HIV-1 transmission after cessation of early antiretroviral therapy among men having sex with men.

Division of Infectious Diseases and Hospital Epidemiology, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
AIDS (London, England) (Impact Factor: 6.56). 04/2010; 24(8):1177-83. DOI: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e328338e4de
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To study transmission dynamics during acute infection, during the aviremic phase over the period of early antiretroviral therapy (ART) and during the phase of viral rebound after early treatment was stopped.
Transmission dynamics was assessed within 111 patients, enrolled in the Zurich primary HIV infection study, by molecular epidemiological methods using pol sequences from genotypic resistance tests and clonal env C2-V3-C3 sequences. Coclustering of Zurich primary HIV infection sequences with 12,303 sequences from 8837 HIV-positive patients enrolled in the multisite Swiss HIV Cohort Study was identified. Furthermore, we investigated transmission patterns within phylogenetic clusters by using longitudinal clinical data and analyzed HIV transmission by stage of infection and attempted to localize transmission events to periods before or after early ART.
Six transmission clusters comprising 20 men having sex with men were identified. Furthermore, linkage to eight men having sex with men from the Swiss HIV Cohort Study could be established. Strikingly, we detected at least five new primary infection events originating from Zurich primary HIV infection patients within 16-61 weeks after stopping early ART. Viral loads of likely index patients varied from 314 up to 1,690,000 HIV-1 RNA copies/ml of plasma at the estimated time of infection.
The large number of new infections originating from men having sex with men who stopped early ART indicates that current preventive efforts are insufficient. In contrast, these patients showed no adherence problems. These findings argue for early, continuous ART in sexually active HIV-1-infected persons not only for individual patient benefits but also specifically to reduce the spread of HIV-1.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE New data and antiretroviral regimens expand treatment choices in resource-rich settings and warrant an update of recommendations to treat adults infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). OBJECTIVE To provide updated treatment recommendations for adults with HIV, emphasizing when to start treatment; what treatment to start; the use of laboratory monitoring tools; and managing treatment failure, switches, and simplification. DATA SOURCES, STUDY SELECTION, AND DATA SYNTHESIS An International Antiviral Society–USA panel of experts in HIV research and patient care considered previous data and reviewed new data since the 2012 update with literature searches in PubMed and EMBASE through June 2014. Recommendations and ratings were based on the quality of evidence and consensus. RESULTS Antiretroviral therapy is recommended for all adults with HIV infection. Evidence for benefits of treatment and quality of available data increase at lower CD4 cell counts. Recommended initial regimens include 2 nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs; abacavir/lamivudine or tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine) and a third single or boosted drug, which should be an integrase strand transfer inhibitor (dolutegravir, elvitegravir, or raltegravir), a nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (efavirenz or rilpivirine) or a boosted protease inhibitor (darunavir or atazanavir). Alternative regimens are available. Boosted protease inhibitor monotherapy is generally not recommended, but NRTI-sparing approaches may be considered. New guidance for optimal timing of monitoring of laboratory parameters is provided. Suspected treatment failure warrants rapid confirmation, performance of resistance testing while the patient is receiving the failing regimen, and evaluation of reasons for failure before consideration of switching therapy. Regimen switches for adverse effects, convenience, or to reduce costs should not jeopardize antiretroviral potency. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE After confirmed diagnosis of HIV infection, antiretroviral therapy should be initiated in all individuals who are willing and ready to start treatment. Regimens should be selected or changed based on resistance test results with consideration of dosing frequency, pill burden, adverse toxic effect profiles, comorbidities, and drug interactions.
    JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 07/2014; 312(4):410-25. DOI:10.1001/jama.2014.8722 · 30.39 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Variable loops 1 and 2 (V1V2) of the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein gp120 perform two key functions: ensuring envelope trimer entry competence and shielding against neutralizing antibodies. While preserving entry functionality would suggest a high need for V1V2 sequence optimization and conservation, shielding efficacy is known to depend on a high flexibility of V1V2 giving rise to its substantial sequence variability. How entry competence of the trimer is maintained despite the continuous emergence of antibody escape mutations within V1V2 has not been resolved. Since HIV cell-cell transmission is considered a highly effective means of virus dissemination, we investigated whether cell-cell transmission may serve to enhance infectivity of V1V2 variants with debilitated free virus entry.ResultsIn a detailed comparison of wt and V1V2 mutant envelopes, V1V2 proved to be a key factor in ascertaining free virus infectivity, with V1V2 mutants displaying significantly reduced trimer integrity. Despite these defects, cell-cell transmission was able to partially rescue infectivity of V1V2 mutant viruses. We identified two regions, encompassing amino acids 156 to 160 (targeted by broadly neutralizing antibodies) and 175 to 180 (encompassing the ¿4ß7 binding site) which were particularly prone to free virus infectivity loss upon mutation but maintained infectivity in cell-cell transmission. Of note, V1V2 antibody shielding proved important during both free virus infection and cell-cell transmission.Conclusions Based on our data we propose a model for V1V2 evolution that centers on cell-cell transmission as a salvage pathway for virus replication. Escape from antibody neutralization may frequently result in V1V2 mutations that reduce free virus infectivity. Cell-cell transmission could provide these escape viruses with sufficiently high replication levels that enable selection of compensatory mutations, thereby restoring free virus infectivity while ensuring antibody escape. Thus, our study highlights the need to factor in cell-cell transmission when considering neutralization escape pathways of HIV-1.
    Retrovirology 09/2014; 11(1):75. DOI:10.1186/PREACCEPT-1148975491133162 · 4.77 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Best long-term practice in primary HIV-1 infection (PHI) remains unknown for the individual. A risk-based scoring system associated with surrogate markers of HIV-1 disease progression could be helpful to stratify patients with PHI at highest risk for HIV-1 disease progression. We prospectively enrolled 290 individuals with well-documented PHI in the Zurich Primary HIV-1 Infection Study, an open-label, non-randomized, observational, single-center study. Patients could choose to undergo early antiretroviral treatment (eART) and stop it after one year of undetectable viremia, to go on with treatment indefinitely, or to defer treatment. For each patient we calculated an a priori defined "Acute Retroviral Syndrome Severity Score" (ARSSS), consisting of clinical and basic laboratory variables, ranging from zero to ten points. We used linear regression models to assess the association between ARSSS and log baseline viral load (VL), baseline CD4+ cell count, and log viral setpoint (sVL) (i.e. VL measured ≥90 days after infection or treatment interruption). Mean ARSSS was 2.89. CD4+ cell count at baseline was negatively correlated with ARSSS (p = 0.03, n = 289), whereas HIV-RNA levels at baseline showed a strong positive correlation with ARSSS (p<0.001, n = 290). In the regression models, a 1-point increase in the score corresponded to a 0.10 log increase in baseline VL and a CD4+cell count decline of 12/µl, respectively. In patients with PHI and not undergoing eART, higher ARSSS were significantly associated with higher sVL (p = 0.029, n = 64). In contrast, in patients undergoing eART with subsequent structured treatment interruption, no correlation was found between sVL and ARSSS (p = 0.28, n = 40). The ARSSS is a simple clinical score that correlates with the best-validated surrogate markers of HIV-1 disease progression. In regions where ART is not universally available and eART is not standard this score may help identifying patients who will profit the most from early antiretroviral therapy.
    PLoS ONE 12/2014; 9(12):e114111. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0114111 · 3.53 Impact Factor