131 research outputs found

    Hepatitis B virus infection and the immune response: The big questions

    Get PDF
    Clinical events and the host immune response during hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection are intricately linked. Despite decades of research, important questions concerning the immunopathogenesis of chronic HBV infection remain unanswered. For example, it is unclear which immune parameters facilitate persistence, and if HBV can be completely cleared from the human liver. Recent technological breakthroughs now allow researchers to address these seemingly basic, but essential questions surrounding HBV immunity. It will be important to better define the molecular underpinnings of immune cell function and dysfunction during chronic disease and in controlled infection, with particular focus on the liver, as little information is available on the intrahepatic compartment. In the near future, it may be possible to solve some of the controversy surrounding the immune responses to HBV, and establish the features of both the innate and adaptive arms of the immune system required to achieve sustained control of HBV infection

    Chronic HCV Infection Affects the NK Cell Phenotype in the Blood More than in the Liver

    Get PDF
    Although epidemiological and functional studies have implicated NK cells in protection and early clearance of HCV, the mechanism by which they may contribute to viral control is poorly understood, particularly at the site of infection, the liver. We hypothesized that a unique immunophenotypic/functional NK cell signature exists in the liver that may provide insights into the contribution of NK cells to viral control. Intrahepatic and blood NK cells were profiled from chronically infected HCV-positive and HCV-negative individuals. Baseline expression of activating and inhibitory receptors was assessed, as well as functional responses following stimulation through classic NK cell pathways. Independent of HCV infection, the liver was enriched for the immunoregulatory CD56bright NK cell population, which produced less IFNγ and CD107a but comparable levels of MIP1β, and was immunophenotypically distinct from their blood counterparts. This profile was mostly unaltered in chronic HCV infection, though different expression levels of NKp46 and NKG2D were associated with different grades of fibrosis. In contrast to the liver, chronic HCV infection associated with an enrichment of CD161lowperforinhigh NK cells in the blood correlated with increased AST and 2B4 expression. However, the association of relatively discrete changes in the NK cell phenotype in the liver with the fibrosis stage nevertheless suggests an important role for the NK response. Overall these data suggest that tissue localization has a more pervasive effect on NK cells than the presence of chronic viral infection, during which these cells might be mostly attuned to limiting immunopathology. It will be important to characterize NK cells during early HCV infection, when they should have a critical role in limiting infection

    A recombinant herpesviral vector containing a near-full-length SIVmac239 genome produces SIV particles and elicits immune responses to all nine SIV gene products

    Get PDF
    The properties of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pose serious difficulties for the development of an effective prophylactic vaccine. Here we describe the construction and characterization of recombinant (r), replication-competent forms of rhesus monkey rhadinovirus (RRV), a gamma-2 herpesvirus, containing a near-full-length (nfl) genome of the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). A 306-nucleotide deletion in the pol gene rendered this nfl genome replication-incompetent as a consequence of deletion of the active site of the essential reverse transcriptase enzyme. Three variations were constructed to drive expression of the SIV proteins: one with SIV\u27s own promoter region, one with a cytomegalovirus (cmv) immediate-early promoter/enhancer region, and one with an RRV dual promoter (p26 plus PAN). Following infection of rhesus fibroblasts in culture with these rRRV vectors, synthesis of the early protein Nef and the late structural proteins Gag and Env could be demonstrated. Expression levels of the SIV proteins were highest with the rRRV-SIVcmv-nfl construct. Electron microscopic examination of rhesus fibroblasts infected with rRRV-SIVcmv-nfl revealed numerous budding and mature SIV particles and these infected cells released impressive levels of p27 Gag protein ( \u3e 150 ng/ml) into the cell-free supernatant. The released SIV particles were shown to be incompetent for replication. Monkeys inoculated with rRRV-SIVcmv-nfl became persistently infected, made readily-detectable antibodies against SIV, and developed T-cell responses against all nine SIV gene products. Thus, rRRV expressing a near-full-length SIV genome mimics live-attenuated strains of SIV in several important respects: the infection is persistent; \u3e 95% of the SIV proteome is naturally expressed; SIV particles are formed; and CD8+ T-cell responses are maintained indefinitely in an effector-differentiated state. Although the magnitude of anti-SIV immune responses in monkeys infected with rRRV-SIVcmv-nfl falls short of what is seen with live-attenuated SIV infection, further experimentation seems warranted

    Impaired Hepatitis C Virus-Specific T Cell Responses and Recurrent Hepatitis C Virus in HIV Coinfection

    Get PDF
    BACKGROUND: Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-specific T cell responses are critical for spontaneous resolution of HCV viremia. Here we examined the effect of a lymphotropic virus, HIV-1, on the ability of coinfected patients to maintain spontaneous control of HCV infection. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We measured T cell responsiveness by lymphoproliferation and interferon-γ ELISPOT in a large cohort of HCV-infected individuals with and without HIV infection. Among 47 HCV/HIV-1-coinfected individuals, spontaneous control of HCV was associated with more frequent HCV-specific lymphoproliferative (LP) responses (35%) compared to coinfected persons who exhibited chronic HCV viremia (7%, p = 0.016), but less frequent compared to HCV controllers who were not HIV infected (86%, p = 0.003). Preservation of HCV-specific LP responses in coinfected individuals was associated with a higher nadir CD4 count (r (2) = 0.45, p < 0.001) and the presence and magnitude of the HCV-specific CD8(+) T cell interferon-γ response (p = 0.0014). During long-term follow-up, recurrence of HCV viremia occurred in six of 25 coinfected individuals with prior control of HCV, but in 0 of 16 HIV-1-negative HCV controllers (p = 0.03, log rank test). In these six individuals with recurrent HCV viremia, the magnitude of HCV viremia following recurrence inversely correlated with the CD4 count at time of breakthrough (r = −0.94, p = 0.017). CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that HIV infection impairs the immune response to HCV—including in persons who have cleared HCV infection—and that HIV-1-infected individuals with spontaneous control of HCV remain at significant risk for a second episode of HCV viremia. These findings highlight the need for repeat viral RNA testing of apparent controllers of HCV infection in the setting of HIV-1 coinfection and provide a possible explanation for the higher rate of HCV persistence observed in this population

    Broadly directed virus-specific CD4+ T cell responses are primed during acute hepatitis C infection, but rapidly disappear from human blood with viral persistence

    Get PDF
    Vigorous proliferative CD4+ T cell responses are the hallmark of spontaneous clearance of acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, whereas comparable responses are absent in chronically evolving infection. Here, we comprehensively characterized the breadth, specificity, and quality of the HCV-specific CD4+ T cell response in 31 patients with acute HCV infection and varying clinical outcomes. We analyzed in vitro T cell expansion in the presence of interleukin-2, and ex vivo staining with HCV peptide-loaded MHC class II tetramers. Surprisingly, broadly directed HCV-specific CD4+ T cell responses were universally detectable at early stages of infection, regardless of the clinical outcome. However, persistent viremia was associated with early proliferative defects of the HCV-specific CD4+ T cells, followed by rapid deletion of the HCV-specific response. Only early initiation of antiviral therapy was able to preserve CD4+ T cell responses in acute, chronically evolving infection. Our results challenge the paradigm that HCV persistence is the result of a failure to prime HCV-specific CD4+ T cells. Instead, broadly directed HCV-specific CD4+ T cell responses are usually generated, but rapid exhaustion and deletion of these cells occurs in the majority of patients. The data further suggest a short window of opportunity to prevent the loss of CD4+ T cell responses through antiviral therapy

    CD8 Epitope Escape and Reversion in Acute HCV Infection

    Get PDF
    In the setting of acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, robust HCV-specific CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses are associated with initial control of viremia. Despite these responses, 70–80% of individuals develop persistent infection. Although viral escape from CD8 responses has been illustrated in the chimpanzee model of HCV infection, the effect of CD8 selection pressure on viral evolution and containment in acute HCV infection in humans remains unclear. Here, we examined viral evolution in an immunodominant human histocompatibility leukocyte antigen (HLA)-B8–restricted NS3 epitope in subjects with acute HCV infection. Development of mutations within the epitope coincided with loss of strong ex vivo tetramer and interferon γ enzyme-linked immunospot responses, and endogenous expression of variant NS3 sequences suggested that the selected mutations altered processing and presentation of the variant epitope. Analysis of NS3 sequences from 30 additional chronic HCV-infected subjects revealed a strong association between sequence variation within this region and expression of HLA-B8, supporting reproducible allele-specific selection pressures at the population level. Interestingly, transmission of an HLA-B8–associated escape mutation to an HLA-B8 negative subject resulted in rapid reversion of the mutation. Together, these data indicate that viral escape from CD8+ T cell responses occurs during human HCV infection and that acute immune selection pressure is of sufficient magnitude to influence HCV evolution

    Antibody dynamics and spontaneous viral clearance in patients with acute hepatitis C infection in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Get PDF
    Submitted by Sandra Infurna ([email protected]) on 2017-01-18T10:31:05Z No. of bitstreams: 1 clara_yoshida_etal_IOC_2011.pdf: 146042 bytes, checksum: 8ec889224534b76d755828a99d0660c2 (MD5)Approved for entry into archive by Sandra Infurna ([email protected]) on 2017-01-18T10:59:52Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 clara_yoshida_etal_IOC_2011.pdf: 146042 bytes, checksum: 8ec889224534b76d755828a99d0660c2 (MD5)Made available in DSpace on 2017-01-18T10:59:52Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 clara_yoshida_etal_IOC_2011.pdf: 146042 bytes, checksum: 8ec889224534b76d755828a99d0660c2 (MD5) Previous issue date: 2011Innsbruck Medical University. Department of Medical Statistics, Informatics and Health Economics. Innsbruck, Austria.Harvard Medical School. Boston, MA, USA / Massachussets General Hospital. Division of Infectious Diseases. Boston, MA, USA.Harvard Medical School. Boston, MA, USA / Massachussets General Hospital. Gastrointestinal Unit. Boston, MA, USA.Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Instituto Oswaldo Cruz. Laboratório de Hepatites Virais. Rio de Janeiro, RJ. Brasil.Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Instituto Oswaldo Cruz. Laboratório de Hepatites Virais. Rio de Janeiro, RJ. Brasil.Laboratório Central de Saúde Pública Noel Nutels. Divisão de Hepatites. Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil.Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Instituto Oswaldo Cruz. Laboratório de Hepatites Virais. Rio de Janeiro, RJ. Brasil.Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Instituto Oswaldo Cruz. Laboratório de Hepatites Virais. Rio de Janeiro, RJ. Brasil / Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro. Hospital Universitário Gaffrée Guinle. Unidade de Hepatologia. Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil.Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Instituto Oswaldo Cruz. Laboratório de Desenvolvimento Tecnológico em Virologia. Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil.Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Instituto Oswaldo Cruz. Laboratório de Hepatites Virais. Rio de Janeiro, RJ. Brasil.Universitätsklinikum Eppendorf. Medizinische Klinik I. Hamburg, Germany.Fondation Merieux. Emerging Pathogens Laboratory. Lyon, France.University of Innsbruck. Institute of Statistics. Innsbruck, Austria.National Institute on Aging. Gerontology Research Center. Baltimore, USA.Innsbruck Medical University. Department of Medical Statistics, Informatics and Health Economics. Innsbruck, Austria.Innsbruck Medical University. Department of Medical Statistics, Informatics and Health Economics. Innsbruck, Austria.Innsbruck Medical University. Department of Medical Statistics, Informatics and Health Economics. Innsbruck, Austria.Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Instituto Oswaldo Cruz. Laboratório de Hepatites Virais. Rio de Janeiro, RJ. Brasil.Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Instituto Oswaldo Cruz. Laboratório de Hepatites Virais. Rio de Janeiro, RJ. Brasil.Background: The anti-HCV antibody response has not been well characterized during the early phase of HCV infection and little is known about its relationship to the clinical course during this period. Methods: We analyzed serial anti-HCV antibodies longitudinally obtained from a prospective cohort of 65 patients with acute HCV infection by using a microparticle enzyme immunoassay AxSYM HCV 3.0 (Abbott Diagnostics) during the first 12 months from HCV acquisition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Spontaneous viral clearance (SVC) was defined as undetectable HCV RNA in serum, in the absence of treatment, for three consecutive HCV PCR tests within 12-months of follow-up. Results: Baseline antibody values were similar among patient groups with self-limiting HCV evolution (n = 34) and persistent viremia (n = 31) [median (interquartile range) signal/cut-off ratio (s/co) 78.7 (60.7-93.8) vs. 93.9 (67.8- 111.9), p = 0.26]. During 12-months follow-up, patients with acute spontaneous resolving HCV infection showed significantly lower serial antibody response in comparison to individuals progressing to chronic infection [median (interquartile range) s/co 62.7 (35.2-85.0) vs. 98.4 (70.4-127.4), p < 0.0001]. In addition, patients with self-limiting HCV evolution exhibited an expeditious, sharp decline of serial antibody values after SVC in comparison to those measured before SVC [median (interquartile range) s/co 56.0 (25.4-79.3) vs. 79.4 (66.3-103.0), p < 0.0001]. Conclusion: Our findings indicate a rapid short-term decline of antibody values in patients with acute spontaneous resolving HCV infection

    Supramolecular Organization of the Repetitive Backbone Unit of the Streptococcus pneumoniae Pilus

    Get PDF
    Streptococcus pneumoniae, like many other Gram-positive bacteria, assembles long filamentous pili on their surface through which they adhere to host cells. Pneumococcal pili are formed by a backbone, consisting of the repetition of the major component RrgB, and two accessory proteins (RrgA and RrgC). Here we reconstruct by transmission electron microscopy and single particle image reconstruction method the three dimensional arrangement of two neighbouring RrgB molecules, which represent the minimal repetitive structural domain of the native pilus. The crystal structure of the D2-D4 domains of RrgB was solved at 1.6 Ã… resolution. Rigid-body fitting of the X-ray coordinates into the electron density map enabled us to define the arrangement of the backbone subunits into the S. pneumoniae native pilus. The quantitative fitting provide evidence that the pneumococcal pilus consists uniquely of RrgB monomers assembled in a head-to-tail organization. The presence of short intra-subunit linker regions connecting neighbouring domains provides the molecular basis for the intrinsic pilus flexibility
    • …
    corecore