[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Characterization of HIV-1 subtype diversity in regions where vaccine trials are conducted is critical for vaccine development and testing. This study describes the molecular epidemiology of HIV-1 within a tea-plantation community cohort in Kericho, Kenya. Sixty-three incident infections were ascertained in the HIV and Malaria Cohort Study conducted in Kericho from 2003 to 2006. HIV-1 strains from 58 of those individuals were full genome characterized and compared to two previous Kenyan studies describing 41 prevalent infections from a blood bank survey (1999-2000) and 21 infections from a higher-risk cohort containing a mix of incident and prevalent infections (2006). Among the 58 strains from the community cohort, 43.1% were pure subtypes (36.2% A1, 5.2% C, and 1.7% G) and 56.9% were inter-subtype recombinants (29.3% A1D, 8.6% A1CD, 6.9% A1A2D, 5.2% A1C, 3.4% A1A2CD, and 3.4% A2D). This diversity and the resulting genetic distance between the observed strains will need to be addressed when vaccine immunogens are chosen. In consideration of current vaccine development efforts, the strains from these three studies were compared to five candidate vaccines (each of which are viral vectored, carrying inserts corresponding to parts of gag, pol, and envelope), which have been developed for possible use in sub-Saharan Africa. The sequence comparison between the observed strains and the candidate vaccines indicates that in the presence of diverse recombinants, a bivalent vaccine is more likely to provide T-cell epitope coverage than monovalent vaccines even when the inserts of the bivalent vaccine are not subtype-matched to the local epidemic.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Eliciting broadly reactive functional antibodies remains a challenge in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) vaccine development that is complicated by variations in envelope (Env) subtype and structure. The majority of new global HIV-1 infections are subtype C, and novel antigenic properties have been described for subtype C Env proteins. Thus, an HIV-1 subtype C Env protein (CO6980v0c22) from an infected person in the acute phase (Fiebig stage I/II) was developed as a research reagent and candidate immunogen. The gp145 envelope is a novel immunogen with a fully intact membrane-proximal external region (MPER), extended by a polylysine tail. Soluble gp145 was enriched for trimers that yielded the expected "fan blade" motifs when visualized by cryoelectron microscopy. CO6980v0c22 gp145 reacts with the 4E10, PG9, PG16, and VRC01 HIV-1 neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), as well as the V1/V2-specific PGT121, 697, 2158, and 2297 MAbs. Different gp145 oligomers were tested for immunogenicity in rabbits, and purified dimers, trimers, and larger multimers elicited similar levels of crosssubtype binding and neutralizing antibodies to tier 1 and some tier 2 viruses. Immunized rabbit sera did not neutralize the highly resistant CO6980v0c22 pseudovirus but did inhibit the homologous infectious molecular clone in a peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) assay. This Env is currently in good manufacturing practice (GMP) production to be made available for use as a clinical research tool and further evaluation as a candidate vaccine.
Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Journal of Virology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unlabelled:
Neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) are a high priority for vaccines that aim to prevent the acquisition of HIV-1 infection. Vaccine effectiveness will depend on the extent to which induced antibodies neutralize the global diversity of circulating HIV-1 variants. Using large panels of genetically and geographically diverse HIV-1 Env-pseudotyped viruses and chronic infection plasma samples, we unambiguously show that cross-clade nAb responses are commonly induced in response to infection by any virus clade. Nonetheless, neutralization was significantly greater when the plasma clade matched the clade of the virus being tested. This within-clade advantage was diminished in older, more-diverse epidemics in southern Africa, the United States, and Europe compared to more recent epidemics in Asia. It was most pronounced for circulating recombinant form (CRF) 07_BC, which is common in China and is the least-divergent lineage studied; this was followed by the slightly more diverse Asian CRF01_AE. We found no evidence that transmitted/founder viruses are generally more susceptible to neutralization and are therefore easier targets for vaccination than chronic viruses. Features of the gp120 V1V2 loop, in particular, length, net charge, and number of N-linked glycans, were associated with Env susceptibility and plasma neutralization potency in a manner consistent with neutralization escape being a force that drives viral diversification and plasma neutralization breadth. The overall susceptibility of Envs and potencies of plasma samples were highly predictive of the neutralization outcome of any single virus-plasma combination. These findings highlight important considerations for the design and testing of candidate HIV-1 vaccines that aim to elicit effective nAbs.
An effective HIV-1 vaccine will need to overcome the extraordinary variability of the virus, which is most pronounced in the envelope glycoproteins (Env), which are the sole targets for neutralizing antibodies (nAbs). Distinct genetic lineages, or clades, of HIV-1 occur in different locales that may require special consideration when designing and testing vaccines candidates. We show that nAb responses to HIV-1 infection are generally active across clades but are most potent within clades. Because effective vaccine-induced nAbs are likely to share these properties, optimal coverage of a particular clade or combination of clades may require clade-matched immunogens. Optimal within-clade coverage might be easier to achieve in regions such as China and Thailand, where the epidemic is more recent and the virus less diverse than in southern Africa, the United States, and Europe. Finally, features of the first and second hypervariable regions of gp120 (V1V2) may be critical for optimal vaccine design.
No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Journal of Virology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Standardized assays to assess vaccine and antiviral drug efficacy are critical for the development of protective HIV-1 vaccines and drugs. These immune assays will be advanced by the development of standardized viral stocks, such as HIV-1 infectious molecular clones (IMC), that i) express a reporter gene, ii) are representative of globally diverse subtypes and iii) are engineered to easily exchange envelope (env) genes for expression of sequences of interest. Thus far, a subtype B IMC backbone expressing Renilla luciferase (LucR), and into which the ectodomain of heterologous env coding sequences can be expressed has been successfully developed but as execution of HIV-1 vaccine efficacy trials shifts increasingly to non-subtype B epidemics (Southern African and Southeast Asia), non-subtype B HIV-1 reagents are needed to support vaccine development. Here we describe two IMCs derived from subtypes C and CRF01_AE HIV-1 primary isolates expressing LucR (IMC.LucR) that were engineered to express heterologous gp160 Envs. 18 constructs expressing various subtypes C and CRF01_AE Envs, mostly acute, in subtype-matched and -unmatched HIV backbones were tested for functionality and neutralization sensitivity. Our results suggest a possible effect of non-env HIV-1 genes on the interaction of Env and neutralizing antibodies and highlight the need to generate a library of IMCs representative of the HIV-1 subtype spectrum to be used as standardized neutralization assay reagents for assessing HIV-1 vaccine efficacy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Here we explore the association between killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR)/HLA and human immunodeficiency virus
type 1 (HIV-1) acquisition with different viral subtypes circulating in East Africa. In the prospective Cohort Development
(CODE) cohort (Mbeya, Tanzania), carriers of KIR3DS1 and its putative ligand (HLA-A or HLA-B Bw4-80Ile alleles) showed increased
HIV-1 acquisition risk (odds ratio [OR] = 3.46; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12–10.63; P = .04) and a trend for enrichment for subtype A and A-containing recombinants (78% vs 46%; OR = 4.05; 95% CI, .91–28.30;
P = .09) at the expense of subtype C (11% vs 43%; OR = 0.17; 95% CI, .01–.97; P = .08). In vitro, only natural killer cells from KIR3DS1(+)/HLA-Bw4-80Ile(+) healthy donors showed a 2-fold increased capacity
to inhibit replication of subtype C vs subtype A viruses (P = .01). These findings suggest the presence of an innate sieve effect and may inform HIV-1 vaccine development.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · The Journal of Infectious Diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The RV144 HIV-1 vaccine trial (Thailand, 2003-2009), using immunogens genetically matched to the regional epidemic, demonstrated the first evidence of efficacy for an HIV-1 vaccine. Here we studied the molecular evolution of the HIV-1 epidemic from the time of immunogen selection to the execution of the efficacy trial. We studied HIV-1 genetic diversity among 390 volunteers who were deferred from enrolment in RV144 due to pre-existing HIV-1 infection using a multi-region hybridization assay, full-genome sequencing, and phylogenetic analyses. The subtype distribution was CRF01_AE: 91.7%, subtype B: 3.5%, B/CRF01_AE recombinants:4.3%, and dual infections: 0.5%. CRF01_AE strains were 31% more diverse than the ones from the 1990s Thai epidemic. 69% of subtype B clustered with cosmopolitan Western B. 93% of B/CRF01_AE recombinants were unique; recombination breakpoints analysis showed that these strains were highly embedded within the larger network that integrates recombinants from East/Southeast Asia. Compared to Thai sequences from the early 1990s, the distance to the RV144 immunogens increased 52%-68% for CRF01_AE Env, and 12-29% for subtype B immunogens. 43-48% of CRF01_AE sequences differed from the vaccine insert in Env V2 positions 169 and 181, which were implicated in vaccine sieve effects in RV144. In conclusion, compared to the molecular picture at the early stages of vaccine development, our results show an overall increase in the genetic complexity of the Thai epidemic and in the distance to vaccine immunogens, which should be considered at the time of the analysis of the trial results.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Journal of Virology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The multi-region hybridization assay (MHAbce) for genotyping HIV-1 subtypes B, C and circulating recombinant form (CRF01_AE) was evaluated on paired plasma and dried blood spots (DBS) collected from 68 HIV-1 infected individuals in Thailand. CRF01_AE was the predominant subtype identified using plasma samples (51/62) and DBS (24/27). There was no discordance in subtype designations between plasma and DBS.
No preview · Article · Mar 2012 · The Southeast Asian journal of tropical medicine and public health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract The U.S. Army initiated an investigation in response to observations of a possible increase in HIV incidence among soldiers deployed to combat. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected U.S. Army soldiers are not eligible to deploy. Combat presents a health hazard to HIV-infected soldiers and they pose a threat to the safety of the battlefield blood supply and their contacts. All soldiers are routinely screened for HIV every 2 years and those who deploy are also screened both prior to and after deployment. Seroconversion rates were estimated for all soldiers who deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq in the period 2001-2007 and all active duty soldiers who did not. Seroconverters with an estimated date of infection, based on calculation of the midpoint between the last seronegative and first seropositive test date, that was either before or during deployment were eligible for inclusion. Confidential interviews and medical record reviews were conducted to determine the most likely time, geographic location, and mode of infection. Reposed predeployment samples were tested for HIV ribonucleic acid. The HIV seroconversion rate among all soldiers who deployed was less than the rate among those who did not deploy: 1.04 and 1.42 per 10,000 person-years, respectively. Among 48 cases, most were determined to have been infected in the United States or Germany and prior to deployment (n=20, 42%) or during rest and relaxation leave (n=13, 27%). Seven seronegative acute infections were identified in the predeployment period. Subtype was determined for 40 individuals; all were subtype B infections. All were acquired through sexual contact. These findings can inform development of preventive interventions and refinement of existing screening policy to further reduce HIV-infected deployed soldier person time.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · AIDS research and human retroviruses
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pyrosequencing Analysis. Each panel shows the distribution of pairwise genetic distances between a reference sequence (the consensus of env sequences from each seroconverting partner) and pyrosequences derived from the index partner. See Supplementary Table S2 for details. The graph on the left side of each panel shows the analysis of the 5′ and 3′ reads, respectively. Distributions marked in blue indicate the relationship of the HIV-1 infected partners' sequences to the consensus of the seroconverting partners' sequence. Distributions marked in red indicate the relationship of seroconverting partners' sequences to the consensus of the HIV-1 infected partners' sequence.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Characterization of viruses in HIV-1 transmission pairs will help identify biological determinants of infectiousness and evaluate candidate interventions to reduce transmission. Although HIV-1 sequencing is frequently used to substantiate linkage between newly HIV-1 infected individuals and their sexual partners in epidemiologic and forensic studies, viral sequencing is seldom applied in HIV-1 prevention trials. The Partners in Prevention HSV/HIV Transmission Study (ClinicalTrials.gov #NCT00194519) was a prospective randomized placebo-controlled trial that enrolled serodiscordant heterosexual couples to determine the efficacy of genital herpes suppression in reducing HIV-1 transmission; as part of the study analysis, HIV-1 sequences were examined for genetic linkage between seroconverters and their enrolled partners.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pairwise Genetic Distances for Reference gag Datasets. Distributions of pairwise genetic distances for gag reference datasets and between enrolled partner-pairs from the Partners in Prevention HSV/HIV Transmission Study cohort that were adjudicated as linked (red bars) and unlinked (blue bars) through sequencing of env, gag, or both.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Summary of HIV-1 Transmission Linkage and Local Control Sequence Data. Demographic, sequence, and linkage data for each couple and “local control” participant. Pairwise nucleotide distances shown are the smallest pairwise distances obtained, from either consensus or single molecule sequencing in env or consensus sequencing in gag, with Bayesian posterior probabilities corresponding to the distances shown.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Summary of HIV-1 env Pyrosequencing Analysis. Pyrosequencing analysis of the HIV-1 infected partner's env sequences in pairs of individuals without prior evidence of linkage. The approximate number of templates evaluated in each pyrosequencing reaction are shown, along with the number of raw and final reads used in the evaluation. 400 bp amplicons were sequenced using primers from the 5′ and 3′ ends. The ∼220 bp reads from each end were analyzed separately. A variable number of sequences were removed from the final alignments as described in the Methods. Pyrosequencing on the thirteenth pair listed, PP118, did not yield sequence data due to insufficient read length.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Overview of Laboratory and Analysis Methods. (a) Overview of laboratory methods. RNA was extracted from blood plasma, cDNA synthesized, and multiplex PCR targeting env and gag was performed. Sequences were aligned and analyzed in the context of reference and ‘local control’ sequences of the same subtype. Phylogenetic relationships, pairwise genetic distances, and Bayesian posterior probabilities were obtained. (b) Process by which posterior probabilities of linkage were obtained. The linked dataset corresponded to sequences derived from the Los Alamos National Laboratory HIV database (HIVDB) and trimmed to match the amplicons sequenced in the current study in env and gag. The linked dataset was composed of intrasubject sequences from <2 years after infection from the MACS, from available linked partner pairs from the literature and intermediate adjudications in this study, and from mother-infant transmission pairs. Three unlinked datasets were initially derived, from HIV-1 subtypes A, B and C, one sequence per subject and from individuals with no known epidemiologic linkage. After each set of sequences were aligned, pairwise distances were determined and the each dataset combined to create one “linked’ and one “unlinked” pairwise distance dataset. Alignments are available at (http://www.mullinslab.microbiol.washington.edu/publications/campbell_2010). These datasets were used to estimate prior probabilities of linkage using the Bayesian approach described in Methods.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Linkage Results Flow Chart. Flow chart of sequences obtained and linkage results for all pairs evaluated. *Consensus gag sequence analysis contributed 5 linkages in eligible pairs and 4 linkages in 3-month seroconverters (circles) over consensus env sequencing alone. Deep sequencing by clonal or single molecule (SM) and amplicon pyrosequencing (pyro) of env revealed 8 additional linked pairs. Deep sequencing was not performed in 3-month seroconverter pairs, as they were not included in the modified intention to treat analysis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We analyzed HIV-1 genome sequences from 68 newly infected volunteers in the STEP HIV-1 vaccine trial. To determine whether the vaccine exerted selective T cell pressure on breakthrough viruses, we identified potential T cell epitopes in the founder sequences and compared them to epitopes in the vaccine. We found greater distances to the vaccine sequence for sequences from vaccine recipients than from placebo recipients. The most significant signature site distinguishing vaccine from placebo recipients was Gag amino acid 84, a site encompassed by several epitopes contained in the vaccine and restricted by human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles common in the study cohort. Moreover, the extended divergence was confined to the vaccine components of the virus (HIV-1 Gag, Pol and Nef) and not found in other HIV-1 proteins. These results represent what is to our knowledge the first evidence of selective pressure from vaccine-induced T cell responses on HIV-1 infection in humans.