Host immunity associated with spontaneous suppression of viremia in therapy-naïve young rhesus macaques following neonatal SHIV infection.

Abstract

We recently found that a new pathogenic chimeric simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) elicited heterologous human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) in therapy-naïve young rhesus macaques (RMs) following neonatal SHIV infection. Moreover, a subset of the SHIV-infected young RMs spontaneously controlled viremia. Here we evaluated humoral and cellular immunity and plasma biomarkers associated with spontaneous viremia suppression in a new model of young SHIV-infected RMs that generated heterologous HIV-1 nAbs independent of viremia control to gain insights into pediatric immunity that may be harnessed by appropriate therapies in HIV-1-infected infants and children. We determined the levels of 31 plasma analytes (cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors) in SHIV-infected RMs over the course of infection and found that six analytes with chemoattractant or pro-inflammatory activities had significantly lower levels in plasma of RMs that controlled viremia compared to non-controllers. Single-cell transcriptomics of blood-derived immune cells demonstrated that RMs with viremia control had upregulated genes associated with immune activation and cytotoxic functions, whereas non-controllers had upregulated genes associated with immune cell exhaustion and dysfunction. In addition to CD8 T and natural killer cells, monocytes with upregulation of inhibitory genes previously reported only in cytotoxic cells constituted the immunologic environment associated with viremia suppression. These data implicated a complex immunologic milieu of viremia suppression that is not fully defined in pediatric subjects. Understanding immune cell subsets that may be harnessed to control viremia will provide insights into future designs of HIV-1 therapeutic strategies. IMPORTANCE Despite the advent of highly active anti-retroviral therapy, people are still dying from HIV-related causes, many of whom are children, and a protective vaccine or cure is needed to end the HIV pandemic. Understanding the nature and activation states of immune cell subsets during infection will provide insights into the immunologic milieu associated with viremia suppression that can be harnessed via therapeutic strategies to achieve a functional cure, but these are understudied in pediatric subjects. We evaluated humoral and adaptive host immunity associated with suppression of viremia in rhesus macaques infected soon after birth with a pathogenic SHIV. The results from our study provide insights into the immune cell subsets and functions associated with viremia control in young macaques that may translate to pediatric subjects for the design of future anti-viral strategies in HIV-1-infected infants and children and contribute to an understudied area of HIV-1 pathogenesis in pediatric subjects.

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Citation

Published Version (Please cite this version)

10.1128/jvi.01094-23

Publication Info

Evangelous, Tyler D, Madison Berry, Sravani Venkatayogi, Cas LeMaster, Eric S Geanes, Nicole De Naeyer, Todd DeMarco, Xiaoying Shen, et al. (2023). Host immunity associated with spontaneous suppression of viremia in therapy-naïve young rhesus macaques following neonatal SHIV infection. Journal of virology. p. e0109423. 10.1128/jvi.01094-23 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/29316.

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Scholars@Duke

Shen

Xiaoying Shen

Associate Professor in Surgery

Dr. Shen is an Associate Director and Deputy of the Laboratory for HIV and COVID-19 Vaccine Research & Development in the Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical Sciences at Duke University Medical Center. Her research interest focuses on the humoral immune response following virus infection or vaccination. During the past decade, she has worked intensively on the specificity and breadth of binding antibody responses against HIV.

Dr. Shen’s team developed assays and analytical tools for a peptide microarray assay for finely mapping of HIV-1 cross-subtype linear epitopes targeted by antibody responses in human specimens as well as animal models, and adopted a multiplex binding antibody assay for evaluating binding antibody responses. With these technologies, her team evaluated various clinical HIV-1 vaccine studies and NHP studies. Building upon the data generated by her team and other collaborators, Dr. Shen works with bioinformatics and biostatistics personnel on deciphering immune correlates in both human clinical trials and nonhuman primate studies. During the COVID-19 pandemic, her team expanded their research to SARS-COV-2 antibody responses.

In 2021, Dr. Shen became the Deputy Director of the Laboratory for HIV and COVID-19 Vaccine Research & Development, alongside Laboratory Director Dr. Montefiori.  The laboratory established a lentivirus-based pseudovirus SARS-CoV-2 neutralization assay that has been FDA-approved. The laboratory is assessing neutralizing antibody responses for multiple phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trials. In addition to supporting clinical trials, the lab has a strong focus on characterizing SARS-CoV-2 variants for their neutralizing susceptibility and potential to escape from vaccine-elicited immune responses.

Meanwhile, Dr. Shen’s team remains highly active in HIV-1 vaccine research, evaluating neutralizing responses in preclinical and clinical HIV vaccine trials as a core laboratory for multiple networks including the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN), the Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery (CAVD) funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as the NIH Nonhuman Primate Core Humoral Immunology Laboratory for AIDS Vaccine which Dr. Shen directs.

Denny

Thomas Norton Denny

Professor in Medicine

Thomas N. Denny, MSc, M.Phil, is the Chief Operating Officer of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI), Associate Dean for Duke Research and Discovery @RTP, and a Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine at Duke University Medical Center. He is also an Affiliate Member of the Duke Global Health Institute. Previously, he served on the Health Sector Advisory Council of the Duke University Fuquay School of Business. Prior to joining Duke, he was an Associate Professor of Pathology, Laboratory Medicine and Pediatrics, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine and Community Health and Assistant Dean for Research in Health Policy at the New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey. He has served on numerous committees for the NIH over the last two decades and currently is the principal investigator of an NIH portfolio in excess of 65 million dollars. Mr. Denny was a 2002-2003 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (IOM). As a fellow, he served on the US Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee with legislation/policy responsibilities in global AIDS, bioterrorism, clinical trials/human subject protection and vaccine related-issues.

As the Chief Operating Officer of the DHVI, Mr. Denny has senior oversight of the DHVI research portfolio and the units/teams that support the DHVI mission. He has extensive international experience and previously was a consultant to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) project to oversee the development of an HIV and Public Health Center of Excellence laboratory network in Guyana. In September 2004, the IOM appointed him as a consultant to their Board on Global Health Committee studying the options for overseas placement of U.S. health professionals and the development of an assessment plan for activities related to the 2003 PEPFAR legislative act. In the 1980s, Mr. Denny helped establish a small laboratory in the Republic of Kalmykia (former Soviet Union) to improve the care of children with HIV/AIDS and served as a Board Member of the Children of Chernobyl Relief Fund Foundation. In 2005, Mr. Denny was named a consulting medical/scientific officer to the WHO Global AIDS Program in Geneva. He has also served as program reviewers for the governments of the Netherlands and South Africa as well as an advisor to several U.S. biotech companies. He currently serves as the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board for Grid Biosciences.

Mr. Denny has authored and co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed papers and serves on the editorial board of Communications in Cytometry and Journal of Clinical Virology. He holds an M.Sc in Molecular and Biomedical Immunology from the University of East London and a degree in Medical Law (M.Phil) from the Institute of Law and Ethics in Medicine, School of Law, University of Glasgow. In 1991, he completed a course of study in Strategic Management at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. In 1993, he completed the Program for Advanced Training in Biomedical Research Management at Harvard School of Public Health. In December 2005, he was inducted as a Fellow into the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the oldest medical society in the US.

While living in New Jersey, Mr. Denny was active in his community, gaining additional experience from two publicly elected positions. In 2000, Mr. Denny was selected by the New Jersey League of Municipalities to Chair the New Jersey Community Mental Health Citizens’ Advisory Board and Mental Health Planning Council as a gubernatorial appointment.

Wiehe

Kevin J Wiehe

Norman L. Letvin Associate Professor in Medicine

Dr. Kevin Wiehe is the associate director of research, director of computational biology and co-director of the Quantitative Research Division at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI). He has over 20 years of experience in the field of computational biology and has expertise in computational structural biology, computational genomics, and computational immunology.

For the past decade, he has applied his unique background to developing computational approaches for studying the B cell response in both the infection and vaccination settings. He has utilized his expertise in computational structural biology to structurally model and characterize HIV and influenza antibody recognition. Dr. Wiehe has utilized his expertise in computational genomics and computational immunology to develop software to analyze large scale next generation sequencing data of antibody repertoires as well as develop computational programs for estimating antibody mutation probabilities. Dr. Wiehe has shown that low probability antibody mutations can act as rate-limiting steps in the development of broadly neutralizing antibodies in HIV.

Through his PhD, postdoc work, and now his roles at DHVI, Dr. Wiehe always approaches the analysis and the scientific discovery process from a structural biology perspective. Supporting the Duke Center for HIV Structural Biology (DCHSB), Dr. Wiehe will conduct antibody sequence analysis for antibodies used in computational and molecular modeling analyses conducted.

Williams

Wilton Bryan Williams

Associate Professor in Surgery

Dr. Williams completed a PhD in Biomedical Sciences (Immunology and Microbiology) from the University of Florida and did his postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Dr. Barton Haynes at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI).

The key goals of HIV vaccine development are to define the host-virus events during natural HIV infection that lead to the induction of broadly neutralizing antibodies, and to recreate those events with a vaccine. As a junior faculty member in the DHVI, Dr. Williams is further characterizing SHIV non-human primate models for HIV infection, and evaluates B cell responses to HIV-1 vaccination in humans and non-human primates.


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