the development of vaccines and therapies. Previous analyses of HIV-1 in various anatomic sites have documented compartmentalization, with viral sequences from each location that were distinct yet phylogenetically related. Full-length RNA genomes derived from different compartments in the same individual, however, have not yet been studied. Furthermore, although there is evidence that intrapatient recombination may occur frequently, recombinants comprising viruses from different sites within one individual have rarely been documented. We compared full-length HIV-1 RNA sequences in the plasma and female genital tract, focusing on a woman with high HIV-1 RNA loads in each compartment who had been infected heterosexually and then transmitted HIV-1 by the same route. We cloned and sequenced 10 full-length HIV-1 RNA genomes from her genital tract and 10 from her plasma. We also compared viral genomes from the genital tract and plasma of four additional heterosexually infected women, sequencing 164 env and gag clones obtained from the two sites. Four of five women, including the one whose complete viral sequences were determined, displayed compartmentalized HIV-1 genomes. Analyses of full-length, compartmentalized sequences made it possible to document complex intrapatient HIV-1 recombinants that were composed of alternating viral sequences characteristic of each site. These findings demonstrate that the genital tract and blood harbor genetically distinct populations of replicating HIV-1 and provide evidence that recombination between strains from the two compartments contributes to rapid evolution of viral sequence variation in infected individuals.
Project description:HIV-1 is present in anatomical compartments and bodily fluids. Most transmissions occur through sexual acts, making virus in semen the proximal source in male donors. We find three distinct relationships in comparing viral RNA populations between blood and semen in men with chronic HIV-1 infection, and we propose that the viral populations in semen arise by multiple mechanisms including: direct import of virus, oligoclonal amplification within the seminal tract, or compartmentalization. In addition, we find significant enrichment of six out of nineteen cytokines and chemokines in semen of both HIV-infected and uninfected men, and another seven further enriched in infected individuals. The enrichment of cytokines involved in innate immunity in the seminal tract, complemented with chemokines in infected men, creates an environment conducive to T cell activation and viral replication. These studies define different relationships between virus in blood and semen that can significantly alter the composition of the viral population at the source that is most proximal to the transmitted virus.
Project description:In the present study, we assessed whether human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) genetic compartmentalization was associated with phenotypic CCR5 (R5) or CXCR4 (X4) coreceptor usage differences between the systemic and the genital viral populations. Four clinically asymptomatic and treatment-naïve clade A HIV-1-infected patients were selected from a cohort of 274 African women, because they were free of all the biological cofactors known to modify the kinetics of viral production in the genital tract. HIV RNA envelope sequences (V1 to V3) derived from plasma and cervicovaginal secretions (CVS) were amplified, subcloned, and sequenced. CCR5 or CXCR4 coreceptor usage was determined by production of recombinant viral particles, followed by single-cycle infection assays of indicator cell lines, using the tropism recombinant test. In these four selected patients, CVS-derived sequences appeared to be genetically distinct from blood-derived sequences (P < or = 0.001). Two patients were found to harbor virus populations with only the R5 phenotype in both compartments, whereas viruses using CXCR4 in addition to CCR5 were detected in two other patients. In particular, one woman harbored genital virus populations with mixed R5 and X4 phenotypes associated with peripheral blood populations with only the R5 phenotype. These results demonstrate genetic compartmentalization of HIV between the plasma and genital secretions of clinically asymptomatic, treatment-naïve, clade A-infected women. Also, for one patient, we report phenotypic coreceptor usage differences between the systemic (R5) and genital (R5/X4) viral populations. These features may be critical for the development of further mucosal vaccines, therapies, or new preventive strategies to block heterosexual transmission.
Project description:HIV transmission via breastfeeding accounts for a considerable proportion of infant HIV acquisition. However, the origin and evolution of the virus population in breast milk, the likely reservoir of transmitted virus variants, are not well characterized. In this study, HIV envelope (env) genes were sequenced from virus variants amplified by single-genome amplification from plasmas and milk of 12 chronically HIV-infected, lactating Malawian women. Maximum likelihood trees and statistical tests of compartmentalization revealed interspersion of plasma and milk HIV env sequences in the majority of subjects, indicating limited or no compartmentalization of milk virus variants. However, phylogenetic tree analysis further revealed monotypic virus variants that were significantly more frequent in milk (median proportion of identical viruses, 29.5%; range, 0 to 61%) than in plasma (median proportion of identical viruses, 0%; range, 0 to 26%) (P = 0.002), suggesting local virus replication in the breast milk compartment. Moreover, clonally amplified virus env genes in milk produced functional virus Envs that were all CCR5 tropic. Milk and plasma virus Envs had similar predicted phenotypes and neutralization sensitivities to broadly neutralizing antibodies in both transmitting and nontransmitting mothers. Finally, phylogenetic comparison of longitudinal milk and plasma virus env sequences revealed synchronous virus evolution and new clonal amplification of evolved virus env genes in milk. The limited compartmentalization and the clonal amplification of evolving, functional viruses in milk indicate continual seeding of the mammary gland by blood virus variants, followed by transient local replication of these variants in the breast milk compartment.