Short Communication: Biological and Genetic Characterization of HIV Type 1 Subtype B and Nonsubtype B Transmitted Viruses: Usefulness for Vaccine Candidate Assessment

HIV Biology and Variability Department, Centro Nacional de Microbiología, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain.
AIDS research and human retroviruses (Impact Factor: 2.33). 09/2010; 26(9):1019-25. DOI: 10.1089/aid.2010.0018
Source: PubMed


Due to the extraordinary degree of genetic diversity of HIV-1 and the structural complexity of its envelope glycoproteins, designing an effective vaccine is difficult, requiring the development of viral reagents to assess vaccine-elicited neutralizing antibodies. The aim of this study was to improve on our previously developed panel of HIV-1 strains of different genetic forms, focusing on strains from acute and recently acquired infections as the most representative of the transmitted viruses. HIV-1 primary isolates were expanded in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Viral stocks of 40 ml each were produced. Syncytium-inducing (SI) phenotype, coreceptor use, and TCID(50)/ml were determined. Near full-length HIV-1 genomes were amplified by RT-nested PCR in four overlapping segments. Phylogenetic analyses were performed with neighbor-joining trees and bootscanning. Forty-four HIV-1 strains were included in the panel. Twenty-four (54.1%) strains were from early infections (16 acute and 8 recent); of them, 21 (87%) were sexually transmitted. NSI/R5 phenotype was detected in 37 (84.1%) viruses and SI/R5,X4 in another 7 (15.9%). TCID(50)/ml ranged between 10(4) and 10(6.6). Twelve different genetic forms constituted this panel: subtypes A1, B, C, F1, and G; circulating recombinant forms CRF02_AG, CRF14_BG, and CRF24_BG; and unique recombinant forms CRF02_AG/A3, BF1, CRF12_BF/B, and DF1G. In conclusion, in this study, we report the development of a comprehensive and well-characterized panel of HIV-1 isolates for assessing neutralization in HIV vaccine research. This panel is available for distribution through the Programme EVA Centre for AIDS Reagents, National Institute for Biological Standard and Control (NIBSC).

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    ABSTRACT: Subtype G has been estimated to represent the fourth most prevalent clade in the HIV-1 pandemic and subtype F is widely circulating in parts of South America (frequently within BF recombinant forms) and in Romania. However, functional envelope clones of these subtypes are lacking, which are needed for studies on antibody-mediated neutralization, coreceptor usage, and efficiency of viral entry inhibitor drugs. Here we report the construction, neutralization properties, and coreceptor usage of HIV-1 functional envelope clones of subtypes G (n = 15) and F (n = 7). These clones were obtained through RT-PCR amplification of HIV-1 gp160 from plasma RNA, and were used for pseudovirus production. All 15 subtype G-enveloped pseudoviruses were resistant to neutralization by gp120-targeted broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) b12 and 2G12, while a majority were neutralized by gp41-targeted MAbs 2F5 and 4E10. With regard to the subtype F envelopes, all seven pseudoviruses were resistant to 2F5 and b12, six were resistant to G12, and six were neutralized by 4E10. Coreceptor usage testing revealed that 21 of 22 envelopes were CCR5-tropic, including all 15 subtype G envelopes, seven of which were from patients with CD4(+) T cell counts <200/ml. These results confirm the broadly neutralizing activity of 4E10 on envelope clones across all tested group M clades, including subtypes G and F, reveal the resistance of most subtype F-enveloped pseudoviruses to broadly neutralizing MAbs b12, 2G12, and 2F5, and suggest that, similarly to subtype C, CXCR4 tropism is uncommon in subtype G, even at advanced stages of infection.
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    ABSTRACT: CRF14_BG isolates, originally found in Spain, are characterized by CXCR4 tropism and rapid disease progression. This study aimed to identify the origin of CRF14_BG and reconstruct its epidemiological history based on new isolates from Portugal. C2V3C3 env gene sequences were obtained from 62 samples collected in 1993-1998 from Portuguese HIV-1 patients. Full-length genomic sequences were obtained from three patients. Viral subtypes, diversity, divergence rate and positive selection were investigated by phylogenetic analysis. The molecular structure of the genomes was determined by bootscanning. A relaxed molecular clock model was used to date the origin of CRF14_BG. Geno2pheno was used to predict viral tropism. Subtype B was the most prevalent subtype (45 sequences; 73%) followed by CRF14_BG (8; 13%), G (4; 6%), F1 (2; 3%), C (2; 3%) and CRF02_AG (1; 2%). Three CRF14_BG sequences were derived from 1993 samples. Near full-length genomic sequences were strongly related to the CRF14_BG isolates from Spain. Genetic diversity of the Portuguese isolates was significantly higher than the Spanish isolates (0.044 vs 0.014, P<0.0001). The mean date of origin of the CRF14_BG cluster was estimated to be 1992 (range, 1989 and 1996) based on the subtype G genomic region and 1989 (range, 1984-1993) based on the subtype B genomic region. Most CRF14_BG strains (78.9%) were predicted to be CXCR4. Finally, up to five amino acids were under selective pressure in subtype B V3 loop whereas only one was found in the CRF14_BG cluster. CRF14_BG emerged in Portugal in the early 1990 s soon after the beginning of the HIV-1 epidemics, spread to Spain in late 1990 s as a consequence of IVDUs migration and then to the rest of Europe. CXCR4 tropism is a general characteristic of this CRF that may have been selected for by escape from neutralizing antibody response.
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