Publications by authors named "George M Shaw"

185 Publications

New SHIVs and Improved Design Strategy for Modeling HIV-1 Transmission, Immunopathogenesis, Prevention and Cure.

J Virol 2021 Mar 3. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Departments of Medicine and Microbiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Previously, we showed that substitution of HIV-1 Env residue 375-Ser by bulky aromatic residues enhances binding to rhesus CD4 and enables primary HIV-1 Envs to support efficient replication as simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) chimeras in rhesus macaques (RMs). Here, we test this design strategy more broadly by constructing SHIVs containing ten primary Envs corresponding to HIV-1 subtypes A, B, C, AE and AG. All ten SHIVs bearing wildtype Env375 residues replicated efficiently in human CD4 T cells, but only one replicated efficiently in primary rhesus cells. This was a subtype AE SHIV that naturally contained His at Env375. Replacement of wildtype Env375 residues by Trp, Tyr, Phe or His in the other nine SHIVs led to efficient replication in rhesus CD4+ T cells and Nine SHIVs containing optimized Env375 alleles were grown large-scale in primary rhesus CD4 T cells to serve as challenge stocks in preclinical prevention trials. These virus stocks were genetically homogeneous, native-like in Env antigenicity and tier-2 neutralization sensitivity, and transmissible by rectal, vaginal, penile, oral or intravenous routes. To facilitate future SHIV constructions, we engineered a simplified second-generation design scheme and validated it in RMs. Overall, our findings demonstrate that SHIVs bearing primary Envs with bulky aromatic substitutions at Env375 consistently replicate in RMs, recapitulating many features of HIV-1 infection in humans. Such SHIVs are efficiently transmitted by mucosal routes common to HIV-1 infection and can be used to test vaccine efficacy in preclinical monkey trials.SHIV infection of Indian rhesus macaques is an important animal model for studying HIV-1 transmission, prevention, immunopathogenesis and cure. Such research is timely, given recent progress with active and passive immunization and novel approaches to HIV-1 cure. Given the multifaceted roles of HIV-1 Env in cell tropism and virus entry, and as a target for neutralizing and non-neutralizing antibodies, Envs selected for SHIV construction are of paramount importance. Until recently, it has been impossible to strategically design SHIVs bearing clinically relevant Envs that replicate consistently in monkeys. This changed with the discovery that bulky aromatic substitutions at residue Env375 confer enhanced affinity to rhesus CD4. Here, we show that 10 new SHIVs bearing primary HIV-1 Envs with residue 375 substitutions replicated efficiently in RMs and could be transmitted efficiently across rectal, vaginal, penile and oral mucosa. These findings suggest an expanded role for SHIVs as a model of HIV-1 infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00071-21DOI Listing
March 2021

Immune responses and viral persistence in SHIV.C.CH848-infected rhesus macaques.

J Virol 2021 Feb 10. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Tulane National Primate Research Center, Tulane University School of Medicine, Covington, Louisiana, USA

Chimeric simian/human immunodeficiency viruses (SHIVs) are widely used in nonhuman primate models to recapitulate HIV infection in humans, yet most SHIVs fail to establish persistent viral infection. We investigated immunological and virological events in rhesus macaques infected with the newly developed SHIV.C.CH848, combined with antiretroviral therapy (cART). Similar to HIV/SIV infection, SHIV.C.CH848 infection established viral reservoirs in CD4+ T cells and myeloid cells, accompanied by productive infection and depletion of CD4+ T cells in systemic and lymphoid tissues throughout SHIV infection. Despite 6-months of cART suppressed viral replication, integrated proviral DNA levels remained stable, especially in CD4+ T cells, and the viral rebound was also observed after ART interruption. Autologous neutralizing antibodies to the parental HIV-1 strain CH848 were detected, with limited viral evolution at 5 months post infection. In comparison, heterogenous neutralizing antibodies in SHIV.C.CH848-infected macaques were not detected except for one (1 of 10) animal at 2 years post infection. These findings suggest that the SHIV.C.CH848, a novel class of transmitted/founder SHIVs, can establish sustained viremia and viral reservoirs in rhesus macaques with clinical immunodeficiency consequences, providing a valuable SHIV model for HIV research. SHIVs have been extensively used in a nonhuman primate (NHP) model for HIV research. Here, we investigate viral reservoir in tissues and immune responses in an NHP model inoculated with newly generated transmitted/founder HIV-1 clade C-based SHIV.C.CH848. The data show T/F SHIVC infection of macaques more closely recapitulates the virologic and clinical features of HIV infection including persistent viremia, and viral rebound once antiretroviral therapy is discontinued. These results suggest this CCR5-tropic, SHIVC virus is valuable for testing responses to HIV vaccines and therapeutics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.02198-20DOI Listing
February 2021

The C3/465 glycan hole cluster in BG505 HIV-1 envelope is the major neutralizing target involved in preventing mucosal SHIV infection.

PLoS Pathog 2021 Feb 8;17(2):e1009257. Epub 2021 Feb 8.

Emory Vaccine Center, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America.

Stabilized HIV-1 envelope (Env) trimers elicit tier 2 autologous neutralizing antibody (nAb) responses in immunized animals. We previously demonstrated that BG505 SOSIP.664.T332N gp140 (BG505 SOSIP) immunization of rhesus macaques (RM) provided robust protection against autologous intra-vaginal simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) challenge that was predicted by high serum nAb titers. Here, we show that nAb in these protected RM targeted a glycan hole proximal to residue 465 in gp120 in all cases. nAb also targeted another glycan hole at residues 241/289 and an epitope in V1 at varying frequencies. Non-neutralizing antibodies directed at N611-shielded epitopes in gp41 were also present but were more prevalent in RM with low nAb titers. Longitudinal analysis demonstrated that nAb broadened in some RM during sequential immunization but remained focused in others, the latter being associated with increases in nAb titer. Thirty-eight monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) isolated from a protected RM with an exceptionally high serum neutralization titer bound to the trimer in ELISA, and four of the mAbs potently neutralized the BG505 Env pseudovirus (PV) and SHIV. The four neutralizing mAbs were clonally related and targeted the 465 glycan hole to varying degrees, mimicking the serum. The data demonstrate that the C3/465 glycan hole cluster was the dominant neutralization target in high titer protected RM, despite other co-circulating neutralizing and non-neutralizing specificities. The isolation of a neutralizing mAb family argues that clonotype expansion occurred during BG505 SOSIP immunization, leading to high titer, protective nAb and setting a desirable benchmark for HIV vaccines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1009257DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7895394PMC
February 2021

Heightened resistance to host type 1 interferons characterizes HIV-1 at transmission and after antiretroviral therapy interruption.

Sci Transl Med 2021 Jan;13(576)

Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

Type 1 interferons (IFN-I) are potent innate antiviral effectors that constrain HIV-1 transmission. However, harnessing these cytokines for HIV-1 cure strategies has been hampered by an incomplete understanding of their antiviral activities at later stages of infection. Here, we characterized the IFN-I sensitivity of 500 clonally derived HIV-1 isolates from the plasma and CD4 T cells of 26 individuals sampled longitudinally after transmission or after antiretroviral therapy (ART) and analytical treatment interruption. We determined the concentration of IFNα2 and IFNβ that reduced viral replication in vitro by 50% (IC) and found consistent changes in the sensitivity of HIV-1 to IFN-I inhibition both across individuals and over time. Resistance of HIV-1 isolates to IFN-I was uniformly high during acute infection, decreased in all individuals in the first year after infection, was reacquired concomitant with CD4 T cell loss, and remained elevated in individuals with accelerated disease. HIV-1 isolates obtained by viral outgrowth during suppressive ART were relatively IFN-I sensitive, resembling viruses circulating just before ART initiation. However, viruses that rebounded after treatment interruption displayed the highest degree of IFNα2 and IFNβ resistance observed at any time during the infection course. These findings indicate a dynamic interplay between host innate responses and the evolving HIV-1 quasispecies, with the relative contribution of IFN-I to HIV-1 control affected by both ART and analytical treatment interruption. Although elevated at transmission, host innate pressures are the highest during viral rebound, limiting the viruses that successfully become reactivated from latency to those that are IFN-I resistant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.abd8179DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7923595PMC
January 2021

Recapitulation of HIV-1 Env-antibody coevolution in macaques leading to neutralization breadth.

Science 2021 01 19;371(6525). Epub 2020 Nov 19.

Departments of Medicine and Microbiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

Neutralizing antibodies elicited by HIV-1 coevolve with viral envelope proteins (Env) in distinctive patterns, in some cases acquiring substantial breadth. We report that primary HIV-1 envelope proteins-when expressed by simian-human immunodeficiency viruses in rhesus macaques-elicited patterns of Env-antibody coevolution very similar to those in humans, including conserved immunogenetic, structural, and chemical solutions to epitope recognition and precise Env-amino acid substitutions, insertions, and deletions leading to virus persistence. The structure of one rhesus antibody, capable of neutralizing 49% of a 208-strain panel, revealed a V2 apex mode of recognition like that of human broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) PGT145 and PCT64-35S. Another rhesus antibody bound the CD4 binding site by CD4 mimicry, mirroring human bNAbs 8ANC131, CH235, and VRC01. Virus-antibody coevolution in macaques can thus recapitulate developmental features of human bNAbs, thereby guiding HIV-1 immunogen design.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.abd2638DOI Listing
January 2021

Simian-Human Immunodeficiency Virus SHIV.C.CH505 Persistence in ART-Suppressed Infant Macaques Is Characterized by Elevated SHIV RNA in the Gut and a High Abundance of Intact SHIV DNA in Naive CD4 T Cells.

J Virol 2020 12 22;95(2). Epub 2020 Dec 22.

Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) continues to cause new pediatric cases of infection through breastfeeding, a setting where it is not always possible to initiate early antiretroviral therapy (ART). Without novel interventions that do not rely on daily ART, HIV-1-infected children face lifelong medications to control infection. A detailed analysis of virus persistence following breast milk transmission of HIV-1 and ART has not been performed. Here, we used infant rhesus macaques orally infected with simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) (SHIV.C.CH505) to identify cellular and anatomical sites of virus persistence under ART. Viral DNA was detected at similar levels in blood and tissue CD4 T cells after a year on ART, with virus in blood and lymphoid organs confirmed to be replication competent. Viral RNA/DNA ratios were elevated in rectal CD4 T cells compared to those of other sites (0.0001), suggesting that the gastrointestinal tract is an active site of virus transcription during ART-mediated suppression of viremia. SHIV.C.CH505 DNA was detected in multiple CD4 T cell subsets, including cells with a naive phenotype (CD45RA CCR7 CD95). While the frequency of naive cells harboring intact provirus was lower than in memory cells, the high abundance of naive cells in the infant CD4 T cell pool made them a substantial source of persistent viral DNA (approximately 50% of the total CD4 T cell reservoir), with an estimated 1:2 ratio of intact provirus to total viral DNA. This viral reservoir profile broadens our understanding of virus persistence in a relevant infant macaque model and provides insight into targets for cure-directed approaches in the pediatric population. Uncovering the sanctuaries of the long-lived HIV-1 reservoir is crucial to develop cure strategies. Pediatric immunity is distinct from that of adults, which may alter where the reservoir is established in infancy. Thus, it is important to utilize pediatric models to inform cure-directed approaches for HIV-1-infected children. We used an infant rhesus macaque model of HIV-1 infection via breastfeeding to identify key sites of viral persistence under antiretroviral therapy (ART). The gastrointestinal tract was found to be a site for low-level viral transcription during ART. We also show that naive CD4 T cells harbored intact provirus and were a major contributor to blood and lymphoid reservoir size. This is particularly striking, as memory CD4 T cells are generally regarded as the main source of latent HIV/simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection of adult humans and rhesus macaques. Our findings highlight unique features of reservoir composition in pediatric infection that should be considered for eradication efforts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01669-20DOI Listing
December 2020

SMAC Mimetic Plus Triple-Combination Bispecific HIVxCD3 Retargeting Molecules in SHIV.C.CH505-Infected, Antiretroviral Therapy-Suppressed Rhesus Macaques.

J Virol 2020 10 14;94(21). Epub 2020 Oct 14.

Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

The "shock-and-kill" human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) cure strategy involves latency reversal followed by immune-mediated clearance of infected cells. We have previously shown that activation of the noncanonical NF-κB pathway using an inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP), AZD5582, reverses HIV/simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) latency. Here, we combined AZD5582 with bispecific HIVxCD3 DART molecules to determine the impact of this approach on persistence. Rhesus macaques (RMs) ( = 13) were infected with simian/human immunodeficiency virus SHIV.C.CH505.375H.dCT, and triple antiretroviral therapy (ART) was initiated after 16 weeks. After 42 weeks of ART, 8 RMs received a cocktail of 3 HIVxCD3 DART molecules having human A32, 7B2, or PGT145 anti-HIV-1 envelope (Env) specificities paired with a human anti-CD3 specificity that is rhesus cross-reactive. The remaining 5 ART-suppressed RMs served as controls. For 10 weeks, a DART molecule cocktail was administered weekly (each molecule at 1 mg/kg of body weight), followed 2 days later by AZD5582 (0.1 mg/kg). DART molecule serum concentrations were well above those considered adequate for redirected killing activity against Env-expressing target cells but began to decline after 3 to 6 weekly doses, coincident with the development of antidrug antibodies (ADAs) against each of the DART molecules. The combination of AZD5582 and the DART molecule cocktail did not increase on-ART viremia or cell-associated SHIV RNA in CD4 T cells and did not reduce the viral reservoir size in animals on ART. The lack of latency reversal in the model used in this study may be related to low pre-ART viral loads (median, <10 copies/ml) and low preintervention reservoir sizes (median, <10 SHIV DNA copies/million blood CD4 T cells). Future studies to assess the efficacy of Env-targeting DART molecules or other clearance agents to reduce viral reservoirs after latency reversal may be more suited to models that better minimize immunogenicity and have a greater viral burden. The most significant barrier to an HIV-1 cure is the existence of the latently infected viral reservoir that gives rise to rebound viremia upon cessation of ART. Here, we tested a novel combination approach of latency reversal with AZD5582 and clearance with bispecific HIVxCD3 DART molecules in SHIV.C.CH505-infected, ART-suppressed rhesus macaques. We demonstrate that the DART molecules were not capable of clearing infected cells , attributed to the lack of quantifiable latency reversal in this model with low levels of persistent SHIV DNA prior to intervention as well as DART molecule immunogenicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00793-20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7565632PMC
October 2020

Assessing routes of hepatitis C transmission in HIV-infected men who have sex with men using single genome sequencing.

PLoS One 2020 15;15(7):e0235237. Epub 2020 Jul 15.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, United States of America.

The epidemic of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among HIV-infected men who have sex with men (MSM) is in its second decade, but the routes of transmission remain poorly understood. We hypothesized that by pairing single genome sequencing (SGS), to enumerate infecting HCV genomes (viruses), with detailed sexual and drug histories, we could gain insight into the routes of transmission among MSM. We used SGS to analyze blood specimens from eight HIV-infected MSM who had 10 episodes of acute (seronegative) or early HCV infections. Seven of eight men reported condomless receptive anal intercourse (CRAI), six with rectal exposure to semen, and all eight denied rectal trauma or bleeding. Of the 10 HCV infections, eight resulted from transmission of a single virus; one infection resulted from transmission of either one or a few (three or four) closely-related viruses; and one infection resulted from transmission of >10 distinct viruses. The participant infected by >10 viruses reported sharing injection equipment for methamphetamine during sex. Two other participants also injected methamphetamine during sex but they did not share injection equipment and were infected by a single virus. Conclusions: Most HCV infections of HIV-infected MSM without a history of either rectal trauma or bleeding or shared injection equipment were caused by a single virus. Intra-rectal exposure to semen during CRAI is therefore likely sufficient for HCV transmission among MSM. Conversely, rectal trauma or bleeding or shared injection equipment are not necessary for HCV transmission among MSM. These results help clarify routes of HCV transmission among MSM and can therefore help guide the design of much-needed behavioral and other interventions to prevent HCV transmission among MSM.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0235237PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7363067PMC
September 2020

Co-immunization of DNA and Protein in the Same Anatomical Sites Induces Superior Protective Immune Responses against SHIV Challenge.

Cell Rep 2020 05;31(6):107624

Human Retrovirus Section, Vaccine Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute at Frederick, Frederick, MD 21702, USA. Electronic address:

We compare immunogenicity and protective efficacy of an HIV vaccine comprised of env and gag DNA and Env (Envelope) proteins by co-administration of the vaccine components in the same muscles or by separate administration of DNA + protein in contralateral sites in female rhesus macaques. The 6-valent vaccine includes gp145 Env DNAs, representing six sequentially isolated Envs from the HIV-infected individual CH505, and matching GLA-SE-adjuvanted gp120 Env proteins. Interestingly, only macaques in the co-administration vaccine group are protected against SHIV CH505 acquisition after repeated low-dose intravaginal challenge and show 67% risk reduction per exposure. Macaques in the co-administration group develop higher Env-specific humoral and cellular immune responses. Non-neutralizing Env antibodies, ADCC, and antibodies binding to FcγRIIIa are associated with decreased transmission risk. These data suggest that simultaneous recognition, processing, and presentation of DNA + Env protein in the same draining lymph nodes play a critical role in the development of protective immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2020.107624DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7329227PMC
May 2020

T cell-inducing vaccine durably prevents mucosal SHIV infection even with lower neutralizing antibody titers.

Nat Med 2020 06 11;26(6):932-940. Epub 2020 May 11.

Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.

Recent efforts toward an HIV vaccine focus on inducing broadly neutralizing antibodies, but eliciting both neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) and cellular responses may be superior. Here, we immunized macaques with an HIV envelope trimer, either alone to induce nAbs, or together with a heterologous viral vector regimen to elicit nAbs and cellular immunity, including CD8 tissue-resident memory T cells. After ten vaginal challenges with autologous virus, protection was observed in both vaccine groups at 53.3% and 66.7%, respectively. A nAb titer >300 was generally associated with protection but in the heterologous viral vector + nAb group, titers <300 were sufficient. In this group, protection was durable as the animals resisted six more challenges 5 months later. Antigen stimulation of T cells in ex vivo vaginal tissue cultures triggered antiviral responses in myeloid and CD4 T cells. We propose that cellular immune responses reduce the threshold of nAbs required to confer superior and durable protection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-0858-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7303014PMC
June 2020

Estimating the Timing of Early Simian-Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infections: a Comparison between Poisson Fitter and BEAST.

mBio 2020 03 24;11(2). Epub 2020 Mar 24.

Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA

Many HIV prevention strategies are currently under consideration where it is highly informative to know the study participants' times of infection. These can be estimated using viral sequence data sampled early in infection. However, there are several scenarios that, if not addressed, can skew timing estimates. These include multiple transmitted/founder (TF) viruses, APOBEC (apolipoprotein B mRNA editing enzyme, catalytic polypeptide-like)-mediated mutational enrichment, and recombination. Here, we suggest a pipeline to identify these problems and resolve the biases that they introduce. We then compare two modeling strategies to obtain timing estimates from sequence data. The first, Poisson Fitter (PF), is based on a Poisson model of random accumulation of mutations relative to the TF virus (or viruses) that established the infection. The second uses a coalescence-based phylogenetic strategy as implemented in BEAST. The comparison is based on timing predictions using plasma viral RNA (cDNA) sequence data from 28 simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV)-infected animals for which the exact day of infection is known. In this particular setting, based on nucleotide sequences from samples obtained in early infection, the Poisson method yielded more accurate, more precise, and unbiased estimates for the time of infection than did the explored implementations of BEAST. The inference of the time of infection is a critical parameter in testing the efficacy of clinical interventions in protecting against HIV-1 infection. For example, in clinical trials evaluating the efficacy of passively delivered antibodies (Abs) for preventing infections, accurate time of infection data are essential for discerning levels of the Abs required to confer protection, given the natural Ab decay rate in the human body. In such trials, genetic sequences from early in the infection are regularly sampled from study participants, generally prior to immune selection, when the viral population is still expanding and genetic diversity is low. In this particular setting of early viral growth, the Poisson method is superior to the alternative approach based on coalescent methods. This approach can also be applied in human vaccine trials, where accurate estimates of infection times help ascertain if vaccine-elicited immune protection wanes over time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mBio.00324-20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7157514PMC
March 2020

Differential Outcomes following Optimization of Simian-Human Immunodeficiency Viruses from Clades AE, B, and C.

J Virol 2020 05 4;94(10). Epub 2020 May 4.

Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) infection of rhesus monkeys is an important preclinical model for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) vaccines, therapeutics, and cure strategies. SHIVs have been optimized by incorporating HIV-1 Env residue 375 mutations that mimic the bulky or hydrophobic residues typically found in simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) Env to improve rhesus CD4 binding. We applied this strategy to three SHIV challenge stocks (SHIV-SF162p3, SHIV-AE16, and SHIV-325c) and observed three distinct outcomes. We constructed six Env375 variants (M, H, W, Y, F, and S) for each SHIV, and we performed a pool competition study in rhesus monkeys to define the optimal variant for each SHIV prior to generating large-scale challenge stocks. We identified SHIV-SF162p3S/wild type, SHIV-AE16W, and SHIV-325cH as the optimal variants. SHIV-SF162p3S could not be improved, as it already contained the optimal Env375 residue. SHIV-AE16W exhibited a similar replicative capacity to the parental SHIV-AE16 stock. In contrast, SHIV-325cH demonstrated a 2.6-log higher peak and 1.6-log higher setpoint viral loads than the parental SHIV-325c stock. These data demonstrate the diversity of potential outcomes following Env375 modification in SHIVs. Moreover, the clade C SHIV-325cH challenge stock may prove useful for evaluating prophylactic or therapeutic interventions against clade C HIV-1. We sought to enhance the infectivity of three SHIV stocks by optimization of a key residue in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Env (Env375). We developed the following three new simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) stocks: SHIV-SF162p3S/wild type, SHIV-AE16W, and SHIV-325cH. SHIV-SF162p3S could not be optimized, SHIV-AE16W proved comparable to the parental virus, and SHIV-325cH demonstrated markedly enhanced replicative capacity compared with the parental virus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01860-19DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7199416PMC
May 2020

Contribution of proteasome-catalyzed peptide -splicing to viral targeting by CD8 T cells in HIV-1 infection.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2019 12 20;116(49):24748-24759. Epub 2019 Nov 20.

Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7FZ, United Kingdom;

Peptides generated by proteasome-catalyzed splicing of noncontiguous amino acid sequences have been shown to constitute a source of nontemplated human leukocyte antigen class I (HLA-I) epitopes, but their role in pathogen-specific immunity remains unknown. CD8 T cells are key mediators of HIV type 1 (HIV-1) control, and identification of novel epitopes to enhance targeting of infected cells is a priority for prophylactic and therapeutic strategies. To explore the contribution of proteasome-catalyzed peptide splicing (PCPS) to HIV-1 epitope generation, we developed a broadly applicable mass spectrometry-based discovery workflow that we employed to identify spliced HLA-I-bound peptides on HIV-infected cells. We demonstrate that HIV-1-derived spliced peptides comprise a relatively minor component of the HLA-I-bound viral immunopeptidome. Although spliced HIV-1 peptides may elicit CD8 T cell responses relatively infrequently during infection, CD8 T cells primed by partially overlapping contiguous epitopes in HIV-infected individuals were able to cross-recognize spliced viral peptides, suggesting a potential role for PCPS in restricting HIV-1 escape pathways. Vaccine-mediated priming of responses to spliced HIV-1 epitopes could thus provide a novel means of exploiting epitope targets typically underutilized during natural infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1911622116DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6900506PMC
December 2019

A Meta-analysis of Passive Immunization Studies Shows that Serum-Neutralizing Antibody Titer Associates with Protection against SHIV Challenge.

Cell Host Microbe 2019 Sep;26(3):336-346.e3

Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98109, USA; Department of Biostatistics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA. Electronic address:

Passively administered broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) targeting the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (Env) have been shown to protect non-human primates (NHPs) against chimeric simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) infection. With data from multiple non-human primate SHIV challenge studies that used single bNAbs, we conducted a meta-analysis to examine the relationship between predicted serum 50% neutralization titer (ID50) against the challenge virus and infection outcome. In a logistic model that adjusts for bNAb epitopes and challenge viruses, serum ID50 had a highly significant effect on infection risk (p < 0.001). The estimated ID50 to achieve 50%, 75%, and 95% protection was 91 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 55, 153), 219 (117, 410), and 685 (319, 1471), respectively. This analysis indicates that serum neutralizing titer against the relevant virus is a key parameter of protection and that protection from acquisition by a single bNAb might require substantial levels of neutralization at the time of exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chom.2019.08.014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6755677PMC
September 2019

Analytical Treatment Interruption after Short-Term Antiretroviral Therapy in a Postnatally Simian-Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Infant Rhesus Macaque Model.

mBio 2019 09 5;10(5). Epub 2019 Sep 5.

Duke Human Vaccine Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA

To achieve long-term viral remission in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected children, novel strategies beyond early antiretroviral therapy (ART) will be necessary. Identifying clinical predictors of the time to viral rebound upon ART interruption will streamline the development of novel therapeutic strategies and accelerate their evaluation in clinical trials. However, identification of these biomarkers is logistically challenging in infants, due to sampling limitations and the potential risks of treatment interruption. To facilitate the identification of biomarkers predicting viral rebound, we have developed an infant rhesus macaque (RM) model of oral simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) SHIV.CH505.375H.dCT challenge and analytical treatment interruption (ATI) after short-term ART. We used this model to characterize SHIV replication kinetics and virus-specific immune responses during short-term ART or after ATI and demonstrated plasma viral rebound in 5 out of 6 (83%) infants. We observed a decline in humoral immune responses and partial dampening of systemic immune activation upon initiation of ART in these infants. Furthermore, we monitored SHIV replication and rebound kinetics in infant and adult RMs and found that both infants and adults demonstrated equally potent virus-specific humoral immune responses. Finally, we validated our models by confirming a well-established correlate of the time to viral rebound, namely, the pre-ART plasma viral load, as well as identified additional potential humoral immune correlates. Thus, this model of infant ART and viral rebound can be used and further optimized to define biomarkers of viral rebound following long-term ART as well as to preclinically assess novel therapies to achieve a pediatric HIV functional cure. Novel interventions that do not rely on daily adherence to ART are needed to achieve sustained viral remission for perinatally infected children, who currently rely on lifelong ART. Considering the risks and expense associated with ART interruption trials, the identification of biomarkers of viral rebound will prioritize promising therapeutic intervention strategies, including anti-HIV Env protein therapeutics. However, comprehensive studies to identify those biomarkers are logistically challenging in human infants, demanding the need for relevant nonhuman primate models of HIV rebound. In this study, we developed an infant RM model of oral infection with simian-human immunodeficiency virus expressing clade C HIV Env and short-term ART followed by ATI, longitudinally characterizing the immune responses to viral infection during ART and after ATI. Additionally, we compared this infant RM model to an analogous adult RM rebound model and identified virologic and immunologic correlates of the time to viral rebound after ATI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mBio.01971-19DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6945967PMC
September 2019

Simian-Human Immunodeficiency Virus SHIV.CH505 Infection of Rhesus Macaques Results in Persistent Viral Replication and Induces Intestinal Immunopathology.

J Virol 2019 09 28;93(18). Epub 2019 Aug 28.

Department of Pharmaceutics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA

Simian-human immunodeficiency viruses (SHIVs) have been utilized to test vaccine efficacy and characterize mechanisms of viral transmission and pathogenesis. However, the majority of SHIVs currently available have significant limitations in that they were developed using sequences from chronically HIV-infected individuals or uncommon HIV subtypes or were optimized for the macaque model by serially passaging the engineered virus or Recently, a newly developed SHIV, SHIV.C.CH505.375H.dCT (SHIV.CH505), which incorporates vpu-env (gp140) sequences from a transmitted/founder HIV-1 subtype C strain, was shown to retain attributes of primary HIV-1 strains. However, a comprehensive analysis of the immunopathology that results from infection with this virus, especially in critical tissue compartments like the intestinal mucosa, has not been completed. In this study, we evaluated the viral dynamics and immunopathology of SHIV.CH505 in rhesus macaques. In line with previous findings, we found that SHIV.CH505 is capable of infecting and replicating efficiently in rhesus macaques, resulting in peripheral viral kinetics similar to that seen in pathogenic SIV and HIV infection. Furthermore, we observed significant and persistent depletions of CCR5 and CCR6 CD4 T cells in mucosal tissues, decreases in CD4 T cells producing Th17 cell-associated cytokines, CD8 T cell dysfunction, and alterations of B cell and innate immune cell function, indicating that SHIV.CH505 elicits intestinal immunopathology typical of SIV/HIV infection. These findings suggest that SHIV.CH505 recapitulates the early viral replication dynamics and immunopathogenesis of HIV-1 infection of humans and thus can serve as a new model for HIV-1 pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention research. The development of chimeric SHIVs has been instrumental in advancing our understanding of HIV-host interactions and allowing for testing of novel treatments. However, many of the currently available SHIVs have distinct drawbacks and are unable to fully reflect the features characteristic of primary SIV and HIV strains. Here, we utilize rhesus macaques to define the immunopathogenesis of the recently developed SHIV.CH505, which was designed without many of the limitations of previous SHIVs. We observed that infection with SHIV.CH505 leads to peripheral viral kinetics and mucosal immunopathogenesis comparable with those caused by pathogenic SIV and HIV. Overall, these data provide evidence of the value of SHIV.CH505 as an effective model of SIV/HIV infection and an important tool that can be used in future studies, including preclinical testing of new therapies or prevention strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00372-19DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6714786PMC
September 2019

High multiplicity infection following transplantation of hepatitis C virus-positive organs.

J Clin Invest 2019 05 21;129(8):3134-3139. Epub 2019 May 21.

Highly effective direct-acting antivirals against Hepatitis C virus (HCV) have created an opportunity to transplant organs from HCV-positive individuals into HCV-negative recipients, since de novo infection can be routinely cured. As this procedure is performed more widely, it becomes increasingly important to understand the biological underpinnings of virus transmission, especially the multiplicity of infection. Here, we used single genome sequencing of plasma virus in four genotype 1a HCV-positive organ donors and their seven organ recipients to assess the genetic bottleneck associated with HCV transmission following renal and cardiac transplantation. In all recipients, de novo infection was established by multiple genetically distinct viruses that reflect the full phylogenetic spectrum of replication-competent virus circulating in donor plasma. This was true in renal and cardiac transplantation and in recipients with peak viral loads ranging between 2.9 and 6.6 log10 IU/mL. The permissive transmission process characterized here contrasts sharply with sexual or injection-related transmission, which occurs less frequently per exposure and is generally associated with a stringent genetic bottleneck. These findings highlight the effectiveness of current anti-HCV regimens, while raising caution regarding the substantially higher multiplicity of infection seen in organ transplantation-associated HCV acquisition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI127203DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6668813PMC
May 2019

Simian-Human Immunodeficiency Virus SHIV.CH505-Infected Infant and Adult Rhesus Macaques Exhibit Similar Env-Specific Antibody Kinetics, despite Distinct T-Follicular Helper and Germinal Center B Cell Landscapes.

J Virol 2019 08 17;93(15). Epub 2019 Jul 17.

Human Vaccine Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA

Global elimination of pediatric human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections will require the development of novel immune-based approaches, and understanding infant immunity to HIV is critical to guide the rational design of these intervention strategies. Despite their immunological immaturity, chronically HIV-infected children develop broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) more frequently and earlier than adults do. However, the ontogeny of humoral responses during acute HIV infection is poorly defined in infants and challenging to study in human cohorts due to the presence of maternal antibodies. To further our understanding of age-related differences in the development of HIV-specific immunity during acute infection, we evaluated the generation of virus-specific humoral immune responses in infant ( = 6) and adult ( = 12) rhesus macaques (RMs) infected with a transmitted/founder (T/F) simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) (SHIV.C.CH505 [CH505]). The plasma HIV envelope-specific IgG antibody kinetics were similar in SHIV-infected infant and adult RMs, with no significant differences in the magnitude or breadth of these responses. Interestingly, autologous tier 2 virus neutralization responses also developed with similar frequencies and kinetics in infant and adult RMs, despite infants exhibiting significantly higher follicular T helper cell (Tfh) and germinal center B cell frequencies than adults. Finally, we show that plasma viral load was the strongest predictor of the development of autologous virus neutralization in both age groups. Our results indicate that the humoral immune response to SHIV infection develops with similar kinetics among infant and adult RMs, suggesting that the early-life immune system is equipped to respond to HIV-1 and promote the production of neutralizing HIV antibodies. There is a lack of understanding of how the maturation of the infant immune system influences immunity to HIV infection or how these responses differ from those of adults. Improving our knowledge of infant HIV immunity will help guide antiviral intervention strategies that take advantage of the unique infant immune environment to successfully elicit protective immune responses. We utilized a rhesus macaque model of SHIV infection as a tool to distinguish the differences in HIV humoral immunity in infants versus adults. Here, we demonstrate that the kinetics and quality of the infant humoral immune response to HIV are highly comparable to those of adults during the early phase of infection, despite distinct differences in their Tfh responses, indicating that slightly different mechanisms may drive infant and adult humoral immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00168-19DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6639294PMC
August 2019

Rational design and in vivo selection of SHIVs encoding transmitted/founder subtype C HIV-1 envelopes.

PLoS Pathog 2019 04 3;15(4):e1007632. Epub 2019 Apr 3.

AIDS and Cancer Virus Program, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, Frederick, MD, United States of America.

Chimeric Simian-Human Immunodeficiency Viruses (SHIVs) are an important tool for evaluating anti-HIV Env interventions in nonhuman primate (NHP) models. However, most unadapted SHIVs do not replicate well in vivo limiting their utility. Furthermore, adaptation in vivo often negatively impacts fundamental properties of the Env, including neutralization profiles. Transmitted/founder (T/F) viruses are particularly important to study since they represent viruses that initiated primary HIV-1 infections and may have unique attributes. Here we combined in vivo competition and rational design to develop novel subtype C SHIVs containing T/F envelopes. We successfully generated 19 new, infectious subtype C SHIVs, which were tested in multiple combinatorial pools in Indian-origin rhesus macaques. Infected animals attained peak viremia within 5 weeks ranging from 103 to 107 vRNA copies/mL. Sequence analysis during primary infection revealed 7 different SHIVs replicating in 8 productively infected animals with certain clones prominent in each animal. We then generated 5 variants each of 6 SHIV clones (3 that predominated and 3 undetectable after pooled in vivo inoculations), converting a serine at Env375 to methionine, tyrosine, histidine, tryptophan or phenylalanine. Overall, most Env375 mutants replicated better in vitro and in vivo than wild type with both higher and earlier peak viremia. In 4 of these SHIV clones (with and without Env375 mutations) we also created mutations at position 281 to include serine, alanine, valine, or threonine. Some Env281 mutations imparted in vitro replication dynamics similar to mutations at 375; however, clones with both mutations did not exhibit incremental benefit. Therefore, we identified unique subtype C T/F SHIVs that replicate in rhesus macaques with improved acute phase replication kinetics without altering phenotype. In vivo competition and rational design can produce functional SHIVs with globally relevant HIV-1 Envs to add to the growing number of SHIV clones for HIV-1 research in NHPs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1007632DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6447185PMC
April 2019

CD4 receptor diversity in chimpanzees protects against SIV infection.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2019 02 4;116(8):3229-3238. Epub 2019 Feb 4.

Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104;

Human and simian immunodeficiency viruses (HIV/SIVs) use CD4 as the primary receptor to enter target cells. Here, we show that the chimpanzee CD4 is highly polymorphic, with nine coding variants present in wild populations, and that this diversity interferes with SIV envelope (Env)-CD4 interactions. Testing the replication fitness of SIVcpz strains in CD4 T cells from captive chimpanzees, we found that certain viruses were unable to infect cells from certain hosts. These differences were recapitulated in CD4 transfection assays, which revealed a strong association between CD4 genotypes and SIVcpz infection phenotypes. The most striking differences were observed for three substitutions (Q25R, Q40R, and P68T), with P68T generating a second N-linked glycosylation site (N66) in addition to an invariant N32 encoded by all chimpanzee CD4 alleles. In silico modeling and site-directed mutagenesis identified charged residues at the CD4-Env interface and clashes between CD4- and Env-encoded glycans as mechanisms of inhibition. CD4 polymorphisms also reduced Env-mediated cell entry of monkey SIVs, which was dependent on at least one D1 domain glycan. CD4 allele frequencies varied among wild chimpanzees, with high diversity in all but the western subspecies, which appeared to have undergone a selective sweep. One allele was associated with lower SIVcpz prevalence rates in the wild. These results indicate that substitutions in the D1 domain of the chimpanzee CD4 can prevent SIV cell entry. Although some SIVcpz strains have adapted to utilize these variants, CD4 diversity is maintained, protecting chimpanzees against infection with SIVcpz and other SIVs to which they are exposed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1821197116DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6386711PMC
February 2019

Molecular Identification of Transmitted/Founder Hepatitis C Viruses and Their Progeny by Single Genome Sequencing.

Methods Mol Biol 2019 ;1911:139-155

Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection exists as a complex mixture of genetically distinct viruses, commonly referred to as a "quasispecies." Quasispecies complexity can vary substantially during the course of natural infection as a consequence of viral population "bottlenecking." This occurs at the time of transmission from one individual to the next and during the course of chronic infection of an individual when adaptive immune responses eliminate certain viruses but allow others to escape and expand. Antiviral treatment with drugs that fail to eradicate virus can also lead to virus population bottlenecks and emergence of drug-resistant variants. Single genome sequencing (SGS) combined with mathematical modeling and phylogenetic inference is a recently described approach for characterizing the HCV quasispecies in unprecedented detail, allowing for the first time the retention of genetic linkage across genes and near full-length genomes and precise identification of transmitted/founder (T/F) genomes. Here, we describe the methodological approach to SGS and show how this strategy allows for the precise and unambiguous molecular identification of transmitted viruses as well as those that repopulate the body after drug or immune-mediated selective sweeps. This is an enabling experimental strategy that allows for a precise genetic, biologic, and antigenic characterization of HCV viruses that are responsible for transmission and persistence. Such an approach can be particularly valuable to future HCV vaccine design efforts, as it has been for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-8976-8_9DOI Listing
June 2019

Vaccine-Induced Protection from Homologous Tier 2 SHIV Challenge in Nonhuman Primates Depends on Serum-Neutralizing Antibody Titers.

Immunity 2019 01 11;50(1):241-252.e6. Epub 2018 Dec 11.

Department of Immunology and Microbiology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA; Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology and Immunogen Discovery (CHAVI-ID), The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA; IAVI Neutralizing Antibody Center and the Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery (CAVD), The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA; Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. Electronic address:

Passive administration of HIV neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) can protect macaques from hard-to-neutralize (tier 2) chimeric simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) challenge. However, conditions for nAb-mediated protection after vaccination have not been established. Here, we selected groups of 6 rhesus macaques with either high or low serum nAb titers from a total of 78 animals immunized with recombinant native-like (SOSIP) Env trimers. Repeat intrarectal challenge with homologous tier 2 SHIV led to rapid infection in unimmunized and low-titer animals. High-titer animals, however, demonstrated protection that was gradually lost as nAb titers waned over time. An autologous serum ID nAb titer of ∼1:500 afforded more than 90% protection from medium-dose SHIV infection. In contrast, antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity and T cell activity did not correlate with protection. Therefore, Env protein-based vaccination strategies can protect against hard-to-neutralize SHIV challenge in rhesus macaques by inducing tier 2 nAbs, provided appropriate neutralizing titers can be reached and maintained.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2018.11.011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6335502PMC
January 2019

Broadly Neutralizing Antibody Mediated Clearance of Human Hepatitis C Virus Infection.

Cell Host Microbe 2018 11;24(5):717-730.e5

Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Electronic address:

The role that broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) play in natural clearance of human hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Here, we investigate the mechanism by which bNAbs, isolated from two humans who spontaneously cleared HCV infection, contribute to HCV control. Using viral gene sequences amplified from longitudinal plasma of the two subjects, we found that these bNAbs, which target the front layer of the HCV envelope protein E2, neutralized most autologous HCV strains. Acquisition of resistance to bNAbs by some autologous strains was accompanied by progressive loss of E2 protein function, and temporally associated with HCV clearance. These data demonstrate that bNAbs can mediate clearance of human HCV infection by neutralizing infecting strains and driving escaped viruses to an unfit state. These immunopathologic events distinguish HCV from HIV-1 and suggest that development of an HCV vaccine may be achievable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chom.2018.10.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6250073PMC
November 2018

Completeness of HIV-1 Envelope Glycan Shield at Transmission Determines Neutralization Breadth.

Cell Rep 2018 10;25(4):893-908.e7

Theoretical Biology & Biophysics, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA. Electronic address:

Densely arranged N-linked glycans shield the HIV-1 envelope (Env) trimer from antibody recognition. Strain-specific breaches in this shield (glycan holes) can be targets of vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies that lack breadth. To understand the interplay between glycan holes and neutralization breadth in HIV-1 infection, we developed a sequence- and structure-based approach to identify glycan holes for individual Env sequences that are shielded in most M-group viruses. Applying this approach to 12 longitudinally followed individuals, we found that transmitted viruses with more intact glycan shields correlated with development of greater neutralization breadth. Within 2 years, glycan acquisition filled most glycan holes present at transmission, indicating escape from hole-targeting neutralizing antibodies. Glycan hole filling generally preceded the time to first detectable breadth, although time intervals varied across hosts. Thus, completely glycan-shielded viruses were associated with accelerated neutralization breadth development, suggesting that Env immunogens with intact glycan shields may be preferred components of AIDS vaccines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2018.09.087DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6426304PMC
October 2018

Superinfection and cure of infected cells as mechanisms for hepatitis C virus adaptation and persistence.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2018 07 9;115(30):E7139-E7148. Epub 2018 Jul 9.

Theoretical Biology and Biophysics Group, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545;

RNA viruses exist as a genetically diverse quasispecies with extraordinary ability to adapt to abrupt changes in the host environment. However, the molecular mechanisms that contribute to their rapid adaptation and persistence in vivo are not well studied. Here, we probe hepatitis C virus (HCV) persistence by analyzing clinical samples taken from subjects who were treated with a second-generation HCV protease inhibitor. Frequent longitudinal viral load determinations and large-scale single-genome sequence analyses revealed rapid antiviral resistance development, and surprisingly, dynamic turnover of dominant drug-resistant mutant populations long after treatment cessation. We fitted mathematical models to both the viral load and the viral sequencing data, and the results provided strong support for the critical roles that superinfection and cure of infected cells play in facilitating the rapid turnover and persistence of viral populations. More broadly, our results highlight the importance of considering viral dynamics and competition at the intracellular level in understanding rapid viral adaptation. Thus, we propose a theoretical framework integrating viral and molecular mechanisms to explain rapid viral evolution, resistance, and persistence despite antiviral treatment and host immune responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1805267115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6065014PMC
July 2018

Tracking HIV-1 recombination to resolve its contribution to HIV-1 evolution in natural infection.

Nat Commun 2018 05 15;9(1):1928. Epub 2018 May 15.

Duke Human Vaccine Institute and Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, 27710, USA.

Recombination in HIV-1 is well documented, but its importance in the low-diversity setting of within-host diversification is less understood. Here we develop a novel computational tool (RAPR (Recombination Analysis PRogram)) to enable a detailed view of in vivo viral recombination during early infection, and we apply it to near-full-length HIV-1 genome sequences from longitudinal samples. Recombinant genomes rapidly replace transmitted/founder (T/F) lineages, with a median half-time of 27 days, increasing the genetic complexity of the viral population. We identify recombination hot and cold spots that differ from those observed in inter-subtype recombinants. Furthermore, RAPR analysis of longitudinal samples from an individual with well-characterized neutralizing antibody responses shows that recombination helps carry forward resistance-conferring mutations in the diversifying quasispecies. These findings provide insight into molecular mechanisms by which viral recombination contributes to HIV-1 persistence and immunopathogenesis and have implications for studies of HIV transmission and evolution in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-04217-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5954121PMC
May 2018

Wild bonobos host geographically restricted malaria parasites including a putative new Laverania species.

Nat Commun 2017 11 21;8(1):1635. Epub 2017 Nov 21.

Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA.

Malaria parasites, though widespread among wild chimpanzees and gorillas, have not been detected in bonobos. Here, we show that wild-living bonobos are endemically Plasmodium infected in the eastern-most part of their range. Testing 1556 faecal samples from 11 field sites, we identify high prevalence Laverania infections in the Tshuapa-Lomami-Lualaba (TL2) area, but not at other locations across the Congo. TL2 bonobos harbour P. gaboni, formerly only found in chimpanzees, as well as a potential new species, Plasmodium lomamiensis sp. nov. Rare co-infections with non-Laverania parasites were also observed. Phylogenetic relationships among Laverania species are consistent with co-divergence with their gorilla, chimpanzee and bonobo hosts, suggesting a timescale for their evolution. The absence of Plasmodium from most field sites could not be explained by parasite seasonality, nor by bonobo population structure, diet or gut microbiota. Thus, the geographic restriction of bonobo Plasmodium reflects still unidentified factors that likely influence parasite transmission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-01798-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5696340PMC
November 2017

Rare HIV-1 transmitted/founder lineages identified by deep viral sequencing contribute to rapid shifts in dominant quasispecies during acute and early infection.

PLoS Pathog 2017 Jul 31;13(7):e1006510. Epub 2017 Jul 31.

U.S. Military HIV Research Program, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, MD, United States of America.

In order to inform the rational design of HIV-1 preventive and cure interventions it is critical to understand the events occurring during acute HIV-1 infection (AHI). Using viral deep sequencing on six participants from the early capture acute infection RV217 cohort, we have studied HIV-1 evolution in plasma collected twice weekly during the first weeks following the advent of viremia. The analysis of infections established by multiple transmitted/founder (T/F) viruses revealed novel viral profiles that included: a) the low-level persistence of minor T/F variants, b) the rapid replacement of the major T/F by a minor T/F, and c) an initial expansion of the minor T/F followed by a quick collapse of the same minor T/F to low frequency. In most participants, cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) escape was first detected at the end of peak viremia downslope, proceeded at higher rates than previously measured in HIV-1 infection, and usually occurred through the exploration of multiple mutational pathways within an epitope. The rapid emergence of CTL escape variants suggests a strong and early CTL response. Minor T/F viral strains can contribute to rapid and varied profiles of HIV-1 quasispecies evolution during AHI. Overall, our results demonstrate that early, deep, and frequent sampling is needed to investigate viral/host interaction during AHI, which could help identify prerequisites for prevention and cure of HIV-1 infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1006510DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5552316PMC
July 2017

Effective treatment of SIVcpz-induced immunodeficiency in a captive western chimpanzee.

Retrovirology 2017 06 2;14(1):35. Epub 2017 Jun 2.

Department of Microbiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Background: Simian immunodeficiency virus of chimpanzees (SIVcpz), the progenitor of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), is associated with increased mortality and AIDS-like immunopathology in wild-living chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Surprisingly, however, similar findings have not been reported for chimpanzees experimentally infected with SIVcpz in captivity, raising questions about the intrinsic pathogenicity of this lentivirus.

Findings: Here, we report progressive immunodeficiency and clinical disease in a captive western chimpanzee (P. t. verus) infected twenty years ago by intrarectal inoculation with an SIVcpz strain (ANT) from a wild-caught eastern chimpanzee (P. t. schweinfurthii). With sustained plasma viral loads of 10 to 10 RNA copies/ml for the past 15 years, this chimpanzee developed CD4+ T cell depletion (220 cells/μl), thrombocytopenia (90,000 platelets/μl), and persistent soft tissue infections refractory to antibacterial therapy. Combination antiretroviral therapy consisting of emtricitabine (FTC), tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), and dolutegravir (DTG) decreased plasma viremia to undetectable levels (<200 copies/ml), improved CD4+ T cell counts (509 cell/μl), and resulted in the rapid resolution of all soft tissue infections. However, initial lack of adherence and/or differences in pharmacokinetics led to low plasma drug concentrations, which resulted in transient rebound viremia and the emergence of FTC resistance mutations (M184V/I) identical to those observed in HIV-1 infected humans.

Conclusions: These data demonstrate that SIVcpz can cause immunodeficiency and other hallmarks of AIDS in captive chimpanzees, including P. t. verus apes that are not naturally infected with this virus. Moreover, SIVcpz-associated immunodeficiency can be effectively treated with antiretroviral therapy, although sufficiently high plasma concentrations must be maintained to prevent the emergence of drug resistance. These findings extend a growing body of evidence documenting the immunopathogenicity of SIVcpz and suggest that experimentally infected chimpanzees may benefit from clinical monitoring and therapeutic intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12977-017-0359-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5457593PMC
June 2017