Joanne Higgins

University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, United States

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Publications (26)107.76 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Using an established non-human primate model, rhesus macaques were infected intravenously with a chimeric simian immunodeficiency virus consisting of SIVmac239 with the HIV-1 reverse transcriptase from clone HXBc2 (RT-SHIV). The impact of two enhanced (four and five drug) highly active antiretroviral therapies (HAART) on early viral decay and rebound were determined. The four-drug combination included an integrase inhibitor, L-870-812 (L-812), together with a three drug regimen including emtricitabine [(-)-FTC], tenofovir [TFV], and efavirenz [EFV]. The five-drug combination consisted of one analog for each of the four the DNA precursors (using TFV, (-)-FTC, (-)-β-D-(2R,4R)-1,3-dioxolane-2,6-diaminopurine [Amdoxovir®, DAPD], and zidovudine [AZT] together with EFV. A cohort treated with a three drug combination of (-)-FTC, TFV and EFV served as treated controls. Daily administration of three, four or five drug combination of antiretroviral agents was initiated (at week 6 or 8 after inoculation), continued up to week 50, and then followed by a rebound period. Plasma samples were collected routinely and drug levels monitored using LC-MS/MS. Viral loads were monitored with a standard TaqMan qRT-PCR assay. Comprehensive analyses of replication dynamics were performed. RT-SHIV infection in rhesus macaques produced typical viral infection kinetics with untreated controls establishing persistent viral loads of > 10(4) copies of RNA/mL. RT-SHIV viral loads at start of treatment (V0) were similar in all treated cohorts (p > 0.5). All antiretroviral drug levels were measureable in plasma. The four-drug and five-drug combination regimens (enhanced HAART) improved suppression of viral load (within one wk, p < 0.01) and had an overall greater potency (p < 0.02) than the three-drug regimen (HAART). Moreover, rebound viremia occurred rapidly following cessation of any treatment. The enhanced HAART (four- or five-drug combinations) had significant improvement in viral suppression compared to the three-drug combination, but no combination was sufficient to eliminate viral reservoirs.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 04/2014; 58(7). DOI:10.1128/AAC.02522-14 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) can reduce levels of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) to undetectable levels in infected individuals, but the virus is not eradicated. The mechanisms of viral persistence during HAART are poorly defined, but some reservoirs have been identified, such as latently infected resting memory CD4(+) T cells. During latency, in addition to blocks at the initiation and elongation steps of viral transcription, there is a block in the export of viral RNA (vRNA), leading to the accumulation of multiply-spliced transcripts in the nucleus. Two of the genes encoded by the multiply-spliced transcripts are Tat and Rev, which are essential early in the viral replication cycle and might indicate the state of infection in a given population of cells. Here, the levels of multiply-spliced transcripts were compared to the levels of gag-containing RNA in tissue samples from RT-SHIV-infected rhesus macaques treated with HAART. Splice site sequence variation was identified during development of a TaqMan PCR assay. Multiply-spliced transcripts were detected in gastrointestinal and lymphatic tissues, but not the thymus. Levels of multiply-spliced transcripts were lower than levels of gag RNA, and both correlated with plasma virus loads. The ratio of multiply-spliced to gag RNA was greatest in the gastrointestinal samples from macaques with plasma virus loads <50 vRNA copies per mL at necropsy. Levels of gag RNA and multiply-spliced mRNA in tissues from RT-SHIV-infected macaques correlate with plasma virus load.
    PLoS ONE 02/2014; 9(2):e87914. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0087914 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: RT-SHIV is a chimera of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) containing the reverse transcriptase (RT)-encoding region of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) within the backbone of SIVmac239. It has been used in a non-human primate model for studies of non-nucleoside RT inhibitors (NNRTI) and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). We and others have identified several mutations that arise in the "foreign" HIV-1 RT of RT-SHIV during in vivo replication. In this study we catalogued amino acid substitutions in the HIV-1 RT and in regions of the SIV backbone with which RT interacts that emerged 30 weeks post-infection from seven RT-SHIV-infected rhesus macaques. The virus set points varied from relatively high virus load, moderate virus load, to undetectable virus load. The G196R substitution in RT was detected from 6 of 7 animals at week 4 post-infection and remained in virus from 4 of 6 animals at week 30. Virus from four high virus load animals showed several common mutations within RT, including L74V or V75L, G196R, L214F, and K275R. The foreign RT from high virus load isolates exhibited as much variation as that of the highly variable envelope surface glycoprotein, and 10-fold higher than that of the native RT of SIVmac239. Isolates from moderate virus load animals showed much less variation in the foreign RT than the high virus load isolates. No variation was found in SIVmac239 genes known to interact with RT. Our results demonstrate substantial adaptation of the foreign HIV-1 RT in RT-SHIV-infected macaques, which most likely reflects selective pressure upon the foreign RT to attain optimal activity within the context of the chimeric RT-SHIV and the rhesus macaque host.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e86997. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0086997 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To prevent progression to AIDS, persons infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) must remain on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) indefinitely since this modality does not eradicate the virus. The mechanisms involved in viral persistence during HAART are poorly understood, but an animal model of HAART could help elucidate these mechanisms and enable studies of HIV-1 eradication strategies. Due to the specificity of non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitors (NNRTIs) for HIV-1, we have used RT-SHIV, a chimeric virus of simian immunodeficiency virus with RT from HIV-1. This virus is susceptible to NNRTIs and causes an AIDS-like disease in rhesus macaques. In this study, two groups of HAART-treated, RT-SHIV-infected macaques were analyzed to determine viral decay kinetics. In the first group, viral loads were monitored with a standard TaqMan RT-PCR assay with a limit of detection of 50 viral RNA copies per mL. Upon initiation of HAART, viremia decayed in a bi-phasic manner with half-lives of 1.7 and 8.5 days, respectively. A third phase was observed with little further decay. In the second group, the macaques were followed longitudinally with a more sensitive assay utilizing ultracentrifugation to concentrate virus from plasma. Bi-phasic decay of viral RNA was also observed in these animals with half-lives of 1.8 and 5.8 days. Viral loads in these animals during a third phase ranged from 2-58 RNA copies/mL, with little decay over time. The viral decay kinetics observed in these macaques are similar to those reported for HIV-1 infected humans. These results demonstrate that low-level viremia persists in RT-SHIV-infected macaques despite a HAART regimen commonly used in humans.
    PLoS ONE 07/2010; 5(7):e11640. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0011640 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) enables long-term suppression of plasma HIV-1 loads in infected persons, but low-level virus persists and rebounds following cessation of therapy. During HAART, this virus resides in latently infected cells, such as resting CD4(+) T cells, and in other cell types that may support residual virus replication. Therapeutic eradication will require elimination of virus from all reservoirs. We report here a comprehensive analysis of these reservoirs in fluids, cells, and tissues in a rhesus macaque model that mimics HAART in HIV-infected humans. This nonhuman primate model uses RT-SHIV, a chimera of simian immunodeficiency virus containing the HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT). Methods were developed for extraction, preamplification, and real-time PCR analyses of viral DNA (vDNA) and viral RNA (vRNA) in tissues from RT-SHIV-infected macaques. These methods were used to identify viral reservoirs in RT-SHIV-infected macaques treated with a potent HAART regimen consisting of efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir. Plasma virus loads at necropsy ranged from 11 to 28 copies of vRNA per ml. Viral RNA and DNA were detected during HAART, in tissues from numerous anatomical locations. Additional analysis provided evidence for full-length viral RNA in tissues of animals with virus suppressed by HAART. The highest levels of vDNA and vRNA in HAART-treated macaques were in lymphoid tissues, particularly the spleen, lymph nodes, and gastrointestinal tract tissues. This study is the first comprehensive analysis of the tissue and organ distribution of a primate AIDS virus during HAART. These data demonstrate widespread persistence of residual virus in tissues during HAART.
    Journal of Virology 03/2010; 84(6):2913-22. DOI:10.1128/JVI.02356-09 · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have modeled highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) for AIDS in rhesus macaques infected with a chimera (RT-SHIV) of simian immunodeficiency virus containing reverse transcriptase from human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1). Seven RT-SHIV-infected macaques were treated with a combination of efavirenz (200 mg orally once daily), lamivudine (8 mg/kg subcutaneously once daily), and tenofovir (30 mg/kg subcutaneously once daily). Plasma viral RNA levels in all animals were reduced by more than 1,000-fold after 4 weeks and, in six of the seven animals, were reduced to undetectable levels after 10 weeks. Virus loads increased slightly between 12 and 16 weeks of treatment, associated with problems with the administration of efavirenz. After a change in the method of efavirenz administration, virus loads declined again and remained undetectable in the majority of animals for the duration of therapy. Treatment was stopped for three animals after 36 weeks of therapy, and virus loads increased rapidly. Posttreatment RT-SHIV isolates had no mutations associated with resistance to any of the three drugs. Efavirenz treatment was stopped, but lamivudine and tenofovir treatment for two other macaques was continued. The virus load in one of these two animals rebounded; virus from this animal was initially free of drug-resistance mutations but acquired the K65R mutation in reverse transcriptase at 11 weeks after efavirenz treatment was withdrawn. These results mimic HAART of HIV-1-infected humans. The RT-SHIV/rhesus macaque model should be useful for studies of tissue reservoirs and sites of residual replication that are not possible or practical with humans.
    Journal of Virology 07/2005; 79(12):7349-54. DOI:10.1128/JVI.79.12.7349-7354.2005 · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The specificity of nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitors (NNRTIs) for the RT of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) has prevented the use of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) in the study of NNRTIs and NNRTI-based highly active antiretroviral therapy. However, a SIV-HIV-1 chimera (RT-SHIV), in which the RT from SIVmac239 was replaced with the RT-encoding region from HIV-1, is susceptible to NNRTIs and is infectious to rhesus macaques. We have evaluated the antiviral activity of efavirenz against RT-SHIV and the emergence of efavirenz-resistant mutants in vitro and in vivo. RT-SHIV was susceptible to efavirenz with a mean effective concentration of 5.9 +/- 4.5 nM, and RT-SHIV variants selected with efavirenz in cell culture displayed 600-fold-reduced susceptibility. The efavirenz-resistant mutants of RT-SHIV had mutations in RT similar to those of HIV-1 variants that were selected under similar conditions. Efavirenz monotherapy of RT-SHIV-infected macaques produced a 1.82-log-unit decrease in plasma viral-RNA levels after 1 week. The virus load rebounded within 3 weeks in one treated animal and more slowly in a second animal. Virus isolated from these two animals contained the K103N and Y188C or Y188L mutations. The RT-SHIV-rhesus macaque model may prove useful for studies of antiretroviral drug combinations that include efavirenz.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 10/2004; 48(9):3483-90. DOI:10.1128/AAC.48.9.3483-3490.2004 · 4.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 16alpha-Bromo-epiandrosterone (epiBr), a synthetic derivative of the natural hormone dehyroepiandrosterone (DHEA), was evaluated for its effects on feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) infection in experimental cats. The rationale for this study was based on the ability of DHEA to significantly reduce the mortality to viral infections in mice. DHEA and epiBr also have demonstrable in vitro anti-viral activity for both HIV-1 and FIV. Preliminary pharmacokinetic studies in cats demonstrated that subcutaneously injected epiBr was rapidly absorbed, completely metabolized, and nontoxic. Metabolites were excreted in both urine and feces, with the latter having the most complex pattern of breakdown products. Cats were then divided into four groups; two groups were infected with FIV and two uninfected. Two groups, one infected and one uninfected were treated on 5 consecutive days of weeks 0, 4, 8, 12 and 16 with epiBr. The remaining two groups were mock treated with the drug vehicle alone. Treatment started 1 week prior to infection and extended for 4 weeks after infection. Cats were observed for 20 weeks post-FIV infection. Infected cats had identical decreases in blood neutrophil and lymphocyte counts following, regardless of whether they were treated with epiBr or vehicle alone. The CD4/CD8 T-cell ratio was decreased following FIV exposure, but was significantly more decreased for the epiBr treated animals from week 2 post-infection onward. CD4+ T cells were decreased in FIV-infected cats treated with epiBr compared to their untreated cohort, while CD8+ T cells tended to be higher in treated animals. FIV infected cats that were treated with epiBr had over one-log higher virus loads at week 2 post-infection than non-epiBr treated cohorts. In spite of this enhanced initial viremia, the subsequent levels of virus in the blood were significantly lower in epiBr treated versus untreated animals. EpiBr treated cats had significantly higher FIV-p24 antibody responses than control cats receiving vehicle alone, although primary and secondary antibody responses to a T-cell dependent non-FIV antigen, keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH), were unaffected. EpiBr treatment significantly decreased the expected FIV-induced suppression of IL-12 p40 mRNA levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) observed at weeks 4, 5, 8, 9 and 16 post-infection, but had no influence on FIV-induced changes in IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IFN-gamma, MIP-1alpha and RANTES.
    Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 09/2003; 94(3-4):133-48. DOI:10.1016/S0165-2427(03)00081-3 · 1.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human herpesvirus type 8 vMIP-II has one of the broadest ranges of chemokine receptor binding and therefore a multiplicity of biologic effects, both immunologic and antiviral. These properties make vMIP-II an attractive effector gene to be expressed from gene therapy vectors. The present studies were concerned with both therapeutic approaches: (1) an anti-simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) biologic, and (2) an effector gene in SIV-based vectors. Regarding its antiviral properties, vMIP-II expressed from bacteria and SIV-based vectors bound the surface of CEMx174 cells and specifically suppressed SIVmac251 infection. A CCR3 monoclonal antibody partially inhibited vMIP-II binding, suggesting that both SIVmac251 and vMIP-II utilize a similar CCR3-like receptor for CEMx174 cell binding. Replication competent SIV-based vectors containing forward and reverse vMIP-II produced neither identifiable vMIP-II nor virions for the first 21 days. Virus replication occurred after this period. Significant sequence alterations in the forward vMIP-II containing replication competent vector transcripts were responsible for the failure of vMIP-II expression. The genetic basis for the initial failure to replicate virus and its later restoration was not determined but appeared in the II-PIMv containing vectors to coincide with deletions and compensatory rearrangements in nef 3' of the polypurine tract. Cells transfected with SIVmac239Delta3DeltaLTR-vMIP-II vectors expressed biologically active vMIP-II that bound CEMx174 cells and suppressed SIVmac251 infection. These data suggest that replication defective SIV vectors expressing immunobiolgic genes such as vMIP-II may prove useful in gene therapies, particularly in augmenting immune responses in chronically infected individuals.
    Virus Research 09/2003; 94(2):103-12. DOI:10.1016/S0168-1702(03)00138-2 · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We used a focal infectivity assay with HeLa H1-JC.37 cells to directly compare susceptibilities of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) to protease inhibitors. SIVmac239 was inhibited by indinavir, saquinavir, and ritonavir, with 50% effective concentrations (means +/- standard deviations) of 39 +/- 8, 55 +/- 3, and 13 +/- 5 nM, respectively. The corresponding values for inhibition of HIV-1 were 66 +/- 4, 47 +/- 10, and 25 +/- 14 nM, respectively.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 06/2003; 47(5):1756-9. DOI:10.1128/AAC.47.5.1756-1759.2003 · 4.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The methionine-to-valine mutation in codon 184 (M184V) in reverse transcriptase (RT) of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) or simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) confers resistance to (-)-2'-deoxy-3'-thiacytidine (3TC; lamivudine) and increased sensitivity to 9-[2-(phosphonomethoxy)propyl]adenine (PMPA; tenofovir). We have used the SIV model to evaluate the effect of the M184V mutation on the emergence of resistance to the combination of 3TC plus PMPA. A site-directed mutant of SIVmac239 containing M184V (SIVmac239-184V) was used to select for resistance to both 3TC and PMPA by serial passage in the presence of increasing concentrations of both drugs. Under these selection conditions, the M184V mutation reverted in the majority of the selections. Variants resistant to both drugs were found to have the lysine-to-arginine mutation at codon 65 (K65R), which has previously been associated with resistance to PMPA in both SIV and HIV. Similarly, in rhesus macaques infected with SIVmac239-184V for 46 weeks and treated daily with (-)-2'-deoxy-5-fluoro-3'-thiacytidine [(-)-FTC], there was no reversion of M184V, but this mutation reverted to 184 M in all three animals within 24 weeks of treatment with (-)-FTC and PMPA. Although the addition of PMPA to the (-)-FTC therapy induced a decrease in virus loads in plasma, these loads eventually returned to pre-PMPA levels in each case. All animals receiving this combination developed the K65R mutation. These results demonstrate that the combination of PMPA with 3TC or (-)-FTC selects for the K65R mutation and against the M184V mutation in SIV RT.
    Journal of Virology 02/2003; 77(2):1120-30. DOI:10.1128/JVI.77.2.1120-1130.2003 · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Drug-resistant mutants with a methionine-to-valine substitution at position 184 of reverse transcriptase (M184V) emerged within 5 weeks of initiation of therapy in four newborn macaques infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIVmac251) and treated with lamivudine (3TC) or emtricitabine [(-)-FTC] (two animals per drug). Thus, this animal model mimics the rapid emergence of M184V mutants of HIV-1 during 3TC therapy of human patients. One animal of each treatment group developed fatal immunodeficiency at 12 weeks of age, which is similar to the rapid disease course seen in most untreated SIVmac251-infected infant macaques. To further evaluate the effect of the M184V mutation on viral fitness and virulence, groups of juvenile macaques were inoculated with the molecular clone SIVmac239 with either the wild-type sequence (group A [n = 5]) or the M184V sequence (SIVmac239-184V; group B [n = 5] and group C [n = 2]). The two SIVmac239-184V-infected animals of group C did not receive any drug treatment, and in both animals the virus population reverted to predominantly wild type (184M) by 8 weeks after inoculation. The other five SIVmac239-184V-infected animals (group B) were treated with (-)-FTC to prevent reversion. Although virus levels 1 week after inoculation were lower in the SIVmac239-184V-infected macaques than in the SIVmac239-infected animals, no significant differences were observed from week 2 onwards. Two animals in each group developed AIDS and were euthanized, while all other animals were clinically stable at 46 weeks of infection. These data demonstrate that the M184V mutation in SIV conferred a slightly reduced fitness but did not affect disease outcome.
    Journal of Virology 07/2002; 76(12):6083-92. DOI:10.1128/JVI.76.12.6083-6092.2002 · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The goal of this study was to identify a strain of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) that would be more virulent for adult cats than the prototype FIV-APetaluma and, thereby, enhance the FIV infection model for HIV-1 related research. Diehl et al. reported that one clade C strain of FIV, FIV-CPGammar, was more virulent than other known FIV isolates. Mortalities from 58 to 100% were reported for kittens 12 weeks of age and less following intravenous inoculation. A more variable and somewhat less virulent disease course was observed in neonatal to 8-10-week-old kittens infected orally, intravaginally or intrarectally with this same isolate (Obert and Hoover, 2000). However, no studies have been done with FIV-CPGammar in adult cats. Therefore, the virulence of FIV-CPGammar for young adult cats was compared to that of FIV-APetalulma, the original FIV isolate. One group of five cats were inoculated intraperitoneally with 470 TCID(50) of FIV-CPGammar in the form of pooled plasma from acutely infected cats, while a second group was infected with plasma containing the 750 TCID50 of FIV-APetaluma. The cats were observed for 20 weeks for gross signs of disease, hematologic abnormalities, time of antibody appearance, and plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) associated virus levels. Viral RNA and proviral DNA were measured by a real-time PCR, sensitive to 50 copies per milliliter. The only outward sign of disease was lymphadenopathy, which occurred at a similar time and intensity in both groups of cats. Cats infected with FIV-CPGammar were more likely to be neutropenic and lymphopenic during the first 10-12 weeks of infection than cats infected with FIV-APetaluma. Both groups of cats showed similar overall declines in absolute mean CD4 cell counts and identical concomitant increases in CD8 cells. CD4/CD8 cell ratios were also similar. Antibody, as measured by an ELISA against recombinant FIV-TM antigen, appeared in all cats by 4 weeks post-infection. The most significant differences were in plasma viral RNA and PBMC proviral DNA levels. Cats infected with FIV-CPGammar had up to 100 times higher mean levels of viral RNA during the first few weeks of infection than cats infected with FIV-APetaluma. This difference was also mirrored in levels of proviral DNA in PBMC, which were significantly higher in the FIV-CPGammar infected cats. Plasma viral RNA and PBMC proviral DNA levels were virtually identical in both groups of cats at 20 weeks post-infection. However, proviral DNA in tissues such as thymus and popliteal lymph nodes was 10-fold or so higher in FIV-CPGammar infected cats at 20 weeks and histopathologic lesions were more severe. Based on these various parameters, we concluded that FIV-CPGammar was more virulent than FIV-APetaluma in young adult cats during the 20-week study period. However, we were not able to recreate the severe and rapidly progressive disease previously reported for kittens, suggesting an age-related resistance similar to that observed previously for FIV-APetaluma (George et al., 1993).
    Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 06/2001; 79(1-2):53-67. DOI:10.1016/S0165-2427(01)00252-5 · 1.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We developed a rapid and highly reproducible assay based on real-time PCR (TaqMan, Applied Biosystems, Foster City, CA) to quantitate simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) RNA in plasma samples. This assay was compared with the current branched-chain DNA assay (Bayer, Emeryville, CA). Results obtained with the real-time TaqMan PCR assay were comparable to those obtained with the branched-chain DNA assay in overlapping ranges of sensitivities (r = 0.9429, p < 0.05). However, the real-time TaqMan PCR assay was capable of detecting as few as 50 copies of RNA/ml, whereas branched-chain DNA was only sensitive to 1,500 copies of RNA/ml. Therefore, several animals that tested negative by branched-chain DNA were positive by realtime TaqMan PCR. Two false positive tests were also recorded for the branched-chain DNA test. False negative and positive tests were confirmed by cell culture isolation and conventional nested RT-PCR. The SIV TaqMan assay detected a wide range of wild-type, cloned, and recombinant SIV strains with similar amplification efficiency, including SIVmac251, SIVmac239, SIVmac239 containing the 184V mutation in RT, SIV1A11, SIVmac239 delta3, SIVmac-M4, and chimeras (SHIVs) containing specific HIV-1 genes, such as reverse transcriptase (RT-SHIV) or Env (SHIV-E). In conclusion, the high sensitivity, increased specificity, wide dynamic range, simplicity, and reproducibility of the real-time SIV RNA quantitation allow the screening of large numbers of samples and make this method especially suitable for measuring both viral DNA and RNA levels during vaccine and therapy studies.
    AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses 02/2001; 17(3):243-51. DOI:10.1089/088922201750063160 · 2.46 Impact Factor
  • Antti Sukura, Joanne Higgins, Niels C. Pedersen
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    ABSTRACT: Specific pathogen-free cats were inoculated subcutaneously into the drainage areas of the left auricular and popliteal lymph nodes with living Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Inflammation was evident at the inoculation sites and the regional lymph nodes were palpably enlarged at 48 h post-infection. Lymph node enlargement was due to marked paracortical lymphoid hyperplasia and variable neutrophil infiltrates. Yersinia was cultured from the regional lymph nodes and/or spleens of three of the six cats, indicating systemic spread of bacteria. Specific T-helper 1 and 2 (Th1, Th2) cell-associated cytokine mRNA levels were compared in regional lymph nodes, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and spleen at 48 h post-inoculation. Relative to unstimulated control tissues, there was a significant increase in TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma, IL-12, and IL-10 mRNAs in spleen with down-regulation of IL-4. Significant up-regulation of TNF-alpha and down-regulation of IL-4 were also observed in PBMC. Paradoxically, 48 h stimulated lymph nodes showed only minimal differences in cytokine mRNA expression when compared to lymph nodes from mock-inoculated control animals or unchallenged contralateral lymph nodes from the same animal. This study demonstrated that cats, like mice, respond to an intracellular pathogen such as Y pseudotuberculosis with a predominantly Th1-type immune response. The cytokine responses in regional lymph nodes and spleen were asynchronous, while cytokine stimulation in cells of the spleen was mirrored by PBMC.
    Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 11/1998; 65(2-4):139-50. DOI:10.1016/S0165-2427(98)00149-4 · 1.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have developed a method to quantitate feline cytokine gene expression using competitive RT-PCR. Feline cytokine specific primers were developed that encompass an intron, thus allowing differentiation of cDNA vs. genomic DNA amplification products. The PCR products of the primers were verified by sequencing and Southern blot analysis. For quantitation, a non-homologous RNA competitor was created for each cytokine of interest. The competitor was designed to yield an RT-PCR product 10-20% larger than the native sequence, thereby allowing differentiation of the two products by electrophoresis on an agarose gel. Both competitor and native sequences used the same primer sequences for RT (oligo dT) and PCR (cytokine specific). The amplification efficiency of the competitor and native sequence was shown to be identical which allowed comparison at any point during the amplification, including the plateau phase. The quantity of starting cytokine mRNA was determined by interpolation from a standard curve. As little as 1 microgram of total cellular RNA was required per cytokine determination. The assay can routinely quantify as few as 1000 copies of template and spans a range of up to 4 log.
    Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 06/1998; 63(1-2):73-82. DOI:10.1016/S0165-2427(98)00084-1 · 1.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Feline Interleukin-12 (IL-12) is a heterodimeric glycoprotein consisting of two disulfide linked subunits of about 40 kD (p40) and 35 kD (p35). It is a pleiotropic cytokine mediating biological activities on T- and NK-cells. One important function is the induction of a Th1 immune response. Here we report the cloning and sequencing of feline IL-12, the expression of the p40-protein in E. coli and production of monoclonal antibodies. At the nucleotide level, feline IL-12 shows between 87-90%, on the amino acid level between 82-87% identity to the bovine and human IL-12, respectively.
    DNA Sequence 01/1997; 8(1-2):77-82. DOI:10.3109/10425179709020889 · 0.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the cloning, expression and characterization of biologically active feline tumour necrosis factor-alpha (fTNF-alpha). Messenger RNA was extracted from feline peritoneal macrophage cultures and used to synthesize cDNA for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification. The PCR products were cloned into the plasmid vector pCRII and sequenced, showing 99.3% homology with a published fTNF-alpha gene sequence. Subcloning into the vector pGEX-2T and subsequent expression resulted in a 43 kDa fusion protein of fTNF-alpha and glutathione S-transferase (GST). Thrombin cleavage of the fusion protein yielded a 17 kDa protein. This protein cross-reacted with a monoclonal anti-human TNF-alpha antibody in Western blotting, but not with a polyclonal anti-murine TNF-alpha serum. Recombinant fTNF-alpha (rfTNF-alpha) and rfTNF-alpha-GST had a CD50 of 15 ng ml-1 and 230 ng ml-1, respectively, in the L929 cytotoxicity assay. Cats given rfTNF-alpha-GST intravenously manifested the typical biological effects of TNF-alpha, including fever, depression, and piloerection. The rfTNF-alpha-GST upregulated IL-2 receptor and MHC-II antigen expression on peripheral blood mononuclear cells stimulated in vitro, but had no effect on TNF-alpha receptor and MHC-I antigen expression.
    Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 05/1995; 45(3-4):297-310. DOI:10.1016/0165-2427(94)05345-S · 1.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Molecularly cloned viruses are considered essential reagents for characterizing viral domains responsible for infectivity and disease pathogenesis in the host. The infectivity and hematological alterations associated with two molecularly cloned isolates of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV-pPPR and FIV-pF34) and an uncloned isolate (FIV-PPR) were assessed by inoculation of cats. Inoculated cats were tested for viral antibody, viremia, and clinical pathological disease. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells isolated from inoculated cats were assayed for virus infection by virus isolation, amplification of proviral DNA (by polymerase chain reaction), and in situ hybridization for viral RNA. Over 50% of the cats inoculated with cloned virus FIV-pF34 failed to seroconvert even when coinfected with feline leukemia virus; these cats were consistently virus positive only by amplification of proviral DNA. All cats inoculated with cloned virus FIV-pPPR seroconverted and were found virus positive by at least two of three virus detection assays. Both cloned viruses were less capable of suppressing CD4:CD8 ratios when compared to the biological isolates from which they were cloned. Isolates which replicate efficiently in feline peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), i.e., FIV-pPPR or biological FIV-PPR, caused greater virus load and lower CD4:CD8 ratios when compared to cloned FIV-pF34, which replicates efficiently in feline adherent cell lines and macrophages but poorly in primary feline PBMC. Molecular clones FIV-pF34 and FIV-pPPR will be useful reagents for characterization of viral determinants of virus load and possibly, cell tropism in vivo.
    Virology 01/1995; 205(2):546-53. DOI:10.1006/viro.1994.1677 · 3.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sixteen adolescent specific pathogen free cats were inoculated with the Petaluma strain of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and two cats were then necropsied at each of 5, 10, 21, 28, 42, 56, 70, and 84 day time points following infection. Lymphadenopathy gradually increased starting at Day 10 and persisted for the duration. Gross clinical signs of fever, mild to severe malaise, anorexia, diarrhea, dehydration, and generalized soreness appeared around Day 42, peaked at Day 56, and disappeared by Days 70-84 post-infection. Leukopenia, associated initially with a mild lymphopenia and later by both a mild lymphopenia and a severe neutropenia, appeared 14-28 days following infection, troughed at Day 56, and persisted thereafter. The CD4+:CD8+ T cell ratio started to decrease around Day 28, reaching a nadir at Days 56-70. This decrease was due to a decline in the absolute numbers and percentage of CD4+ T cells and an increase in the percentage of CD8+ T cells. Significant histopathologic lesions included myeloid hyperplasia between Days 56-70 post-infection; thymitis with cortical involution and follicular hyperplasia starting at Day 42; lymphoid hyperplasia of peripheral and mesenteric nodes, spleen and tonsils beginning around Day 42; typhlitis most evident from Day 56 onward, and an interstitial nephritis and pneumonitis that was most intense after Day 42. Virus was isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) beginning 2 weeks post-infection, and plasma viremia appeared 1 week later. Plasma and PBMC-associated viremia peaked at 42-56 days following infection and decreased abruptly thereafter. Proviral DNA was detectable as early as 5 days after infection in blood leukocytes and after 10 days in other organs. The central nervous system, lungs, thymus, tonsils and mesenteric lymph nodes were the earliest sites of virus localization. Antibodies to the FIV capsid protein appeared 14 days following infection and reached peak levels by Days 42-56. Abnormalities occurring during the primary stage of FIV infection were consistent with those described for acute simian and human immunodeficiency virus-induced disease.
    Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 12/1994; 43(4):337-55. DOI:10.1016/0165-2427(94)90156-2 · 1.75 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

785 Citations
107.76 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1985–2010
    • University of California, Davis
      • • Center for Comparative Medicine
      • • School of Veterinary Medicine
      • • School of Medicine
      Davis, CA, United States
  • 2003
    • Wisconsin National Primate Research Center
      Madison, Wisconsin, United States