Infectious Diseases - Research Publications

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    Multiparameter immunohistochemistry analysis of HIV DNA, RNA and immune checkpoints in lymph node tissue
    Richardson, ZA ; Deleage, C ; Tutuka, CSA ; Walkiewicz, M ; Del Rio-Estrada, PM ; Pascoe, RD ; Evans, VA ; Reyesteran, G ; Gonzales, M ; Roberts-Thomson, S ; Gonzalez-Navarro, M ; Torres-Ruiz, F ; Estes, JD ; Lewin, SR ; Cameron, PU (ELSEVIER, 2022-02-01)
    The main barrier to a cure for HIV is the persistence of long-lived and proliferating latently infected CD4+ T-cells despite antiretroviral therapy (ART). Latency is well characterized in multiple CD4+ T-cell subsets, however, the contribution of regulatory T-cells (Tregs) expressing FoxP3 as well as immune checkpoints (ICs) PD-1 and CTLA-4 as targets for productive and latent HIV infection in people living with HIV on suppressive ART is less well defined. We used multiplex detection of HIV DNA and RNA with immunohistochemistry (mIHC) on formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) cells to simultaneously detect HIV RNA and DNA and cellular markers. HIV DNA and RNA were detected by in situ hybridization (ISH) (RNA/DNAscope) and IHC was used to detect cellular markers (CD4, PD-1, FoxP3, and CTLA-4) by incorporating the tyramide system amplification (TSA) system. We evaluated latently infected cell lines, a primary cell model of HIV latency and excisional lymph node (LN) biopsies collected from people living with HIV (PLWH) on and off ART. We clearly detected infected cells that coexpressed HIV RNA and DNA (active replication) and DNA only (latently infected cells) in combination with IHC markers in the in vitro infection model as well as LN tissue from PLWH both on and off ART. Combining ISH targeting HIV RNA and DNA with IHC provides a platform to detect and quantify HIV persistence within cells identified by multiple markers in tissue samples from PLWH on ART or to study HIV latency.
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    Relationship between CD4 T cell turnover, cellular differentiation and HIV persistence during ART
    Bacchus-Souffan, C ; Fitch, M ; Symons, J ; Abdel-Mohsen, M ; Reeves, DB ; Hoh, R ; Stone, M ; Hiatt, J ; Kim, P ; Chopra, A ; Ahn, H ; York, VA ; Cameron, DL ; Hecht, FM ; Martin, JN ; Yukl, SA ; Mallal, S ; Cameron, PU ; Deeks, SG ; Schiffer, JT ; Lewin, SR ; Hellerstein, MK ; McCune, JM ; Hunt, PW ; O'Doherty, U (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2021-01-01)
    The precise role of CD4 T cell turnover in maintaining HIV persistence during antiretroviral therapy (ART) has not yet been well characterized. In resting CD4 T cell subpopulations from 24 HIV-infected ART-suppressed and 6 HIV-uninfected individuals, we directly measured cellular turnover by heavy water labeling, HIV reservoir size by integrated HIV-DNA (intDNA) and cell-associated HIV-RNA (caRNA), and HIV reservoir clonality by proviral integration site sequencing. Compared to HIV-negatives, ART-suppressed individuals had similar fractional replacement rates in all subpopulations, but lower absolute proliferation rates of all subpopulations other than effector memory (TEM) cells, and lower plasma IL-7 levels (p = 0.0004). Median CD4 T cell half-lives decreased with cell differentiation from naïve to TEM cells (3 years to 3 months, p<0.001). TEM had the fastest replacement rates, were most highly enriched for intDNA and caRNA, and contained the most clonal proviral expansion. Clonal proviruses detected in less mature subpopulations were more expanded in TEM, suggesting that they were maintained through cell differentiation. Earlier ART initiation was associated with lower levels of intDNA, caRNA and fractional replacement rates. In conclusion, circulating integrated HIV proviruses appear to be maintained both by slow turnover of immature CD4 subpopulations, and by clonal expansion as well as cell differentiation into effector cells with faster replacement rates.
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    Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-1 Integration Sites in Viral Latency
    Rezaei, SD ; Cameron, PU (SPRINGER, 2015-03-01)
    The persistence of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in latent reservoirs is a major barrier to HIV cure. Reservoir establishment depends on low viral expression that may be related to provirus integration sites (IS). In vitro, in cell lines and primary T cells, latency is associated with specific IS through reduced viral expression mediated by transcriptional interference by host cellular promoters, reverse orientation, and the presence of specific epigenetic modifiers. In primary T cell models of latency, specific IS are associated with intracellular viral antigen expression that is not directly related to cell activation. In contrast, in patient CD4+ T cells, there is enrichment for IS in genes controlling cell cycle and survival and in some clonally expanded T cell subpopulations. Multiple insertion sites within some specific genes may suggest that integrated HIV can increase the host's T cell survival.
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    HIV-1 selection by epidermal dendritic cells during transmission across human skin
    Reece, JC ; Handley, AJ ; Anstee, EJ ; Morrison, WA ; Crowe, SM ; Cameron, PU (ROCKEFELLER UNIV PRESS, 1998-05-18)
    Macrophage tropic HIV-1 is predominant during the initial viremia after person to person transmission of HIV-1 (Zhu, T., H. Mo, N. Wang, D.S. Nam, Y. Cao, R.A. Koup, and D.D. Ho. 1993. Science. 261:1179-1181.), and this selection may occur during virus entry and carriage to the lymphoid tissue. Human skin explants were used to model HIV-1 selection that may occur at the skin or mucosal surface. Macrophage tropic, but not T cell line tropic strains of HIV-1 applied to the abraded epidermis were recovered from the cells emigrating from the skin explants. Dermis and epidermis were separated by dispase digestion after virus exposure to determine the site of viral selection within the skin. Uptake and transmission to T cells of all HIV-1 isolates was found with the dermal emigrant cells, but only macrophage tropic virus was transferred by emigrants from the epidermis exposed to HIV-1, indicating selection only within the epidermis. CD3+, CD4+ T cells were found in both the dermal and epidermal emigrant cells. After cell sorting to exclude contaminating T cells, macrophage tropic HIV-1 was found in both the dermal emigrant dendritic cells and in dendritic cells sorted from the epidermal emigrants. These observations suggest that selective infection of the immature epidermal dendritic cells represents the cellular mechanism that limits the initial viremia to HIV-1 that can use the CCR5 coreceptor.
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    Development and management of systemic lupus erythematosus in an HIV-infected man with hepatitis C and B co-infection following interferon therapy: a case report.
    Abbott, IJ ; Chang, CC ; Skinner, MJ ; Street, A ; Perry, G ; McLean, C ; Wright, EJ ; Cameron, PU (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2009-06-10)
    INTRODUCTION: The association of human immunodeficiency virus and immune dysfunction leading to development of autoimmune markers is well described, but human immunodeficiency virus infection is relatively protective for the development of systemic lupus erythematosus. In contrast, development of systemic lupus erythematosus with hepatitis C and with interferon therapy is well described in a number of case reports. We here describe the first case of systemic lupus erythematosus developing in a man infected with human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis C and hepatitis B co-infection where the onset seems to have been temporally related to interferon therapy. CASE PRESENTATION: We report the occurrence of systemic lupus erythematosus complicating interferon-alpha therapy for hepatitis C in a 47-year-old asplenic male with haemophilia co-infected with human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis B. He presented with a truncal rash, abdominal pains and headache and later developed grade IV lupus nephritis requiring haemodialysis, mycophenolate mofetil and steroid therapy. We were able to successfully withdraw dialysis and mycophenolate while maintaining stable renal function. CONCLUSION: Interferon-alpha is critical in antiviral immunity against hepatitis C but also acts as a pathogenic mediator for systemic lupus erythematosus, a condition associated with activation of plasmacytoid dendritic cells that are depleted in human immunodeficiency virus infection. The occurrence of auto-antibodies and lupus-like features in the coinfections with hepatitis C require careful assessment. Immunosuppressant therapy for lupus risks exacerbating underlying infections in patients with concurrent human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B and C.
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    Delayed Diagnosis and Complications of Predominantly Antibody Deficiencies in a Cohort of Australian Adults
    Slade, CA ; Bosco, JJ ; Giang, TB ; Kruse, E ; Stirling, RG ; Cameron, PU ; Hore-Lacy, F ; Sutherland, MF ; Barnes, SL ; Holdsworth, S ; Ojaimi, S ; Unglik, GA ; De Luca, J ; Patel, M ; McComish, J ; Spriggs, K ; Tran, Y ; Auyeung, P ; Nicholls, K ; O'Hehir, RE ; Hodgkin, PD ; Douglass, JA ; Bryant, VL ; van Zelm, MC (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2018-05-14)
    Background: Predominantly antibody deficiencies (PADs) are the most common type of primary immunodeficiency in adults. PADs frequently pass undetected leading to delayed diagnosis, delayed treatment, and the potential for end-organ damage including bronchiectasis. In addition, PADs are frequently accompanied by comorbid autoimmune disease, and an increased risk of malignancy. Objectives: To characterize the diagnostic and clinical features of adult PAD patients in Victoria, Australia. Methods: We identified adult patients receiving, or having previously received immunoglobulin replacement therapy for a PAD at four hospitals in metropolitan Melbourne, and retrospectively characterized their clinical and diagnostic features. Results: 179 patients from The Royal Melbourne, Alfred and Austin Hospitals, and Monash Medical Centre were included in the study with a median age of 49.7 years (range: 16-87 years), of whom 98 (54.7%) were female. The majority of patients (116; 64.8%) met diagnostic criteria for common variable immunodeficiency (CVID), and 21 (11.7%) were diagnosed with X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA). Unclassified hypogammaglobulinemia (HGG) was described in 22 patients (12.3%), IgG subclass deficiency (IGSCD) in 12 (6.7%), and specific antibody deficiency (SpAD) in 4 individuals (2.2%). The remaining four patients had a diagnosis of Good syndrome (thymoma with immunodeficiency). There was no significant difference between the age at diagnosis of the disorders, with the exception of XLA, with a median age at diagnosis of less than 1 year. The median age of reported symptom onset was 20 years for those with a diagnosis of CVID, with a median age at diagnosis of 35 years. CVID patients experienced significantly more non-infectious complications, such as autoimmune cytopenias and lymphoproliferative disease, than the other antibody deficiency disorders. The presence of non-infectious complications was associated with significantly reduced survival in the cohort. Conclusion: Our data are largely consistent with the experience of other centers internationally, with clear areas for improvement, including reducing diagnostic delay for patients with PADs. It is likely that these challenges will be in part overcome by continued advances in implementation of genomic sequencing for diagnosis of PADs, and with that opportunities for targeted treatment of non-infectious complications.
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    Low T-Cell Responses to Mitogen Stimulation Predicts Poor Survival in Recipients of Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
    Yong, MK ; Cameron, PU ; Slavin, MA ; Cheng, AC ; Morrissey, CO ; Bergin, K ; Spencer, A ; Ritchie, D ; Lewin, SR (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2017-11-09)
    BACKGROUND: Successful engraftment and reconstitution of the innate and adaptive immune system are associated with improved outcomes in recipients of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). A clinically meaningful and simple biomarker of immunosuppression could potentially assist clinicians in their decision-making. We aimed to determine the relationship between T-cell production of interferon gamma (IFN-γ) in response to phytohemagglutinin (PHA) to clinical outcomes in HSCT recipients. METHODS: A prospective observational multicenter study of 73 adult allogeneic HSCT recipients was conducted in Melbourne, Australia. Eligible participants were >18 years and at risk of cytomegalovirus disease. T-cell responses to PHA were assessed at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months post-HSCT using the commercial quantiferon-cytomegalovirus assay, which quantifies IFN-γ production by ELISA following stimulation with PHA. A low response was defined as IFN-γ <0.5 IU/ml following stimulation with PHA. RESULTS: At 3 months post-HSCT, high responses to PHA (median IFN-γ 7.68 IU/ml) were seen in 63% of participants and low responses to PHA (median IFN-γ 0.06 IU/ml) in 37%. IFN-γ responses to PHA were significantly associated with the severity of acute graft versus host disease (AGVHD) (spearman r = -0.53, p < 0.001) and correlated with blood lymphocyte count (spearman r = 0.52, p < 0.001). Twelve month overall survival was greater in individuals with high compared to low IFN-γ response to PHA at 3 months [92 vs. 62%, respectively, Cox proportional hazard ratio (HR): 4.12 95% CI: 1.2-13.7, p = 0.02]. Non-relapse mortality (NRM) was higher in individuals with low IFN-γ response to PHA (competing risk regression HR 11.6 p = 0.02). In individuals with no AGVHD compared to AGVHD and high IFN-γ response to PHA compared to AGVHD and low IFN-γ response to PHA, 12-month survival was 100 vs. 80 vs. 52%, respectively (log rank test p < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: Low IFN-γ response to PHA at the 3-month time-point following allogeneic HSCT was predictive of reduced 12-month overall survival, increased NRM, and reduced survival in recipients with AGVHD. Assessing IFN-γ response to PHA post-HSCT may be a clinically useful immune biomarker.