Elevated Cervical White Blood Cell Infiltrate Is Associated with Genital HIV Detection in a Longitudinal Cohort of Antiretroviral Therapy-Adherent Women
ABSTRACT Identification of factors associated with the presence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in female genital secretions is critical for intervention strategies targeting transmission and eliminating replication of genital virus. We sought to monitor the prevalence of genital HIV shedding in antiretroviral therapy-adherent women over time and to assess changes in the genital microenvironment.
Levels of cell-free HIV (HIV RNA) and HIV-infected cells (HIV DNA) were monitored in peripheral blood samples and cervical and vaginal fluid samples at monthly intervals in 11 women for 1 year. Genital tract infections and fluctuations in cervical and vaginal white blood cell counts were also evaluated at each study visit.
Plasma HIV was undetectable at the majority of study visits; when detected, it was only at low levels. Throughout the study, genital HIV RNA and DNA were detected in each person. Combined genital HIV (RNA and DNA) was detected at 49.2% of study visits and was associated with an elevated concentration of cervical white blood cell infiltrate (odds ratio, 2.52 [95% confidence interval, 1.01-6.22]; P = .04). Infiltrate was not associated with a clinical disorder or patient-reported symptoms.
Despite antiretroviral therapy adherence and clinically suppressed plasma viremia, HIV was intermittently detected in genital secretions and was associated with subclinical inflammation and cells trafficking to the cervical mucosa.
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ABSTRACT: Detectable HIV-1 in body compartments can lead to transmission and antiretroviral resistance. Although sex differences in viral shedding have been demonstrated, mechanisms and magnitude are unclear. We compared RNA levels in blood, genital-secretions and saliva; and drug resistance in plasma and genital-secretions of men and women starting/changing antiretroviral therapy (ART) in the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) 5077 study. Blood, saliva and genital-secretions (compartment fluids) were collected from HIV-infected adults (≥13 years) at 14 United-States sites, who were initiating or changing ART with plasma viral load (VL) ≥2,000 copies/mL. VL testing was performed on all compartment fluids and HIV resistance genotyping on plasma and genital-secretions. Spearman rank correlations were used to evaluate concordance and Fisher's and McNemar's exact tests to compare VL between sexes and among compartments. Samples were available for 143 subjects; 36% treated (23 men, 29 women) and 64% 'untreated' (40 men, 51 women). RNA detection was significantly more frequent in plasma (100%) than genital-secretions (57%) and saliva (64%) (P<0.001). A higher proportion of men had genital shedding versus women (78% versus 41%), and RNA detection was more frequent in saliva versus genital-secretions in women when adjusted for censoring at the limit of assay detection. Inter-compartment fluid VL concordance was low in both sexes. In 22 (13 men, 9 women) paired plasma-genital-secretion genotypes from treated subjects, most had detectable resistance in both plasma (77%) and genital-secretions (68%). Resistance discordance was observed between compartments in 14% of subjects. HIV shedding and drug resistance detection prior to initiation/change of ART in ACTG 5077 subjects differed among tissues and between sexes, making the gold standard blood-plasma compartment assessment not fully representative of HIV at other tissue sites. Mechanisms of potential sex-dependent tissue compartmentalization should be further characterized to aid in optimizing treatment and prevention of HIV transmission. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00007488.PLoS ONE 04/2014; 9(4):e93537. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0093537 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 and 2 are the most common opportunistic infections in HIV/AIDS. In these immunocompromised individuals, HSV-1 reactivates and replicates in oral epithelium, leading to oral disorders such as ulcers, gingivitis, and necrotic lesions. Although the increased risk of HSV infection may be mediated in part by HIV-induced immune dysfunction, direct or indirect interactions of HIV and HSV at the molecular level may also play a role. In this report we show that prolonged interaction of the HIV proteins tat and gp120 and cell-free HIV virions with polarized oral epithelial cells leads to disruption of tight and adherens junctions of epithelial cells through the mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway. HIV-induced disruption of oral epithelial junctions facilitates HSV-1 paracellular spread between the epithelial cells. Furthermore, HIV-associated disruption of adherens junctions exposes sequestered nectin-1, an adhesion protein and critical receptor for HSV envelope glycoprotein D (gD). Exposure of nectin-1 facilitates binding of HSV-1 gD, which substantially increases HSV-1 infection of epithelial cells with disrupted junctions over that of cells with intact junctions. Exposed nectin-1 from disrupted adherens junctions also increases the cell-to-cell spread of HSV-1 from infected to uninfected oral epithelial cells. Antibodies to nectin-1 and HSV-1 gD substantially reduce HSV-1 infection and cell-to-cell spread, indicating that HIV-promoted HSV infection and spread are mediated by the interaction of HSV gD with HIV-exposed nectin-1. Our data suggest that HIV-associated disruption of oral epithelial junctions may potentiate HSV-1 infection and its paracellular and cell-to-cell spread within the oral mucosal epithelium. This could be one of the possible mechanisms of rapid development of HSV-associated oral lesions in HIV-infected individuals.PLoS ONE 02/2014; 9(2):e88803. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0088803 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected leukocytes have been detected in genital secretions from HIV-infected men and women and may play an important role in the sexual transmission of HIV. However, they have been largely overlooked in studies on mechanisms of HIV transmission and in the design and testing of HIV vaccine and microbicide candidates. This article describes the characteristics and quantities of leukocytes in male and female genital secretions under various conditions and also reviews evidence for the involvement of HIV-infected cells in both horizontal and vertical cell-associated HIV transmission. Additional research is needed in this area to better target HIV prevention strategies. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.The Journal of Infectious Diseases 12/2014; 210(suppl 3):S609-S615. DOI:10.1093/infdis/jiu390 · 5.78 Impact Factor