[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In humans, the interaction of the natural killer group 2 member D (NKG2D)-activating receptor on natural killer (NK) and CD8(+) T cells with its major histocompatibility complex class I-related chain (MIC) and UL16 binding protein (ULBP) ligands (NKG2DLs) promotes recognition and elimination of stressed cells, such as tumor or infected cells. Here, we investigated the capacity of HIV-1 to modulate NKG2DL expression and escape NGK2D-mediated immunosurveillance. In CD4(+) T lymphocytes, both cell surface expression and release of MICA, MICB, and ULBP2 were up-regulated >2-fold by HIV-1 infection. In HIV-infected CD4(+) T lymphocytes or Jurkat T-cell lines, increased shedding of soluble NKG2DLs (sNKG2DLs) was impaired by a matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor (MMPI). Moreover, naive HIV(+) patients displayed increased plasma sMICA and sULBP2 levels and reduced NKG2D expression on NK and CD8(+) T cells compared to patients receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) or healthy donors. In individual patients, HAART uptake resulted in the drop of sNKG2DL and recovery of NKG2D expression. Finally, sNKG2DLs in patients' plasma down-regulated NKG2D on NK and CD8(+) T cells and impaired NKG2D-mediated cytotoxicity of NK cells. Thus, NKG2D detuning by sNKG2DLs may promote HIV-1 immune evasion and compromise host resistance to opportunistic infections, but HAART and MMPI have the potential to avoid such immune dysfunction. -Matusali, G., Tchidjou, H. K., Pontrelli, G., Bernardi, S., D'Ettorre, G., Vullo, V., Buonomini, A. R., Andreoni, M., Santoni, A., Cerboni, C., Doria, M. Soluble ligands for the NKG2D receptor are released during HIV-1 infection and impair NKG2D expression and cytotoxicity of NK cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Immunological non-responders (INRs) lacked CD4 increase despite HIV-viremia suppression on HAART and had an increased risk of disease progression. We assessed immune reconstitution profile upon intensification with maraviroc in INRs.
We designed a multi-centric, randomized, parallel, open label, phase 4 superiority trial. We enrolled 97 patients on HAART with CD4+<200/µL and/or CD4+ recovery ≤25% and HIV-RNA<50 cp/mL. Patients were randomized 1:1 to HAART+maraviroc or continued HAART. CD4+ and CD8+ CD45+RA/RO, Ki67 expression and plasma IL-7 were quantified at W0, W12 and W48.
By W48 both groups displayed a CD4 increase without a significant inter-group difference. A statistically significant change in CD8 favored patients in arm HAART+maraviroc versus HAART at W12 (p=.009) and W48 (p=.025). The CD4>200/µL and CD4>200/µL + CD4 gain ≥25% end-points were not satisfied at W12 (p=.24 and p=.619) nor at W48 (p=.076 and p=.236). Patients continuing HAART displayed no major changes in parameters of T-cell homeostasis and activation. Maraviroc-receiving patients experienced a significant rise in circulating IL-7 by W48 (p=.01), and a trend in temporary reduction in activated HLA-DR+CD38+CD4+ by W12 (p=.06) that was not maintained at W48.
Maraviroc intensification in INRs did not have a significant advantage in reconstituting CD4 T-cell pool, but did substantially expand CD8. It resulted in a low rate of treatment discontinuations.
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00884858 http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT00884858.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(11):e80157. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A survey of HIV coreceptor usage in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and plasma samples from naïve seropositive patients was conducted. One hundred patients were enrolled in this study. Of the 100 patients, 36 had a primary or recent infection (P-RI), 31 had an early chronic infection (>350 CD4 cells) (ECI), and 33 had a late chronic infection (LCI). All 3 compartments were sampled in a subset of 33 participants, while the remaining 67 patients provided plasma samples and PBMCs only. Seventy-seven patients harbored the R5 virus in plasma samples and had a significantly higher median and percentage of CD4(+) T cells than patients with X4 virus (437 and 281 cells/μl, respectively; P = 0.0086; 20.6% and 18.6%, respectively). The X4 strain was detected more frequently in patients with LCI than in patients with P-RI or ECI (39.3%, 19.4%, and 9.6%, respectively; P = 0.0063). PBMC and plasma tropism was concordant in 90 patients, and 73 had the R5 strain. Among patients with discordant results, 4 had the R5 virus in their plasma and the X4 virus in PBMCs; 6 showed the opposite profile. Plasma, PBMC, and CSF tropism determinations were concordant in 26/33 patients (21 patients had R5, and 5 had X4). The tropism was discordant in 5/33 patients, with the X4 virus in plasma and R5 in CSF; the HIV tropism in PBMCs was X4 in 3 patients. The remaining 2/33 patients had the R5 virus in plasma and PBMCs and the X4 virus in CSF; one of these patients had a P-RI. The discordant tropism in CSF and blood may have implications for chemokine (C-C motif) receptor 5 (CCR5) antagonist use in patients with limited response to antiretroviral therapy (ART) or in responding patients evaluated for simplification of treatment.
Journal of clinical microbiology 03/2011; 49(4):1441-5. · 4.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dual/mixed-tropic HIV-1 strains are predominant in a significative proportion of patients, though few information is available regarding the genetic characteristics, quasispecies composition, and susceptibility against CCR5-antagonists of the primary-isolates. For this reason, we investigated in deep details, both phenotypically and genotypically, the characteristics of 54 HIV-1 primary-isolates obtained from HIV-infected patients. Tropism was assessed by multiple-cycles phenotypic-assay on U87MG-CD4(+)-CCR5(+)-/CXCR4(+)-expressing cells. In vitro selection in PBMCs of X4-tropic viral strains following maraviroc-treatment was also performed. Phenotypic-assay reported pure R5-tropic viruses in 31 (57.4%) isolates, dual/mixed-tropic viruses in 22 (40.7%), and pure X4-tropic virus in only 1 (1.8%). Among dual/mixed-tropic isolates, 12 showed a remarkably higher replication-efficacy in CCR5-expressing cells (R5(+)/X4), and 2 in CXCR4-expressing cells (R5/X4(+)). Genotypic-tropism testing showed a correlation between PSSM-scores, geno2pheno false-positive-rate, and V3-net-charge with both CCR5-usage and syncytium-inducing ability. Moreover, specific gp120- and gp41-mutations were significantly associated with tropism and/or syncytium-inducing ability. Ultra-deep V3-pyrosequencing showed the presence of a swarm of genetically distinct species with a preference for CCR5-coreceptor not only in all pure R5-isolates, but also in 6/7 R5(+)/X4-tropic isolates. In both pure-X4 and R5/X4(+)-isolates, we observed extensive prevalence of X4-using species. In vitro selection-experiments with CCR5-inhibitor maraviroc (up to 2 months) showed no-emergence of X4-tropic variants for all R5- and R5(+)/X4-isolates tested (while X4-virus remained fully-resistant). In conclusion, our study shows that dual/mixed-tropic viruses are constituted by different species, whereby those with characteristics R5(+)/X4 are genotypically and phenotypically similar to the pure-R5 isolates; thus the use of CCR5-antagonists in patients with R5(+)/X4-tropic viruses may be a therapeutic-option that deserves further investigations.
Antiviral research 02/2011; 90(1):42-53. · 3.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: After interruption of highly active antiretroviral therapy, 15 out of 53 patients with the X4 HIV strain had a significantly larger decrease in CD4(+) T cell count (P = 0.001) and shorter length of treatment interruption (P = 0.02) than patients with the R5 strain. At treatment resumption, HIV inferred tropism switched from the X4 strain to the R5 variant in 9 patients (60%). These patients had a prolonged length of treatment interruption compared to that of those who still carried the X4 strain.
Journal of clinical microbiology 07/2010; 48(7):2586-8. · 4.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aim of the study was to determine predictors of the duration of antiretroviral treatment interruption in patients infected with HIV. This pilot prospective, open-label, multicenter trial comprised 62 HIV-seropositive subjects who decided voluntarily to interrupt therapy after two or more years of successful HAART. The primary end-point was the time to patients being free of therapy before reaching a CD4+ cell count < or =350/microl. Fifteen of 62 patients remained in treatment interruption for more than 180 days. Patients restarting therapy had higher HIV-DNA levels (P = 0.05), were treated more frequently with NNRTI-drugs (P = 0.02), had a shorter period of HAART (P = 0.046), and lower CD4+ cell counts after day 14 of interruption of treatment (P = 0.04). Multivariate regression analysis showed that less than 323 baseline proviral HIV-DNA cp/10(6) PBMCs and more than 564 CD4 cells/microl at day 14 after interruption were associated independently with a reduced risk of restarting treatment (P = 0.041 and P = 0.012, respectively). A score based on CD4+ cell counts at nadir, at baseline, at week 2 of treatment interruption, and on baseline HIV-DNA values can identify patients with a prolonged period free safely of treatment.
Journal of Medical Virology 01/2009; 81(3):481-7. · 2.37 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Simplified regimens containing protease-inhibitors (PI)-sparing combinations were used in patients with virological suppression after prolonged highly active antiretroviral therapy. This study evaluated the total HIV-1 DNA quantitation as a predictor of long-term success for PI-sparing simplified therapy. Sixty-two patients were enrolled in a prospective non-randomized cohort. All patients have been receiving a triple-therapy regimen, two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) plus one PI, for at least 9 months and were characterized by undetectable plasma HIV-1 RNA levels (<50 cp/ml) for at least 6 months. Patients were changed to a simplified PI-sparing regimen to overcome PI-associated adverse effects. HIV-DNA levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were evaluated at baseline and at the end of follow-up. Patients with proviral DNA levels below the median value (226 copies/10(6) PBMCs) had a significant higher CD4 cell count at nadir (P = 0.003) and at enrolment (P = 0.001) with respect to patients with HIV-DNA levels above the median value. At month 18, 53 out of 62 (85%) patients on simplified regimen showed virological success, 4 (6.4%) patients experienced virological failure and 5 (8%) patients showed viral blip. At logistic regression analysis, HIV-DNA levels below 226 copies/10(6) PBMCs at baseline were associated independently to a reduced risk of virological failure or viral blip during simplified therapy (OR 0.002, 95% CI 0.001-0.46, P = 0.025). The substitution of PI with NRTI or non-NRTIs may represent an effective treatment option. Indeed, treatment failure or viral blip were experienced by 6% and 8% of the patients on simplified therapy, respectively. In addition, sustained suppression of the plasma viral load was significantly correlated with low levels of proviral DNA before treatment simplification.
Journal of Medical Virology 08/2007; 79(7):880-6. · 2.37 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Incarcerated persons have high rates of infectious diseases. Few data on the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases in prisoners are available. This multi-center cross-sectional study enrolled 973 inmates from eight Italian prisons. Demographic and behavioral data were collected using an anonymous standardized questionnaire and antibodies to HIV, HCV, HBV, HSV-2, and HHV-8 were detected in a blood sample obtained from each person at the time of the enrollment in the study. Two hundred and two out of the 973 subjects (20.7%) had antibodies against HHV-8. HHV-8-seropositive subjects were more likely to be older than 30 years with a higher educational level. HHV-8 infection was associated significantly with HBV (P < 0.001) and HSV-2 (P = 0.004) seropositivity and with previous imprisonments. Multivariate analysis showed that HHV-8 infection in Italian inmates was associated with HBV (P < 0.001) and HSV-2 (P = 0.002) seropositivity otherwise among foreigners inmates HHV-8 was significantly associated with HBV infection (P = 0.05). One hundred and eighty-six (21.2%) prisoners had anti-HSV-2 antibodies. At multivariate analysis HSV-2-positivity was significantly associated with HIV (P < 0.001) and HHV-8 infections (P = 0.003), whereas it was inversely associated with HCV infection (0.004). A relatively high seroprevalence of HHV-8 and HSV-2 among Italian prison inmates was found. The association of HHV-8 and HSV-2 infections suggest sexual transmission of these viruses among Italian prison inmates.
Journal of Medical Virology 02/2007; · 2.37 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We determined the in vitro activity of fluconazole against 1565 clinical Candida spp. isolates collected from different specimens of non-AIDS outpatients and inpatients in 3 different regions of Italy. Susceptibility testing was performed by agar disk diffusion using the NCCLS document M44-A guidelines. Candida albicans was the most frequently isolated yeast (68%) followed by C. glabrata (15%), C. tropicalis (5%), C. parapsilosis (5%), and C. krusei (5%). Other yeasts represented 4% of all isolates. Of the 1565 isolates tested, 1449 (92.6%) were susceptible (S) to fluconazole, 43 (2.7%) were susceptible dose-dependent (S-DD) and 73 (4.7%) were resistant (R). Almost all (98.2%) of the C. albicans isolates were classified as S or S-DD. Despite its widespread use, fluconazole displayed good activity against the isolates we tested, and the disk diffusion method was confirmed as a reliable approach to the evaluation of in vitro susceptibility of yeasts to this antimycotic agent.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate outcome after a genotype guided change of therapy in 18 patients failing HAART. Patients were divided into two groups according to the response to therapy: immune responders (12 patients with immune recovery defined as having more than 100 CD4 cells compared to baseline value), and 6 failing patients (without immune recovery). At month 12 after genotype change of therapy a significant difference in the decrease of HIV-RNA viral load between the two groups of patients was detected (mean -1.95 and +0.04 log HIV-RNA copies/ml, p=0.04). One year after the change of therapy, all but one patients experienced a decrease in the replication capacity of HIV strains. Particularly, the HIV replication capacity of HIV strains decreased from 52% (range 14-98%) to 15.2% (range 0.1-74.5%). The HIV strains of patients failing HAART showed a progressive impaired replication capacity. In patients failing HAART the impaired replication capacity of HIV strains could justify the persistence of an immune recovery.
The New Microbiologica: official journal of the Italian Society for Medical Virology (SIVIM) 05/2004; 27(2 Suppl 1):95-8. · 1.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A longitudinal study of the replication capacity of HIV strains isolated from 18 patients failing highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) was undertaken at the time of genotypic guided change of therapy and after 12 months. Patients were divided in two groups according to the response to therapy: immune responders (12 patients with immune recovery defined as having more than 100 CD4 cells compared to baseline value), and failing patients (six patients without immune recovery). At enrollment no significant difference in terms of CD4 cell count and HIV plasma viremia was detected between the two groups. One year after change of therapy, all patients experienced a decrease in the replication capacity of HIV strains. The HIV replication capacity of the failing and of immune-responder patients decreased from 60% (range 14-96%) to 26.4% (range 0.4-74.5) and from 46.8% (range 15-98%) to 3.6% (range 0.1-26.8%), respectively. At month 12, the difference of HIV replication capacity between the two groups reached a statistical significance (P<0.03). After the change of therapy, an increase in the number of drug resistance mutations in the protease gene was detected in both groups with a higher prevalence of M36I mutation in immune responders. The HIV strains of patients failing HAART showed a progressive impaired replication capacity. The degree of the impairment in viral replication correlated with the viro-immunological discordant response to HAART and with the acquisition of new drug resistant mutations in the protease gene. In patients failing HAART, the impaired replication capacity of HIV strains could justify the persistence of an immune recovery.
Journal of Medical Virology 04/2004; 72(4):511-6. · 2.37 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The replicative capacity of HIV is studied by carrying out replication-competition experiments with the insertion of the gene of interest. These assays cannot capture the complicated patterns of mutations of different genes.A cross sectional study was carried out on 10 HIV-infected nai;ve patients and on 15 patients failing HAART. The CD8-depleted PBMCs, with known proviral DNA and cellular HIV-RNA copy numbers, were cultured. A reference curve was determined using the data obtained from 10 nai;ve patients. The replicative capacity was calculated as the ratio multiplied by 100 of the p24 antigen level of isolates over the p24 antigen level determined on the reference curve.A linear correlation between p24 antigen level and the infectious doses of HIV-DNA alone or plus cellular RNA copy number of PBMCs was found in naive patients (r=0.63, P<0.001 and r=0.67, P<0.001, respectively). Although all patients failing therapy had strains with impaired replicative capacity, a wide range of values (0.1-74.5%) was detected. All strains with a replicative capacity above 10% had non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors related mutations.A viral assay to evaluate the HIV replicative capacity is described. The high variability of replicative capacity confirms the need to undertake replicative capacity assay using the whole virus.
Journal of Virological Methods 03/2004; 115(2):199-205. · 1.90 Impact Factor