Publications by authors named "Ludo Lavreys"

57 Publications

Poststudy Point-of-Care Oral Fluid Testing in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 Vaccinees.

Open Forum Infect Dis 2021 Jan 15;8(1):ofaa606. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Background: Experimental human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 vaccines frequently elicit antibodies against HIV-1 that may react with commonly used HIV diagnostic tests, a phenomenon known as vaccine-induced seropositivity/seroreactivity (VISP/VISR). We sought to determine, under clinic conditions, whether a patient-controlled HIV test, OraQuick ADVANCE Rapid HIV-1/2 Antibody Test, detected HIV-1 vaccine-induced antibodies.

Methods: Plasma assessment of HIV-1 cross-reactivity was examined in end-of-study samples from 57 healthy, HIV-uninfected participants who received a candidate vaccine that has entered Phase 2B and 3 testing. We also screened 120 healthy, HIV-uninfected, unblinded HIV-1 vaccine participants with VISP/VISR for an assessment using saliva. These participants came from 21 different parent vaccine protocols representing 17 different vaccine regimens, all of which contained an HIV-1 envelope immunogen. OraQuick ADVANCE was compared with results from concurrent blood samples using a series of commercial HIV screening immunoassays.

Results: Fifty-seven unique participant plasma samples were assayed in vitro, and only 1 (1.8%) was reactive by OraQuick ADVANCE. None of the 120 clinic participants (0%; 95% confidence interval, 0% to 3.7%) tested positive by OraQuick ADVANCE, and all were confirmed to be uninfected by HIV-1 viral ribonucleic acid testing. One hundred eighteen of the 120 (98.3%) participants had a reactive HIV test for VISP/VISR: 77 (64%) had at least 1 reactive fourth-generation HIV-1 diagnostic test ( < .0001 vs no reactive OraQuick ADVANCE results), and 41 (34%) only had a reactive test by the less specific third-generation Abbott Prism assay.

Conclusions: These data suggest that this widely available patient-controlled test has limited reactivity to HIV-1 antibodies elicited by these candidate HIV-1 vaccines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ofid/ofaa606DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7813203PMC
January 2021

Comparison of shortened mosaic HIV-1 vaccine schedules: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 1 trial (IPCAVD010/HPX1002) and a preclinical study in rhesus monkeys (NHP 17-22).

Lancet HIV 2020 06 17;7(6):e410-e421. Epub 2020 Feb 17.

Janssen Vaccines & Prevention BV, Leiden, Netherlands.

Background: Current efficacy studies of a mosaic HIV-1 prophylactic vaccine require four vaccination visits over one year, which is a complex regimen that could prove challenging for vaccine delivery at the community level, both for recipients and clinics. In this study, we evaluated the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of shorter, simpler regimens of trivalent Ad26.Mos.HIV expressing mosaic HIV-1 Env/Gag/Pol antigens combined with aluminium phosphate-adjuvanted clade C gp140 protein.

Methods: We did this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 1 trial (IPCAVD010/HPX1002) at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA, USA. We included healthy, HIV-uninfected participants (aged 18-50 years) who were considered at low risk for HIV infection and had not received any vaccines in the 14 days before study commencement. We randomly assigned participants via a computer-generated randomisation schedule and interactive web response system to one of three study groups (1:1:1) testing different regimens of trivalent Ad26.Mos.HIV (5 × 10 viral particles per 0·5 mL) combined with 250 μg adjuvanted clade C gp140 protein. They were then assigned to treatment or placebo subgroups (5:1) within each of the three main groups. Participants and investigators were masked to treatment allocation until the end of the follow-up period. Group 1 received Ad26.Mos.HIV alone at weeks 0 and 12 and Ad26.Mos.HIV plus adjuvanted gp140 at weeks 24 and 48. Group 2 received Ad26.Mos.HIV plus adjuvanted gp140 at weeks 0, 12, and 24. Group 3 received Ad26.Mos.HIV alone at week 0 and Ad26.Mos.HIV plus adjuvanted gp140 at weeks 8 and 24. Participants in the control group received 0·5 mL of 0·9% saline. All study interventions were administered intramuscularly. The primary endpoints were Env-specific binding antibody responses at weeks 28, 52, and 72 and safety and tolerability of the vaccine regimens for 28 days after the injection. All participants who received at least one vaccine dose or placebo were included in the safety analysis; immunogenicity was analysed using the per-protocol population. The IPCAVD010/HPX1002 trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02685020. We also did a parallel preclinical study in rhesus monkeys to test the protective efficacy of the shortened group 3 regimen.

Findings: Between March 7, 2016, and Aug 19, 2016, we randomly assigned 36 participants to receive at least one dose of study vaccine or placebo, ten to each vaccine group and two to the corresponding placebo group. 30 (83%) participants completed the full study, and six (17%) discontinued it prematurely because of loss to follow-up, withdrawal of consent, investigator decision, and an unrelated death from a motor vehicle accident. The two shortened regimens elicited comparable antibody titres against autologous clade C Env at peak immunity to the longer, 12-month regimen: geometric mean titre (GMT) 41 007 (95% CI 17 959-93 636) for group 2 and 49 243 (29 346-82 630) for group 3 at week 28 compared with 44 590 (19 345-102 781) for group 1 at week 52). Antibody responses remained increased (GMT >5000) in groups 2 and 3 at week 52 but were highest in group 1 at week 72. Antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis, Env-specific IgG3, tier 1A neutralising activity, and broad cellular immune responses were detected in all groups. All vaccine regimens were well tolerated. Mild-to-moderate pain or tenderness at the injection site was the most commonly reported solicited local adverse event, reported by 28 vaccine recipients (93%) and two placebo recipients (33%). Grade 3 solicited systemic adverse events were reported by eight (27%) vaccine recipients and no placebo recipients; the most commonly reported grade 3 systemic symptoms were fatigue, myalgia, and chills. The shortened group 3 regimen induced comparable peak immune responses in 30 rhesus monkeys as in humans and resulted in an 83% (95% CI 38·7-95, p=0·004 log-rank test) reduction in per-exposure acquisition risk after six intrarectal challenges with SHIV-SF162P3 at week 54, more than 6 months after final vaccination.

Interpretation: Short, 6-month regimens of a mosaic HIV-1 prophylactic vaccine elicited robust HIV-specific immune responses that were similar to responses elicited by a longer, 12-month schedule. Preclinical data showed partial protective efficacy of one of the short vaccine regimens in rhesus monkeys. Further clinical studies are required to test the suitability of the shortened vaccine regimens in humans. Such shortened regimens would be valuable to increase vaccine delivery at the community level, particularly in resource-limited settings.

Funding: Ragon Institute (Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard University; Cambridge, MA, USA) and Janssen Vaccines & Prevention (Leiden, Netherlands).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3018(20)30001-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7297076PMC
June 2020

Does bacterial vaginosis modify the effect of hormonal contraception on HIV seroconversion.

AIDS 2019 06;33(7):1225-1230

Department of Medicine.

Objectives: A recent study of HIV serodiscordant couples found that depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) and oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) were associated with increased HIV risk in the presence, but not in the absence, of bacterial vaginosis. We assessed whether bacterial vaginosis is an effect modifier of the association between hormonal contraception and HIV seroconversion in female sex workers (FSWs) in Mombasa, Kenya.

Design: Prospective cohort study.

Methods: Data collected from HIV-negative FSWs from 1993 to 2017 were analyzed. Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess the relationship between HIV seroconversion and use of DMPA, OCPs, or hormonal contraceptive implants (Norplant, Jadelle).

Results: A total of 1985 women contributed 7127 person-years of follow-up; 307 women seroconverted to HIV (4.32/100 person-years). DMPA was significantly associated with elevated risk of HIV seroconversion in women with [aHR 1.56, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.08-2.25; P = 0.02] and without (aHR 2.08, 95% CI 1.46-2.97; P < 0.001) bacterial vaginosis (interaction P = 0.4). Similarly, OCP use was associated with increased HIV risk both in the presence (aHR 1.50, 95% CI 0.94-2.39; P = 0.09) and absence (aHR 1.61, 95% CI 0.99-2.64; P = 0.06) of bacterial vaginosis (interaction P = 0.9), though neither stratum reached statistical significance. Implants were not associated with HIV seroconversion overall (aHR 0.99, 95% CI 0.40-2.45; P = 0.9), or in women with (aHR 0.65, 95% CI 0.16-2.72; P = 0.6) and without (aHR 1.39, 95% CI 0.43-4.46; P = 0.6) bacterial vaginosis (interaction P = 0.5).

Conclusion: Bacterial vaginosis had no effect on the associations between hormonal contraceptives and HIV seroconversion in this cohort. Contraceptive implants were not associated with increased HIV risk compared with no contraception.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/QAD.0000000000002167DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6501800PMC
June 2019

Evaluation of a mosaic HIV-1 vaccine in a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 1/2a clinical trial (APPROACH) and in rhesus monkeys (NHP 13-19).

Lancet 2018 07 6;392(10143):232-243. Epub 2018 Jul 6.

International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, New York City, NY, USA.

Background: More than 1·8 million new cases of HIV-1 infection were diagnosed worldwide in 2016. No licensed prophylactic HIV-1 vaccine exists. A major limitation to date has been the lack of direct comparability between clinical trials and preclinical studies. We aimed to evaluate mosaic adenovirus serotype 26 (Ad26)-based HIV-1 vaccine candidates in parallel studies in humans and rhesus monkeys to define the optimal vaccine regimen to advance into clinical efficacy trials.

Methods: We conducted a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 1/2a trial (APPROACH). Participants were recruited from 12 clinics in east Africa, South Africa, Thailand, and the USA. We included healthy, HIV-1-uninfected participants (aged 18-50 years) who were considered at low risk for HIV-1 infection. We randomly assigned participants to one of eight study groups, stratified by region. Participants and investigators were blinded to the treatment allocation throughout the study. We primed participants at weeks 0 and 12 with Ad26.Mos.HIV (5 × 10 viral particles per 0·5 mL) expressing mosaic HIV-1 envelope (Env)/Gag/Pol antigens and gave boosters at weeks 24 and 48 with Ad26.Mos.HIV or modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA; 10 plaque-forming units per 0·5 mL) vectors with or without high-dose (250 μg) or low-dose (50 μg) aluminium adjuvanted clade C Env gp140 protein. Those in the control group received 0·9% saline. All study interventions were administered intramuscularly. Primary endpoints were safety and tolerability of the vaccine regimens and Env-specific binding antibody responses at week 28. Safety and immunogenicity were also assessed at week 52. All participants who received at least one vaccine dose or placebo were included in the safety analysis; immunogenicity was analysed using the per-protocol population. We also did a parallel study in rhesus monkeys (NHP 13-19) to assess the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of these vaccine regimens against a series of six repetitive, heterologous, intrarectal challenges with a rhesus peripheral blood mononuclear cell-derived challenge stock of simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV-SF162P3). The APPROACH trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02315703.

Findings: Between Feb 24, 2015, and Oct 16, 2015, we randomly assigned 393 participants to receive at least one dose of study vaccine or placebo in the APPROACH trial. All vaccine regimens demonstrated favourable safety and tolerability. The most commonly reported solicited local adverse event was mild-to-moderate pain at the injection site (varying from 69% to 88% between the different active groups vs 49% in the placebo group). Five (1%) of 393 participants reported at least one grade 3 adverse event considered related to the vaccines: abdominal pain and diarrhoea (in the same participant), increased aspartate aminotransferase, postural dizziness, back pain, and malaise. The mosaic Ad26/Ad26 plus high-dose gp140 boost vaccine was the most immunogenic in humans; it elicited Env-specific binding antibody responses (100%) and antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis responses (80%) at week 52, and T-cell responses at week 50 (83%). We also randomly assigned 72 rhesus monkeys to receive one of five different vaccine regimens or placebo in the NHP 13-19 study. Ad26/Ad26 plus gp140 boost induced similar magnitude, durability, and phenotype of immune responses in rhesus monkeys as compared with humans and afforded 67% protection against acquisition of SHIV-SF162P3 infection (two-sided Fisher's exact test p=0·007). Env-specific ELISA and enzyme-linked immunospot assay responses were the principal immune correlates of protection against SHIV challenge in monkeys.

Interpretation: The mosaic Ad26/Ad26 plus gp140 HIV-1 vaccine induced comparable and robust immune responses in humans and rhesus monkeys, and it provided significant protection against repetitive heterologous SHIV challenges in rhesus monkeys. This vaccine concept is currently being evaluated in a phase 2b clinical efficacy study in sub-Saharan Africa (NCT03060629).

Funding: Janssen Vaccines & Prevention BV, National Institutes of Health, Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, Henry M Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, US Department of Defense, and International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31364-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6192527PMC
July 2018

Etravirine combined with antiretrovirals other than darunavir/ritonavir for HIV-1-infected, treatment-experienced adults: Week 48 results of a phase IV trial.

SAGE Open Med 2017 18;5:2050312116686482. Epub 2017 Jan 18.

Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, Beerse, Belgium.

Objective: VIOLIN (TMC125IFD3002; NCT01422330) evaluated the safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of etravirine with antiretrovirals other than darunavir/ritonavir in HIV-1-infected patients.

Methods: In a 48-week, phase IV, single-arm, multicenter study, patients on prior antiretroviral therapy (⩾8 weeks) who needed to change regimen for virologic failure (viral load ⩾ 500 copies/mL) or simplification/adverse events (viral load < 50 copies/mL) received etravirine 200 mg bid with ⩾1 other active antiretroviral, excluding darunavir/ritonavir or only nucleoside/tide reverse transcriptase inhibitors.

Results: Of 211 treated patients, 73% (n = 155) had baseline viral load ⩾ 50 copies/mL and 27% (n = 56) had baseline viral load < 50 copies/mL. Protease inhibitors were the most common background antiretrovirals (83%). Diarrhea was the most frequent adverse event (17%). Serious adverse events (no rash) occurred in 5% of patients; none were etravirine related. Overall, median etravirine AUC was 5390 ng h/mL and C was 353 ng/mL (N = 199). Week 48 virologic response rates (viral load < 50 copies/mL; Food and Drug Administration Snapshot algorithm) were 48% (74/155) (baseline viral load ⩾ 50 copies/mL) and 75% (42/56) (baseline viral load < 50 copies/mL). Virologic failure rates were 42% and 13%, respectively. The most frequently emerging etravirine resistance-associated mutations in virologic failures were Y181C, E138A, and M230L. Virologic response rates for patients with baseline viral load ⩾ 50 copies/mL were 38% (30/79) (non-adherent) versus 64% (44/69) (adherent subset).

Conclusion: Etravirine 200 mg bid in combination with antiretrovirals other than darunavir/ritonavir was well tolerated in the studied treatment-experienced HIV-1-infected population. The overall etravirine safety and tolerability profile and pharmacokinetics (specifically in those patients who were adherent) were similar to those previously observed for etravirine in HIV-1-infected adults. The relatively high level of non-adherence, also observed in the pharmacokinetic assessments, negatively impacted virologic response, especially in patients with ⩾50 copies/mL at baseline.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2050312116686482DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5367767PMC
January 2017

Targeted screening of at-risk adults for acute HIV-1 infection in sub-Saharan Africa.

AIDS 2015 Dec;29 Suppl 3:S221-30

aCentre for Geographic Medicine Research - Coast, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) - Kilifi, Kenya bNuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Headington, UK cDepartment of Global Health, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands dDepartment of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA eCentre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa fMaisha Consulting bvba, Tildonk, Belgium gUNC Project Malawi, Lilongwe, Malawi hDepartments of Medicine, Global Health, and Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington iDepartment of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.

Background: Patients with acute HIV-1 infection (AHI) have elevated infectivity, but cannot be diagnosed using antibody-based testing. Approaches to screen patients for AHI are urgently needed to enable counselling and treatment to reduce onward transmission.

Methods: We pooled data from four African studies of high-risk adults that evaluated symptoms and signs compatible with acute retroviral syndrome and tested for HIV-1 at each visit. AHI was defined as detectable plasma viral load or p24 antigen in an HIV-1-antibody-negative patient who subsequently seroconverted. Using generalized estimating equation, we identified symptoms, signs, and demographic factors predictive of AHI, adjusting for study site. We assigned a predictor score to each statistically significant predictor based on its beta coefficient, summing predictor scores to calculate a risk score for each participant. We evaluated the performance of this algorithm overall and at each site.

Results: We compared 122 AHI visits with 45 961 visits by uninfected patients. Younger age (18-29 years), fever, fatigue, body pains, diarrhoea, sore throat, and genital ulcer disease were independent predictors of AHI. The overall area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (AUC) for the algorithm was 0.78, with site-specific AUCs ranging from 0.61 to 0.89. A risk score of at least 2 would indicate AHI testing for 5-50% of participants, substantially decreasing the number needing testing.

Conclusion: Our targeted risk score algorithm based on seven characteristics reduced the number of patients needing AHI testing and had good performance overall. We recommend this risk score algorithm for use by HIV programs in sub-Saharan Africa with capacity to test high-risk patients for AHI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/QAD.0000000000000924DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4714928PMC
December 2015

Pharmacokinetics of Etravirine Combined with Atazanavir/Ritonavir and a Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor in Antiretroviral Treatment-Experienced, HIV-1-Infected Patients.

AIDS Res Treat 2015 15;2015:938628. Epub 2015 Jan 15.

Janssen Research & Development LLC, 1125 Trenton-Harbourton Road, Titusville, NJ 08560-0200, USA.

Objectives. TEACH (NCT00896051) was a randomized, open-label, two-arm Phase II trial to investigate the pharmacokinetic interaction between etravirine and atazanavir/ritonavir and safety and efficacy in treatment-experienced, HIV-1-infected patients. Methods. After a two-week lead-in of two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) and atazanavir/ritonavir 300/100 mg, 44 patients received etravirine 200 mg bid with one NRTI, plus atazanavir/ritonavir 300/100 mg or 400/100 mg qd (n = 22 each group) over 48 weeks. Results. At steady-state etravirine with atazanavir/ritonavir 300/100 mg qd or 400/100 mg qd decreased atazanavir C min⁡ by 18% and 9%, respectively, with no change in AUC24 h or C max⁡ versus atazanavir/ritonavir 300/100 mg qd alone (Day -1). Etravirine AUC12 h was 24% higher and 16% lower with atazanavir/ritonavir 300/100 or 400/100 mg qd, respectively, versus historical controls. At Week 48, no significant differences were seen between the atazanavir/ritonavir groups in discontinuations due to adverse events (9.1% each group) and other safety parameters, the proportion of patients with viral load <50 copies/mL (intent-to-treat population, noncompleter = failure) (50.0%, atazanavir/ritonavir 300/100 mg qd versus 45.5%, 400/100 mg qd), and virologic failures (31.8% versus 27.3%, resp.). Conclusions. Etravirine 200 mg bid can be combined with atazanavir/ritonavir 300/100 mg qd and an NRTI in HIV-1-infected, treatment-experienced patients without dose adjustment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/938628DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4312629PMC
February 2015

Week 48 results of a Phase IV trial of etravirine with antiretrovirals other than darunavir/ritonavir in HIV-1-infected treatment-experienced adults.

J Int AIDS Soc 2014 2;17(4 Suppl 3):19783. Epub 2014 Nov 2.

Janssen Infectious Diseases BVBA, Beerse, Belgium.

Introduction: In DUET, etravirine (ETR) 200 mg bid had durable efficacy and a favourable safety profile versus placebo, both arms with an optimised background regimen (BR) including darunavir/ritonavir (DRV/r). TMC125IFD3002 (VIOLIN; NCT01422330) investigated ETR plus ARVs other than DRV/r.

Materials And Methods: This was a 48 week, Phase IV, open-label, single-arm, multicentre study. HIV-1-infected treatment-experienced adult patients on=8 weeks ARV therapy prior to screening, switching either for virologic failure (VF) (viral load [VL] =500 c/mL) or regimen simplification/AEs (RS/AE) (VL<50 c/mL), received active ETR 200 mg bid with an investigator-selected BR of =1 active ARVs, but excluding DRV/r or NRTIs only. The primary objective was to evaluate safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics (PK).

Results: Of 211 treated patients, 55% were female, 61% black/African American. 155 patients (73%) had baseline (BL) VL=50 c/mL versus 56 (27%) with BL VL<50 c/mL. Between these two latter subgroups, median BL VL was 4.42 versus 1.28 log10 c/mL and CD4+ count 238 versus 410.5 cells/mm(3). Overall, 96% previously used <2 NNRTIs and 99% used=5 PIs; median number of BL NNRTI RAMs was 2, PI RAMs 5 and NRTI RAMs 1. Overall, most common BR ARVs were PIs (83%), mostly lopinavir/r (62%) and mostly used alone (20%) or with 1 or 2 NRTIs (61%). Raltegravir was used in 9% of patients. Most frequent AEs (any cause/grade) were diarrhoea (17%) and URTI (8%). Incidence of grade 3-4 AEs was 13%, serious AEs 5% (no rashes; none ETR related), AEs leading to discontinuation 4%, AEs possibly related to ETR 23% and AEs of interest: rash (any type) 4%, hepatic 6% and neuropsychiatric 3%. At week 48, VF and RS/AE virologic responses (% patients with VL<50 c/mL; FDA Snapshot) were: 48% (74/155) and 75% (42/56), respectively. VF rates were 42% and 13%; 10% and 13% had no VL data in the week 48 window. The percentage of patients adherent to treatment (assessed based on PK sampling plus ETR pill count) was 47% (69/148) and 57% (30/53), in VF and RS/AE, respectively. Median CD4+ count (NC=F) increases were 0.0 and 24.0 cells/mm(3). In 29/49 of VFs with genotypic data at failure, ETR RAMs emerging in =5 patients were Y181C, E138A and M230L. The geometric mean ETR AUC12h was 4877 ng.h/mL and C0h 293 ng/mL (N=199).

Conclusions: RESULTS of this study were consistent with those for ETR in other similar populations and support the use of ETR 200 mg bid with a non-DRV/r based BR.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4225395PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.7448/IAS.17.4.19783DOI Listing
January 2016

Pharmacokinetics of darunavir after administration of an oral suspension with low-dose ritonavir and with or without food.

Clin Pharmacol Drug Dev 2014 09 10;3(5):346-52. Epub 2014 Feb 10.

Janssen Infectious Diseases BVBA, Beerse, Belgium.

This 2-part, phase 1, open-label, randomized, crossover study (NCT00752310) assessed ritonavir-boosted darunavir bioavailability (oral suspension vs. tablets), and steady-state darunavir pharmacokinetics (suspension). Part 1: 20 healthy adults randomly received 3 treatments with a ≥7-day washout between treatments; twice-daily ritonavir (100 mg, days 1-5) with darunavir (600 mg, day 3) as 2 × 300-mg tablets (fed, reference), or 6 mL of a 100-mg/mL suspension (fed or fasted, test). Part 2: 18 healthy volunteers received twice-daily darunavir (suspension, 600 mg days 1-6, one dose day 7) with twice-daily ritonavir (100 mg, days 1-9). Darunavir pharmacokinetics were evaluated (part 1 day 3; part 2 day 7). Safety/tolerability were assessed. In part 1, 90% confidence intervals for darunavir Cmax and AUC were all within 80-125% for suspension (fed or fasted) versus tablets (fed). Steady-state darunavir (suspension) pharmacokinetics in part 2 were similar to historic controls (tablets). No clinically relevant differences in adverse events or laboratory abnormalities occurred between treatments. Darunavir administered as an oral suspension or tablets (both with low-dose ritonavir) showed comparable bioavailability in healthy adults after a single dose. Steady-state darunavir pharmacokinetics (suspension, 600/100 mg twice daily) were consistent with historic controls; this formulation is considered suitable for pediatric use and for adults who cannot swallow tablets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cpdd.88DOI Listing
September 2014

Safety and immunogenicity of an adjuvanted protein therapeutic HIV-1 vaccine in subjects with HIV-1 infection: a randomised placebo-controlled study.

Vaccine 2014 May 19;32(22):2657-65. Epub 2013 Oct 19.

GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines, Rue de l'Institut 89, 1345 Rixensart, Belgium. Electronic address:

The human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) vaccine candidate F4/AS01 has previously been shown to induce potent and persistent polyfunctional CD4(+) T-cell responses in HIV-1-seronegative volunteers. This placebo-controlled study evaluated two doses of F4/AS01 1-month apart in antiretroviral treatment (ART)-experienced and ART-naïve HIV-1-infected subjects (1:1 randomisation in each cohort). Safety, HIV-1-specific CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-cell responses, absolute CD4(+) T-cell counts and HIV-1 viral load were monitored for 12 months post-vaccination. Reactogenicity was clinically acceptable and no vaccine-related serious adverse events were reported. The frequency of HIV-1-specific CD4(+) T-cells 2 weeks post-dose 2 was significantly higher in the vaccine group than in the placebo group in both cohorts (p<0.05). Vaccine-induced HIV-1-specific CD4(+) T-cells exhibited a polyfunctional phenotype, expressing at least CD40L and IL-2. No increase in HIV-1-specific CD8(+) T-cells or change in CD8(+) T-cell activation marker expression profile was detected. Absolute CD4(+) T-cell counts were variable over time in both cohorts. Viral load remained suppressed in ART-experienced subjects. In ART-naïve subjects, a transient reduction in viral load from baseline was observed 2 weeks after the second F4/AS01 dose, which was concurrent with a higher frequency of HIV-1-specific CD4(+) T-cells expressing at least IL-2 in this cohort. In conclusion, F4/AS01 showed a clinically acceptable reactogenicity and safety profile, and induced polyfunctional HIV-1-specific CD4(+) T-cell responses in ART-experienced and ART-naïve subjects. These findings support further clinical investigation of F4/AS01 as a potential HIV-1 vaccine for therapeutic use in individuals with HIV-1 infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.10.030DOI Listing
May 2014

Effect of baseline characteristics on the efficacy and safety of once-daily darunavir/ ritonavir in HIV-1-infected, treatment-naïve ARTEMIS patients at week 96.

HIV Clin Trials 2011 Nov-Dec;12(6):313-22

Objectives: ARTEMIS demonstrated significantly greater efficacy of once-daily darunavir/ritonavir (DRV/r) 800/100 mg versus lopinavir/ritonavir 800/200 mg (total daily dose) in treatment-naïve, HIV-1-infected patients at week 96. The influence of baseline characteristics on efficacy and safety was analyzed in DRV/r patients.

Methods: Patients received once-daily DRV/r plus fixed-dose tenofovir/emtricitabine. Week 96 efficacy and safety data were analyzed by gender (males, n=239; females, n=104), age (≤30, n=115; 31-45, n=175; >45, n=53), race (Asian, n=44; Black, n=80; Caucasian/White, n=137; Hispanic, n=77), and hepatitis B and/or C virus coinfection (n=43).

Results: Week 96 virologic response rates (HIV-1 RNA<50 copies/mL) were as follows: gender: 79% for both males and females; age: 72% (≤30), 81% (31-45), and 89% (>45); race: 96% (Asian), 71% (Black), 77% (Caucasian/White), and 79% (Hispanic); coinfection status: 72% (coinfected) and 80% (non-coinfected). The incidence of treatment-related adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and laboratory abnormalities were comparable across gender, age, and race subgroups. Coinfected patients had a higher incidence of liver-related ADRs than non-coinfected patients.

Conclusions: DRV/r 800/100 mg qd is an effective, well-tolerated treatment option for treatment-naïve patients of different gender, age, race, or coinfection status.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1310/hct1206-313DOI Listing
March 2012

Virological characterization of patients failing darunavir/ritonavir or lopinavir/ritonavir treatment in the ARTEMIS study: 96-week analysis.

Antivir Ther 2011 ;16(1):99-108

Tibotec BVBA, Beerse, Belgium.

Background: In the Phase III ARTEMIS Trial, treatment-naive patients received once-daily darunavir/ritonavir (DRV/r) 800/100 mg (n = 343) or lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) 800/200 mg (total daily dose; n = 346) plus fixed-dose tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine. The primary outcome measure was non-inferiority of DRV/r versus LPV/r (HIV type-1 [HIV-1] RNA<50 copies/ml). Here, a detailed 96-week resistance analysis is presented.

Methods: Virological failures (VFs) were defined as patients who had lost (rebounders) or who had never achieved (never suppressed) HIV-1 RNA < 50 copies/ml after week 12. Genotypic and phenotypic determinations were performed on plasma samples with HIV-1 RNA ≥ 50 copies/ml. The end point was defined as the last on-treatment visit with available genotype and/or phenotype.

Results: The VF rate was significantly lower in DRV/r (12%, n = 40) versus LPV/r patients (17%, n = 59; P = 0.0437). Among DRV/r patients, 24 rebounded and 16 were never suppressed, whereas among LPV/r patients, 33 rebounded and 26 were never suppressed. Transient HIV-1 RNA increases (≥ 50 copies/ml) occurred in 50% (n = 12) DRV/r and 48% (n = 16) LPV/r rebounders; these viral levels returned to undetectable by end point without any changes to the study regimen. No major (primary) protease inhibitor (PI) resistance-associated mutations (RAMs) developed in VFs with an available genotype at baseline and end point, and almost all developing minor PI RAMs were polymorphic. At end point, all VFs with available phenotypes at baseline and end point remained susceptible to all PIs, including study PIs.

Conclusions: The VF rate was lower with DRV/r than LPV/r. The findings of this resistance analysis confirmed the lack of development of major PI RAMs and the preservation of phenotypic susceptibility to all PIs in patients with VF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3851/IMP1719DOI Listing
July 2011

Pharmacokinetics of darunavir/ritonavir and rifabutin coadministered in HIV-negative healthy volunteers.

Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2010 Oct 26;54(10):4440-5. Epub 2010 Jul 26.

Tibotec, Inc, Yardley, Pennsylvania, USA.

The drug-drug interaction between rifabutin (RFB) and darunavir/ritonavir (DRV/r) was examined in a randomized, three-way crossover study of HIV-negative healthy volunteers who received DRV/r 600/100 mg twice a day (BID) (treatment A), RFB 300 mg once a day (QD) (treatment B), and DRV/r 600/100 mg BID plus RFB 150 mg every other day (QOD) (treatment C). The sequence of treatments was randomized, and each treatment period lasted 12 days. Full pharmacokinetic profiles were determined for DRV, ritonavir, and RFB and its active metabolite, 25-O-desacetylrifabutin (desRFB), on day 13. The DRV and ritonavir areas under the plasma concentration-time curve from zero to 12 h (AUC(12h)) increased by 57% and 66%, respectively, in the presence of RFB. The RFB exposure was comparable between treatment with RFB QD alone (treatment B) and treatment with DRV/r plus RFB QOD (treatment C); however, based on least-square means ratios, the minimum plasma concentration (C(min)) increased by 64% and the maximum plasma concentration (C(max)) decreased by 28%, respectively. The exposure (AUC within the dosage interval and at steady state [AUC(τ)]) to desRFB was considerably increased (by 881%) following treatment with DRV/r/RFB. The exposure to the parent drug plus the metabolite increased 1.6-fold in the presence of DRV/r. Adverse events (AEs) were more commonly reported during combined treatment (83% versus 44% for RFB and 28% for DRV/r); similarly, grade 3-4 AEs occurred in 17% versus 11% and 0%, respectively, of volunteers. Eighteen of 27 volunteers (66.7%) prematurely discontinued the trial; all volunteers discontinuing for safety reasons (n = 9) did so during RFB treatment phases. These results suggest that DRV/r may be coadministered with RFB with a dose adjustment of RFB to 150 mg QOD and increased monitoring for RFB-related AEs. Based on the overall safety profile of DRV/r, no dose adjustment of DRV/r is considered to be warranted. Given the safety profile seen with the combination of RFB with a boosted protease inhibitor in this and other studies, it is not recommended to conduct further studies with this combination in healthy volunteers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AAC.01749-09DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2944603PMC
October 2010

Suboptimal adherence to darunavir/ritonavir has minimal effect on efficacy compared with lopinavir/ritonavir in treatment-naive, HIV-infected patients: 96 week ARTEMIS data.

J Antimicrob Chemother 2010 Jul 24;65(7):1505-9. Epub 2010 May 24.

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, UK.

Objectives: To examine how treatment adherence differences in ARTEMIS (96 week analysis) affected clinical outcome, and to assess factors impacting adherence.

Patients And Methods: ARTEMIS is a Phase III trial, in HIV-1-infected treatment-naive patients, comparing efficacy and safety of once-daily darunavir/ritonavir (800/100 mg) versus lopinavir/ritonavir (800/200 mg total daily dose), each with a fixed-dose background tenofovir and emtricitabine regimen. Self-reported treatment adherence was assessed using the Modified Medication Adherence Self-Report Inventory (M-MASRI). In post-hoc analyses, mean adherence from weeks 4-96 was used to assess overall adherence for each patient, and transformed into a binary variable (>95% , adherent; < or = 95% , suboptimally adherent).

Results: Overall adherence was high: 83% of darunavir/ritonavir-treated patients and 78% of lopinavir/ritonavir-treated patients were >95% adherent. The difference in virological response rate for adherent versus suboptimally adherent patients was smaller for darunavir/ritonavir (6% difference: 82% versus 76%, P = 0.3312) than for lopinavir/ritonavir (25% difference: 78% versus 53%, P < 0.0001). In suboptimally adherent patients, a higher virological response rate was seen with darunavir/ritonavir (76%) versus lopinavir/ritonavir (53%) (P < 0.01). Suboptimally adherent patients (both treatment groups) reported more adverse events (AEs), including gastrointestinal AEs, than adherent patients. Darunavir/ritonavir had a lower rate of AEs, including gastrointestinal AEs, than lopinavir/ritonavir, in adherent and suboptimally adherent patients.

Conclusions: Suboptimal adherence had no significant effect on the virological response rate with once-daily darunavir/ritonavir treatment. In contrast, the lopinavir/ritonavir response rate was significantly reduced in suboptimally adherent patients compared with adherent patients. Once-daily darunavir/ritonavir resulted in a higher virological response rate in suboptimally adherent patients compared with lopinavir/ritonavir.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jac/dkq150DOI Listing
July 2010

Once-daily darunavir/ritonavir vs. lopinavir/ritonavir in treatment-naive, HIV-1-infected patients: 96-week analysis.

AIDS 2009 Aug;23(13):1679-88

Private Practice, Los Angeles, USA.

Objective: Present 96-week data from ongoing ARTEMIS (AntiRetroviral Therapy with TMC114 ExaMined In Naive Subjects) trial.

Methods: Randomized, open-label, phase III trial of antiretroviral-naive patients with HIV-1 RNA at least 5000 copies/ml (stratified by HIV-1 RNA and CD4 cell count) receiving darunavir/ritonavir (DRV/r) 800/100 mg once daily or lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) 800/200 mg total daily dose (twice daily or once daily) and fixed-dose tenofovir/emtricitabine. Primary outcome measure was noninferiority of DRV/r vs. LPV/r in virologic response (<50 copies/ml, time-to-loss of virologic response) at 96 weeks (secondary outcome: superiority).

Results: Six hundred eighty-nine patients were enrolled. At week 96, significantly more DRV/r (79%) than LPV/r patients (71%) had viral load less than 50 copies/ml, confirming statistical noninferiority (estimated difference: 8.4%; 95% confidence interval 1.9-14.8; P < 0.001; per-protocol) and superiority (P = 0.012; intent-to-treat) in virologic response. Median CD4 cell count increases from baseline were 171 and 188 cells/microl for DRV/r and LPV/r, respectively (P = 0.57; noncompleter=failure). Overall, 4% of DRV/r patients and 9% of LPV/r patients discontinued treatment due to adverse events. Lower rates of grade 2-4 treatment-related diarrhea were seen with DRV/r (4%) vs. LPV/r (11%; P < 0.001), whereas grade 2-4 treatment-related rash occurred infrequently in both arms (3 vs. 1%, respectively; P = 0.273). DRV/r patients had smaller median increases in triglycerides (0.1 and 0.6 mmol/l, respectively, P < 0.0001) and total cholesterol (0.6 and 0.9 mmol/l, respectively; P < 0.0001) than LPV/r patients; levels remained below National Cholesterol Education Program cut-offs for DRV/r.

Conclusion: At week 96, once-daily DRV/r was both statistically noninferior and superior in virologic response to LPV/r, with a more favorable gastrointestinal and lipid profile, confirming DRV/r as an effective, well tolerated, and durable option for antiretroviral-naive patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/QAD.0b013e32832d7350DOI Listing
August 2009

Improvement of vaginal health for Kenyan women at risk for acquisition of human immunodeficiency virus type 1: results of a randomized trial.

J Infect Dis 2008 May;197(10):1361-8

Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, USA.

Background: Vaginal infections are common and have been associated with increased risk for acquisition of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1).

Methods: We conducted a randomized trial of directly observed oral treatment administered monthly to reduce vaginal infections among Kenyan women at risk for HIV-1 acquisition. A trial intervention of 2 g of metronidazole plus 150 mg of fluconazole was compared with metronidazole placebo plus fluconazole placebo. The primary end points were bacterial vaginosis (BV), vaginal candidiasis, trichomoniasis vaginalis (hereafter, "trichomoniasis"), and colonization with Lactobacillus organisms.

Results: Of 310 HIV-1-seronegative female sex workers enrolled (155 per arm), 303 were included in the primary end points analysis. A median of 12 follow-up visits per subject were recorded in both study arms (P = .8). Compared with control subjects, women receiving the intervention had fewer episodes of BV (hazard ratio [HR], 0.55; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.49-0.63) and more frequent vaginal colonization with any Lactobacillus species (HR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.19-1.80) and H(2)O(2)-producing Lactobacillus species (HR, 1.63; 95% CI, 1.16-2.27). The incidences of vaginal candidiasis (HR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.67-1.04) and trichomoniasis (HR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.27-1.12) among treated women were less than those among control subjects, but the differences were not statistically significant.

Conclusions: Periodic presumptive treatment reduced the incidence of BV and promoted colonization with normal vaginal flora. Vaginal health interventions have the potential to provide simple, female-controlled approaches for reducing the risk of HIV-1 acquisition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/587490DOI Listing
May 2008

A prospective study of risk factors for bacterial vaginosis in HIV-1-seronegative African women.

Sex Transm Dis 2008 Jun;35(6):617-23

Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98104, USA.

Background: Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is common and has been associated with increased HIV-1 susceptibility. The objective of this study was to identify risk factors for BV in African women at high risk for acquiring HIV-1.

Methods: We conducted a prospective study among 151 HIV-1-seronegative Kenyan female sex workers. Nonpregnant women were eligible if they did not have symptoms of abnormal vaginal itching or discharge at the time of enrollment. At monthly follow-up, a vaginal examination and laboratory testing for genital tract infections were performed. Multivariate Andersen-Gill proportional hazards analysis was used to identify correlates of BV.

Results: Participants completed a median of 378 (interquartile range 350-412) days of follow-up. Compared with women reporting no vaginal washing, those who reported vaginal washing 1 to 14 [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 1.29, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.88-1.89], 15 to 28 (aHR 1.60, 95% CI 0.98-2.61), and >28 times/wk (aHR 2.39, 95% CI 1.35-4.23) were at increased risk of BV. Higher BV incidence was also associated with the use of cloth for intravaginal cleansing (aHR 1.48, 95% CI 1.06-2.08) and with recent unprotected intercourse (aHR 1.75, 95% CI 1.47-2.08). Women using depot medroxyprogesterone acetate contraception were at lower risk for BV (aHR 0.59, 95% CI 0.48-0.73).

Conclusions: Vaginal washing and unprotected intercourse were associated with increased risk of BV. These findings could help to inform the development of novel vaginal health approaches for HIV-1 risk reduction in women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/OLQ.0b013e31816907faDOI Listing
June 2008

A decrease in albumin in early HIV type 1 infection predicts subsequent disease progression.

AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses 2007 Oct;23(10):1197-200

Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98104, USA.

We investigated the association between albumin levels and HIV-1 disease progression among 78 Kenyan women followed from before infection through a median of 70 months. With HIV-1 acquisition, median albumin decreased from 38.5 g/liter to 36.8 g/liter (p = 0.07) and the prevalence of hypoalbuminemia increased from 16% to 32% (p = 0.02). Each 1 g/liter decrease in albumin with HIV-1 acquisition was associated with a 13% increase (p = 0.01) in the risk of progressing to a CD4 count <200 cells/mul, after adjustment for set point plasma viral load. A decrease in albumin of over 10% was associated with a 3.5-fold increase in the risk of progressing to a CD4 count <200 cells/mul (95% CI 1.4-9.0, p = 0.008). Trends for an increased risk of mortality were also seen. A greater decrease in albumin levels accompanying HIV-1 acquisition may be a marker for changes in early infection associated with more rapid disease progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/aid.2007.0065DOI Listing
October 2007

Hormonal contraceptive use, herpes simplex virus infection, and risk of HIV-1 acquisition among Kenyan women.

AIDS 2007 Aug;21(13):1771-7

Seattle HIV Prevention Trials Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, 9012 Boren Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104, USA.

Background: Studies of the effect of hormonal contraceptive use on the risk of HIV-1 acquisition have generated conflicting results. A recent study from Uganda and Zimbabwe found that women using hormonal contraception were at increased risk for HIV-1 if they were seronegative for herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), but not if they were HSV-2 seropositive.

Objective: To explore the effect of HSV-2 infection on the relationship between hormonal contraception and HIV-1 in a high-risk population. Hormonal contraception has previously been associated with increased HIV-1 risk in this population.

Methods: Data were from a prospective cohort study of 1206 HIV-1 seronegative sex workers from Mombasa, Kenya who were followed monthly. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards analyses were used to adjust for demographic and behavioral measures and incident sexually transmitted diseases.

Results: : Two hundred and thirty-three women acquired HIV-1 (8.7/100 person-years). HSV-2 prevalence (81%) and incidence (25.4/100 person-years) were high. In multivariate analysis, including adjustment for HSV-2, HIV-1 acquisition was associated with use of oral contraceptive pills [adjusted hazard ratio (HR), 1.46; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.00-2.13] and depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (adjusted HR, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.28-2.34). The effect of contraception on HIV-1 susceptibility did not differ significantly between HSV-2 seronegative versus seropositive women. HSV-2 infection was associated with elevated HIV-1 risk (adjusted HR, 3.58; 95% CI, 1.64-7.82).

Conclusions: In this group of high-risk African women, hormonal contraception and HSV-2 infection were both associated with increased risk for HIV-1 acquisition. HIV-1 risk associated with hormonal contraceptive use was not related to HSV-2 serostatus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/QAD.0b013e328270388aDOI Listing
August 2007

The influence of hormonal contraceptive use on HIV-1 transmission and disease progression.

Clin Infect Dis 2007 Aug 18;45(3):360-9. Epub 2007 Jun 18.

Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Women account for nearly one-half of new human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infections worldwide, including the majority of infections in Africa. Biological and epidemiological studies suggest that hormonal contraceptive use could influence susceptibility to HIV-1, as well as infectivity and disease progression for those who become infected. However, not all studies have shown this relationship, and many questions remain. Safe and effective contraceptive choices are essential for women with and at risk for HIV-1 infection. Thus, understanding the effect, if any, of hormonal contraception on HIV-1 disease among women is a public health priority.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/519432DOI Listing
August 2007

Higher pre-infection vitamin E levels are associated with higher mortality in HIV-1-infected Kenyan women: a prospective study.

BMC Infect Dis 2007 Jun 26;7:63. Epub 2007 Jun 26.

Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.

Background: Low vitamin E levels are often found in HIV-1 infection, and studies have suggested that higher levels may decrease the risk of disease progression. However, vitamin E supplementation has also been reported to increase CCR5 expression, which could increase HIV-1 replication. We hypothesized that vitamin E levels at HIV-1 acquisition may influence disease progression.

Methods: Vitamin E status was measured in stored samples from the last pre-infection visit for 67 Kenyan women with reliably estimated dates of HIV-1 acquisition. Regression analyses were used to estimate associations between pre-infection vitamin E and plasma viral load, time to CD4 count <200 cells/muL, and mortality.

Results: After controlling for potential confounding factors, each 1 mg/L increase in pre-infection vitamin E was associated with 0.08 log10 copies/mL (95% CI -0.01 to +0.17) higher set point viral load and 1.58-fold higher risk of mortality (95% CI 1.15-2.16). The association between higher pre-infection vitamin E and mortality persisted after adjustment for set point viral load (HR 1.55, 95% CI 1.13-2.13).

Conclusion: Higher pre-infection vitamin E levels were associated with increased mortality. Further research is needed to elucidate the role vitamin E plays in HIV-1 pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2334-7-63DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1914075PMC
June 2007

Relationship between markers of HIV-1 disease progression and serum beta-carotene concentrations in Kenyan women.

Int J STD AIDS 2007 Mar;18(3):202-6

Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98104, USA.

Observational studies have suggested that low serum beta-carotene concentrations may influence HIV-1 disease progression. However, randomized trials have not demonstrated beneficial effects of beta-carotene supplementation. To understand this discrepancy, we conducted a cross-sectional study among 400 HIV-1-seropositive women in Mombasa, Kenya, to correlate serum beta-carotene concentrations with several measures of HIV-1 disease severity. beta-Carotene concentrations were significantly associated with biologic markers of HIV-1 disease progression (CD4 count, HIV-1 plasma viral load, serum C-reactive protein [CRP] concentration, and serum albumin level). In multivariate analysis, beta-carotene concentrations below the median were associated with elevated CRP (>10 mg/l, adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 3.32, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.99-5.53, P<0.001) and higher HIV-1 plasma viral load (for each log(10) copies/mL increase, aOR 1.38, 95% CI 1.01-1.88, P=0.04). In the context of negative findings from randomized trials of beta-carotene supplementation in HIV-1-seropositive individuals, these results suggest that low beta-carotene concentrations primarily reflect more active HIV-1 infection rather than a deficiency amenable to intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1258/095646207780132541DOI Listing
March 2007

HIV-1 subtype D infection is associated with faster disease progression than subtype A in spite of similar plasma HIV-1 loads.

J Infect Dis 2007 Apr 2;195(8):1177-80. Epub 2007 Mar 2.

Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

We investigated the effect of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) subtype on disease progression among 145 Kenyan women followed from the time of HIV-1 acquisition. Compared with those infected with subtype A, women infected with subtype D had higher mortality (hazard ratio, 2.3 [95% confidence interval, 1.0-5.6]) and a faster rate of CD4 cell count decline (P=.003). The mortality risk persisted after adjustment for plasma HIV-1 load. There were no differences in plasma viral load by HIV-1 subtype during follow-up. HIV-1 subtype D infection is associated with a >2-fold higher risk of death than subtype A infection, in spite of similar plasma HIV-1 loads.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/512682DOI Listing
April 2007

Infection with Trichomonas vaginalis increases the risk of HIV-1 acquisition.

J Infect Dis 2007 Mar 22;195(5):698-702. Epub 2007 Jan 22.

Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98104, USA.

We conducted a prospective study among women in Mombasa, Kenya, to determine whether Trichomonas vaginalis infection was associated with an increased risk of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection. At monthly follow-up visits, laboratory screening for HIV-1 and genital tract infections was conducted. Among 1335 HIV-1-seronegative women monitored for a median of 566 days, there were 806 incident T. vaginalis infections (23.6/100 person-years), and 265 women seroconverted to HIV-1 (7.7/100 person-years). Trichomoniasis was associated with a 1.52-fold (95% confidence interval, 1.04-2.24-fold) increased risk of HIV-1 acquisition after adjustment for potential confounding factors. Treatment and prevention of T. vaginalis infection could reduce HIV-1 risk in women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/511278DOI Listing
March 2007

High levels of cervical HIV-1 RNA during early HIV-1 infection.

AIDS 2006 Nov;20(18):2389-90

Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Few data are available on genital tract viral replication early after HIV-1 acquisition, when infectivity is high. We compared cervical HIV-1 RNA from 60 women with paired samples from within 90 days after HIV-1 acquisition and at viral setpoint (4-24 months). Cervical HIV-1 was higher in early compared with setpoint samples (mean 3.43 versus 2.85 log10 copies/swab, P < 0.001). After adjusting for HIV-1-plasma RNA, cervical HIV-1 RNA from 30 days or less after infection was increased by 0.45 log10 copies/swab (P = 0.006).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/QAD.0b013e328010f1e7DOI Listing
November 2006

Associations between intravaginal practices and bacterial vaginosis in Kenyan female sex workers without symptoms of vaginal infections.

Sex Transm Dis 2007 Jun;34(6):384-8

Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Background: Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is highly prevalent among African women and has been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV-1.

Goal: The goal of this study was to analyze the relationship among intravaginal practices, bathing, and BV.

Study Design: The authors conducted a cross-sectional study of HIV-1-seronegative Kenyan female sex workers without symptoms of vaginal infections.

Results: Of 237 women enrolled, 206 (87%) reported vaginal washing using either a finger or cloth. Increasing frequency of vaginal washing was associated with a higher likelihood of BV (chi(2) test for trend, P = 0.05). In multivariate analysis, vaginal lubrication with petroleum jelly (odds ratio [OR] = 2.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.4-5.6), lubrication with saliva (OR = 2.3, 95% CI = 1.1-4.8), and bathing less than the median for the cohort (14 times/week; OR = 4.6, 95% CI = 1.2-17.5) were associated with a significantly higher likelihood of BV.

Conclusions: Modification of intravaginal and general hygiene practices should be evaluated as potential strategies for reducing the risk of BV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/01.olq.0000243624.74573.63DOI Listing
June 2007

Quantification of genital human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) DNA in specimens from women with low plasma HIV-1 RNA levels typical of HIV-1 nontransmitters.

J Clin Microbiol 2006 Dec 18;44(12):4357-62. Epub 2006 Oct 18.

Department of Microbiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98109, USA, and Coast Provincial General Hospital, Mombasa, Kenya.

Studies of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) transmission suggest that genital HIV-1 RNA and DNA may both be determinants of HIV-1 infectivity. Despite its potential role in HIV-1 transmission, there are limited quantitative data on genital HIV-1 DNA. Here we validated an in-house real-time PCR method for quantification of HIV-1 DNA in genital specimens. In reactions with 100 genomes to 1 genome isolated from a cell line containing one HIV-1 provirus/cell, this real-time PCR assay is linear and agrees closely with a commercially available real-time PCR assay specific for a cellular housekeeping gene. In mock genital samples spiked with low numbers of HIV-1-infected cells such that the expected HIV-1 DNA copy number/reaction was 100, 10, or 5, the average copy number/reaction was 80.2 (standard deviation [SD], 28.3), 9.1 (SD, 5.4), or 3.1 (SD, 2.1), respectively. We used this method to examine genital HIV-1 DNA levels in specimens from women whose low plasma HIV-1 RNA levels are typical of HIV-1 nontransmitters. The median HIV-1 DNA copy number in endocervical secretions from these women (1.8 HIV-1 DNA copies/10,000 cells) was lower than that for women with higher plasma HIV-1 RNA levels (16.6 HIV-1 DNA copies/10,000 cells) (P=0.04), as was the median HIV-1 DNA copy number in vaginal secretions (undetectable versus 1.0 HIV-1 DNA copies/10,000 cells). These data suggest that women with low plasma HIV-1 RNA and thus a predicted low risk of HIV-1 transmission have low levels of genital HIV-1 cell-associated virus. The assay described here can be utilized in future efforts to examine the role of cell-associated HIV-1 in transmission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JCM.01481-06DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1698424PMC
December 2006

HIV-1 acquisition and disease progression are associated with decreased high-risk sexual behaviour among Kenyan female sex workers.

AIDS 2006 Oct;20(15):1969-73

Departments of Medicine, University of Washington, 325 Ninth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104, USA.

Background: Changes in sexual risk behaviour may occur following HIV-1 infection.

Objective: To test the hypothesis that HIV-1 seroconversion and disease progression are associated with changes in risk behaviours, using data from a cohort of Kenyan female sex workers (FSWs).

Methods: HIV-1-seronegative FSWs were enrolled in a prospective cohort study of risk factors for HIV-1 acquisition. At monthly visits, standardized interviews were conducted to assess sexual risk behaviour and HIV-1 serologic testing was performed. Seroconverters were invited to continue with follow-up. Between 1993 and 2004 (when antiretroviral therapy was introduced in the cohort), 265 women seroconverted for HIV-1 (incidence 7.7/100 person-years) and were included in this analysis.

Results: Unprotected intercourse was reported at 546/2037 (27%) pre-seroconversion visits versus 557/3732 (15%) post-seroconversion visits (P < 0.001). These findings remained significant after adjustment for potential confounding factors [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 0.69; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.55-0.86]. Compared with HIV-1-seronegative women, there was a progressive stepwise decrease in unprotected intercourse among HIV-1-seropositive women with CD4 cell counts > or = 500 (AOR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.62-1.39), 200-499 (AOR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.41-0.82) and < 200 cells/microl (AOR, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.25-0.82). Decreases in unprotected intercourse reflected increases in both abstinence and 100% condom use. Women also reported fewer partners and fewer episodes of intercourse after HIV-1 seroconversion.

Conclusions: HIV-1 seroconversion and disease progression were associated with decreases in sexual risk behaviour among Kenyan FSWs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/01.aids.0000247119.12327.e6DOI Listing
October 2006

Low serum albumin and the acute phase response predict low serum selenium in HIV-1 infected women.

BMC Infect Dis 2006 May 19;6:85. Epub 2006 May 19.

Department of Medicine, University of Washington, 1959 NE Pacific, A-300 Health Sciences, Box 356340, Seattle, WA 98105, USA.

Background: Low serum selenium has been associated with lower CD4 counts and greater mortality among HIV-1-seropositive individuals, but most studies have not controlled for serum albumin and the presence of an acute phase response.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted to evaluate relationships between serum selenium concentrations and CD4 count, plasma viral load, serum albumin, and acute phase response markers among 400 HIV-1-seropositive women.

Results: In univariate analyses, lower CD4 count, higher plasma viral load, lower albumin, and the presence of an acute phase response were each significantly associated with lower serum selenium concentrations. In multivariate analyses including all four of these covariates, only albumin remained significantly associated with serum selenium. For each 0.1 g/dl increase in serum albumin, serum selenium increased by 0.8 microg/l (p < 0.001). Women with an acute phase response also had lower serum selenium (by 5.6 microg/l, p = 0.06).

Conclusion: Serum selenium was independently associated with serum albumin, but not with CD4 count or plasma viral load, in HIV-1-seropositive women. Our findings suggest that associations between lower serum selenium, lower CD4 count, and higher plasma viral load may be related to the frequent occurrence of low serum albumin and the acute phase response among individuals with more advanced HIV-1 infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2334-6-85DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1479829PMC
May 2006

Diversity in HIV-1 envelope V1-V3 sequences early in infection reflects sequence diversity throughout the HIV-1 genome but does not predict the extent of sequence diversity during chronic infection.

AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses 2006 May;22(5):430-7

Division of Human Biology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington 98109, USA.

Differences in the extent of genetic diversity have been observed in human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) envelope sequences early in infection, and this has been linked to gender and to modifiable exogenous factors such as hormonal contraceptive use and genital tract infections. But it is unclear whether envelope diversity is indicative of diversity in other regions of the viral genome, and thus whether it adequately reflects whether multiple or a single virus initiated the infection. Here we show that six women with homogeneous envelope V1-V3 sequences during primary infection also had homogeneous gag and polymerase (pol) sequences at the same time. On the other hand, six women with multiple envelope sequences had diverse gag and pol genotypes during a similar interval after infection. This suggests that envelope sequences reflect sequence diversity throughout the viral genomes present early in infection and thus provide an indication of whether a single virus or multiple viruses initiated the infection. Analysis of HIV-1 sequences from about 3 years after infection revealed that the level of diversity and diversification was similar between the women in the two groups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/aid.2006.22.430DOI Listing
May 2006
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