Susanna Ip

University of New South Wales, Kensington, New South Wales, Australia

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Publications (9)38.44 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: A strategy to reduce the burden of active TB is isoniazid preventive therapy for latent TB infection (LTBI). However, current assays used to diagnose LTBI all have limitations. In these proof of concept studies, we compared the agreement of a novel flow cytometry assay detecting CD25/CD134 co-expression with QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube (QFN-GIT) and Tuberculin skin test (TST) in the detection of recall immune response to TB. The CD25/CD134 assay, QFN-GIT and TST were performed on 74 participants referred for TB screening in Sydney and on 50 participants with advanced HIV infection (CD4 ≤ 350 × 10(6) cells/L) in Bangkok. The agreement between CD25/CD134 assay and QFN-GIT was 93.2% (Kappa 0.631 95% CI 0.336-0.926) in Sydney and 90% (Kappa 0.747 95% CI 0.541-0.954) in Bangkok. Discordant results occurred around the cut off of both tests. The agreement between CD25/CD134 assay and TST was 73.6% (Kappa 0.206 95% CI 0.004-0.409) in Sydney and 84% (Kappa 0.551 95% CI 0.296-0.806) in Bangkok. The CD25/CD134 assay showed good agreement with QFN-GIT in detecting recall response to TB both in well and less resourced setting as well as in persons with advanced HIV infection. Further study into the performance of this assay is thus warranted.
    Tuberculosis (Edinburgh, Scotland) 04/2012; 92(4):321-7. · 2.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ag-specific human CD4(+) memory T lymphocytes have mostly been studied using assays of proliferation in vitro. Intracellular cytokine and ELISPOT assays quantify effector cell populations but barely detect responses to certain recall Ags that elicit strong proliferative responses, e.g., tetanus toxoid, that comprise non-Th1 CD4(+) cells. We have found that culturing whole blood with Ag for 40-48 h induces specific CD4(+) T cells to simultaneously express CD25 and CD134. This new technique readily detects responses to well-described CD4(+) T cell recall Ags, including preparations of mycobacteria, CMV, HSV-1, influenza, tetanus toxoid, Candida albicans, and streptokinase, as well as HIV-1 peptides, with high specificity. The assay detects much higher levels of Ag-specific cells than intracellular cytokine assays, plus the cells retain viability and can be sorted for in vitro expansion. Furthermore, current in vitro assays for human CD4(+) memory T lymphocytes are too labor-intensive and difficult to standardize for routine diagnostic laboratories, whereas the whole-blood CD25(+)CD134(+) assay combines simplicity of setup with a straightforward cell surface flow cytometry readout. In addition to revealing the true extent of Ag-specific human CD4(+) memory T lymphocytes, its greatest use will be as a simple in vitro monitor of CD4(+) T cell responses to Ags such as tuberculosis infection or vaccines.
    The Journal of Immunology 09/2009; 183(4):2827-36. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ex-vivo T-cell responses to vaccines and some viral antigens are not always detectable by conventional functional T-cell assays such as lympho-proliferation assays, IFN-gamma ELIspot and intracellular cytokine staining (ICC). In this study we describe the development, optimisation and utilisation of a culture amplified multiparametric intracellular cytokine assay (CAMP-ICC) to detect antigen specific T-cells that may be present at low frequencies and small primed responses typical of those induced by DNA vaccines in humans. CFSE labelled PBMCs are cultured for 10 days with antigens of interest. Low concentrations of exogenous proliferative and anti-apoptotic cytokines are added to assist in amplification of the antigen specific, but not background responses. On day 10 the cultured cells are re-challenged with or without antigen as for the standard ICC and then stained with fluorescent monoclonal antibodies of interest. Various conditions, including concentration, day of administration and length of incubation were tested employing the cytokines, IL-2, IL-7, IL-15 and IL-21 alone or in combination. CMV lysate, CEF peptides and measles viral lysate were used in the optimisation of the CAMP-ICC. We found that addition of 0.5 ng/ml of IL-15 in combination with 0.1 ng/ml of IL-21 at day 5 of culture enhanced proliferation of antigen specific responses whilst maintaining low background. The CAMP-ICC provides much more information than conventional functional T-cell assays allowing simultaneous determination of proliferative capacity and cytokine production by both CD4 and CD8+ T cells.
    Journal of immunological methods 05/2009; 345(1-2):1-16. · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The role of Treg in patients with late-stage HIV disease, who commence combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) and develop pathogen-specific immunopathology manifesting as immune restoration disease (IRD) remains unclear. We hypothesised that Treg could be defective in either numbers and/or function and therefore unable to ensure the physiological equilibrium of the immune system in patients with IRD. Phenotypic and functional CD4(+) T-cell subsets of eight late-stage HIV patients with nadir CD4 count <50 cells/microL, who developed mycobacterial IRD upon commencing cART were compared with six therapy naive HIV(+) patients (nadir CD4 count <50 cells/microL), who did not develop an IRD after cART. Mycobacterium-avium-specific CD4(+) T cells from IRD patients produced high levels of IFN-gamma and IL-2 compared with controls (p<0.001). Surprisingly, we found a significant expansion of CD127(lo)Foxp3(+)CD25(+) Treg in IRD patients and a higher ratio of Treg to effector/memory subsets (p<0.001). In vitro suppression assays demonstrated reduced functional capacity of suppressor cells and diminished IL-10 secretion in IRD patients. Plasma levels of IL-7 were increased in patients and, interestingly, exogenous IL-7 and other cytokines strongly inhibited Treg suppression. These data suggest that despite substantial Treg expansion in IRD, their ability to induce suppression, and thereby downregulate aberrant immune responses, is compromised.
    European Journal of Immunology 01/2009; 39(2):391-403. · 4.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The stages of development of human antigen-specific CD4+ T cells responding to viral infection and their differentiation into long-term memory cells are not well understood. The inoculation of healthy adults with vaccinia virus presents an opportunity to study these events intensively. Between days 11 and 14 postinoculation, there was a peak of proliferating CCR5+CD38+++ CD4+ effector cells which contained the cytotoxic granule marker T-cell intracellular antigen 1 and included gamma interferon (IFN-gamma)-producing vaccinia virus-specific CD4+ T cells. The majority of these initial vaccinia virus-specific CD4+ T cells were CD127+ and produced interleukin-2 (IL-2) but not CTLA-4 in response to restimulation in vitro. Between days 14 and 21, there was a switch from IFN-gamma and IL-2 coexpression to IL-2 production only, coinciding with a resting phenotype and an increased in vitro proliferation response. The early CCR5+CD38+++ vaccinia virus-specific CD4+ T cells were similar to our previous observations of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-specific CD4+ T cells in primary HIV type 1 (HIV-1) infection, but the vaccinia virus-specific cells expressed much more CD127 and IL-2 than we previously found in their HIV-specific counterparts. The current study provides important information on the differentiation of IL-2+ vaccinia virus-specific memory cells, allowing further study of antiviral effector CD4+ T cells in healthy adults and their dysfunction in HIV-1 infection.
    Journal of Virology 11/2006; 80(20):10151-61. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We recently found that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-specific CD4+ T cells express coreceptor CCR5 and activation antigen CD38 during early primary HIV-1 infection (PHI) but then rapidly disappear from the circulation. This cell loss may be due to susceptibility to infection with HIV-1 but could also be due to inappropriate apoptosis, an expansion of T regulatory cells, trafficking out of the circulation, or dysfunction. We purified CD38+++CD4+ T cells from peripheral blood mononuclear cells, measured their level of HIV-1 DNA by PCR, and found that about 10% of this population was infected. However, a small subset of HIV-specific CD4+) T cells also expressed CD127, a marker of long-term memory cells. Purified CD127+CD4+ lymphocytes contained fivefold more copies of HIV-1 DNA per cell than did CD127-negative CD4+ cells, suggesting preferential infection of long-term memory cells. We observed no apoptosis of antigen-specific CD4+ T cells in vitro and only a small increase in CD45RO+CD25+CD127dimCD4+ T regulatory cells during PHI. However, 40% of CCR5+CD38+++ CD4+ T cells expressed gut-homing integrins, suggesting trafficking through gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT). Furthermore, 80% of HIV-specific CD4+ T cells expressed high levels of the negative regulator CTLA-4 in response to antigen stimulation in vitro, which was probably contributing to their inability to produce interleukin-2 and proliferate. Taken together, the loss of HIV-specific CD4+ T cells is associated with a combination of an infection of CCR5+ CD127+ memory CD4+ T cells, possibly in GALT, and a high expression of the inhibitory receptor CTLA-4.
    Journal of Virology 11/2006; 80(20):10162-72. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated whether HIV-1 antigen-specific CD4(+) T cells expressed the viral coreceptor CCR5 during primary HIV-1 infection (PHI). In the peripheral blood of subjects with very early PHI (< 22 days after onset of symptoms), there was a 10- to 20-fold increase in the proportion of highly activated (CD38(+++)) and proliferating (Ki-67(+)) CD4(+) T cells that expressed CCR5(+), and were mostly T-cell intracellular antigen-1 (TIA-1)(+) perforin(+) granzyme B(+). Inthe same patient samples, CD4(+) T cells producing interferon (IFN)-gamma in response to HIV group-specific antigen (Gag) peptides were readily detected (median, 0.58%) by intracellular cytokine assay-these cells were again predominantly CD38(+++), Ki-67(+), and TIA-(++), as well as Bcl-2(low). On average, 20% of the Gag-specific CD4(+) T cells also expressed interleukin-2 (IL-2) and were CD127 (IL-7R)(+). Taken together, these results suggest that Gag-specific T-helper 1 (Th1) effector cells express CCR5 during the primary response and may include precursors of long-term self-renewing memory cells. However, in PHI subjects with later presentation, antigen-specific CD4(+) T cells could not be readily detected (median, 0.08%), coinciding with a 5-fold lower level of the CCR5(+)CD38(+++) CD4(+) T cells. These results suggest that the antiviral response to HIV-1 infection includes highly activated CCR5(+)CD4(+) cytotoxic effector cells, which are susceptible to both apoptosis and cytopathic infection with HIV-1, and rapidly decline.
    Blood 09/2005; 106(5):1660-7. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The role of Treg in patients with late-stage HIV disease, who commence combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) and develop pathogen-specific immunopathology manifesting as immune restoration disease (IRD) remains unclear. We hypothesised that Treg could be defective in either numbers and/or function and therefore unable to ensure the physiological equilibrium of the immune system in patients with IRD. Phenotypic and functional CD4(+) T-cell subsets of eight late-stage HIV patients with nadir CD4 count <50 cells/microL, who developed mycobacterial IRD upon commencing cART were compared with six therapy naive HIV(+) patients (nadir CD4 count <50 cells/microL), who did not develop an IRD after cART. Mycobacterium-avium-specific CD4(+) T cells from IRD patients produced high levels of IFN-gamma and IL-2 compared with controls (p<0.001). Surprisingly, we found a significant expansion of CD127(lo)Foxp3(+)CD25(+) Treg in IRD patients and a higher ratio of Treg to effector/memory subsets (p<0.001). In vitro suppression assays demonstrated reduced functional capacity of suppressor cells and diminished IL-10 secretion in IRD patients. Plasma levels of IL-7 were increased in patients and, interestingly, exogenous IL-7 and other cytokines strongly inhibited Treg suppression. These data suggest that despite substantial Treg expansion in IRD, their ability to induce suppression, and thereby downregulate aberrant immune responses, is compromised.
    European Journal of Immunology. 39:391-403.
  • Source
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    ABSTRACT: Therapeutic immunization to stimulate host immune responses and control human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) replication is being investigated as a supplementary treatment for the management of HIV infection. On completion of an earlier study involving three vaccinations while taking combination antiretroviral therapy (CART), twenty-five subjects with plasma viral load (pVL) <50 copies/mL received a booster vaccination with either placebo (n = 7); fowl pox vaccine (rFPV) expressing HIV-1 Gag/Pol; [partial construct- PC (n = 8)] or rFPV coexpressing HIV-1 Gag/Pol and human interferon gamma[full construct - FC (n = 10)]. One week after the booster vaccination, participants stopped ART and were monitored for safety, pVL and immunological parameters for < or =20 weeks. The time weighted mean change (SD) from baseline plasma HIV RNA was 1.80 (0.72), 1.78 (0.91) and 0.96 (0.91) log(10) copies/mL for placebo, PC and FC recipients respectively (p = 0.06; mean differences between placebo and FC). Laboratory evaluations did not reveal differences in anti-HIV specific immune responses between study arms. No difference between treatment arms for host genetic factors known to affect pVL was demonstrated. In conclusion, vaccination with FC was associated with a trend toward lower rates of HIV replication following cessation of ART relative to placebo or PC. The promising antiretrovirological effect supports further study of FC in a larger trial with a broader population of patients with HIV disease.
    Human vaccines 3(6):260-7. · 3.14 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

223 Citations
38.44 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2012
    • University of New South Wales
      Kensington, New South Wales, Australia
  • 2009–2012
    • St. Vincent's Centre for Applied Medical Research
      Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia
  • 2005–2009
    • St. Vincent Hospital
      Green Bay, Wisconsin, United States