Detection of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 and type 2 in the female genital tract: implications for the understanding of virus transmission.
ABSTRACT Risk of perinatal or female to male sexual transmission of HIV is likely to be associated with whether, and at what concentration, the virus is present in the cervical and vaginal secretions of the HIV-infected woman. Examining correlates of cervical and vaginal HIV shedding is, therefore, essential for the development of strategies to interrupt HIV transmission. This article presents the rationale for using detection of HIV in the female genital tract as a marker of infectivity, and briefly describes methods for detecting HIV-1 and HIV-2 in cervical or vaginal fluids. Findings from studies incorporating the measurement of HIV in the female genital tract are reviewed, placing particular emphasis on issues relevant to epidemiological studies of HIV transmission.
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ABSTRACT: The differing magnitude of the HIV-1 and HIV-2 epidemics is likely a consequence of differing transmission rates between the two viruses. Similar to other sexually transmitted pathogens, risk of HIV-1 and HIV-2 transmission is likely associated with the presence and amount of HIV in the genital tract. Thus, understanding patterns of, and risk factors for HIV genital tract shedding is critical to effective control of HIV transmission. We evaluated HIV DNA and RNA detection in cervicovaginal specimens among 168 HIV-1 and 50 HIV-2-infected women in Senegal, West Africa. In a subset of 31 women (20 with HIV-1, 11 with HIV-2), we conducted a prospective study in which cervicovaginal specimens were taken at 3-day intervals over a 6-week period. We found significantly lower rates and levels of HIV-2 RNA (58% shedding; 13% with >1000 copies/ml) in the female genital tract than HIV-1 RNA (78% shedding; 40% with >1000 copies/ml) (P = 0.005 and 0.005, respectively), and shedding correlated with plasma viral load irrespective of virus type (odds ratio = 1.9, 95% confidence interval = 1.3-2.8 for each log10 increase in HIV viral RNA). Plasma viral load, not HIV type, was the strongest predictor of genital viral load. Over 80% of closely monitored women, regardless of HIV type, had at least intermittent HIV RNA detection during every 3-day sampling over a 6-week time period. These data help in explaining the different transmission rates between HIV-1 and HIV-2 and may provide new insights regarding prevention.AIDS (London, England) 12/2008; 22(18):2517-25. · 4.91 Impact Factor
- AIDS 04/2007; 21(5):547-63. · 6.41 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: HIV-2 infection, in comparison with HIV-1, is characterized by lower plasma viral loads, slower CD4 cell count decline, decreased AIDS-related mortality, and lower rates of mother-to-child and sexual transmission. To gain further insight into why HIV-1 is more readily transmitted as compared with HIV-2, we analyzed semen and plasma HIV RNA levels in HIV-1 and HIV-2-positive men from Senegal. Twenty-two HIV-1 and 10 HIV-2-infected subjects from the University of Dakar donated semen and blood samples for this analysis. HIV-1 and HIV-2 viral loads in semen and plasma were quantified using type-specific polymerase chain reaction assays. The mean age of the subjects was 37 and 40 years; mean CD4 cell count was 222 and 276 cells/microl and the mean plasma viral load was 4.7 and 3.0 log10 copies/ml for HIV-1 and HIV-2, respectively (P = 0.002). HIV RNA was detected in semen in 21 of 22 (95%) of HIV-1 and seven of 10 (70%) of HIV-2-infected subjects; P = 0.07). However, the levels of HIV RNA present in semen were markedly different between those with HIV-1 and HIV-2, with a mean of 4.4 log10 copies/ml among those with HIV-1 and a mean of 2.6 log10 copies/ml among those with HIV-2 (P < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, plasma viral load and HIV type, but not CD4 cell count, were independently predictive of semen viral load (P = 0.03, 0.05, 0.48, respectively) These data suggest that differences in semen viral load between HIV-1 and HIV-2 may be in part responsible for the markedly different transmission rates of these two viruses. In addition, risk of male genital tract shedding strongly correlates with plasma viral loads. Interventions that decrease viral load may help decrease transmission of both HIV-1 and HIV-2.AIDS 04/2006; 20(6):895-900. · 6.41 Impact Factor