In the current era of effective anti-retroviral therapy, immuno-compromised patients with HIV-1 infection do live long enough to suffer diseases caused by many opportunistic infections, such as herpes simplex virus type 1 and/or type 2 (HSV-1/2). An estimated two-third of the 40 million individuals that have contracted HIV-1 worldwide are co-infected with HSV-1/2 viruses, the causative agents of ocular oro-facial and genital herpes. The highest prevalence of HIV and HSV-1/2 infections are confined to the same regions of Sub-Saharan Africa. HSV-1/2 infections affect HIV-1 immunity, and vice versa. While important research gains have been made in understanding herpes and HIV immunity, the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the crosstalk between HSV-1/2 and HIV co-infection remain to be fully elucidated. Understanding the mechanisms behind the apparent HSV/HIV negative immuno-synergy maybe the key to successful HSV and HIV vaccines; both are currently unavailable. An effective herpes immunotherapeutic vaccine would in turn - indirectly - contribute in reducing HIV epidemic. The purpose of this review is: (i) to summarize the current trends in understanding the negative immuno-crosstalk between HIV and HSV-1/2 infections; and (ii) to discuss the possibility of developing a novel mucosal herpes immunotherapeutic strategy or even a combined or chimeric immunotherapeutic vaccine that simultaneously targets HIV and HSV-1/2 infections. These new trends in immunology of HSV-1/2 and HIV co-infections should become part of current efforts in preventing sexually transmitted infections. The alternative is needed to balance the ethical and financial concerns associated with the rising number of unsuccessful mono-valent clinical vaccine trials.
"The ability of HIV-1 to change its tropism by acquiring glycoproteins from other viruses or endogenous retroviruses could also explain published reports of infection of non-CD4+ cells in vivo, including epithelial cells and hepatocytes –. Interestingly, there have been reports that efforts to reduce the prevalence of HSV also resulted in lower infection rates of HIV-1 , . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The global AIDS pandemic continues to expand and in some regions of the world, such as southern Africa, the prevalence of HIV-1 infection exceeds 20%. The devastating spread of the virus in young women in these countries appears disproportional to overall risk of infection. Regions with high prevalence of HIV-1 are often also highly endemic for other pathogenic viruses including HSV, CMV and HTLV. We propose that acquisition by HIV-1 of the envelope glycoproteins of other viruses, in a process we call "natural pseudotyping," expands the cellular tropism of HIV-1, enabling it to infect female genital epithelial cells directly and thereby dramatically increasing risk of infection during sexual intercourse. In this proof-of-concept study, we demonstrate that when HIV-1 co-infects T cells along with the gammaretrovirus xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV), progeny HIV-1 particles are produced capable of infecting primary vaginal, ectocervical and endocervical epithelial cells. These cell types are normally resistant to HIV-1 infection. Infection of primary genital cells was neutralized by antisera against the XMRV glycoprotein, confirming that infection was mediated by the XMRV glycoprotein acquired through pseudotyping of HIV. Inhibition by AZT showed that active replication of HIV-1 occurred in these cells and ruled out non-specific endocytic uptake of the virus. These results demonstrate that natural pseudotyping can expand the tropism of HIV-1 to include genital epithelial cells and have potential implications for sexual transmission of the virus.
PLoS ONE 07/2014; 9(7):e101367. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0101367 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two DNA vaccine plasmids encoding Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) glycoprotein D, NTC8485-O2-gD2 and NTC8485-O2-UgD2tr, were produced at large scale under current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) for use in a Phase I human clinical trial. These DNA vaccines incorporate the regulatory agency compliant, minimal, antibiotic-free (AF) NTC8485 mammalian expression vector. Plasmid yields of > 1 g/L were achieved using the HyperGRO™ fed-batch fermentation process, with successful scale up from 10L process development scale to 320L culture volume for cGMP production. The DNA vaccines were purified using a low residence time, high shear lysis process and AIRMIX (TM) technology, followed by chromatographic purification. This combination of optimized plasmid vector, high yield upstream production, and efficient downstream purification resulted in purified HSV-2 DNA vaccines with > 99% total supercoiled plasmid, ≤ 0.2% RNA, ≤ 0.1% host cell genomic DNA, and ≤ 0.1 endotoxin units per mg.
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