Heightened resistance to type 1 interferons characterizes HIV-1 at transmission and following analytical treatment interruption
Gondim MVP., Sherrill-Mix S., Bibollet-Ruche F., Russell RM., Trimboli S., Smith AG., Li Y., Liu W., Avitto AN., DeVoto J., Connell J., Fenton-May AE., Pellegrino P., Williams I., Papasavvas E., Lorenzi JCC., Salantes DB., Mampe F., Monroy MA., Cohen YZ., Heath S., Saag MS., Montaner LJ., Collman RG., Siliciano JM., Siliciano RF., Plenderleith L., Sharp PM., Caskey M., Nussenzweig MC., Shaw GM., Borrow P., Bar KJ., Hahn BH.
AbstractType 1 interferons (IFN-I) are potent innate antiviral effectors that constrain HIV-1 transmission. However, harnessing these cytokines for HIV-1 cure strategies has been hampered by an incomplete understanding of their anti-viral activities at later stages of infection. Here, we characterized the IFN-I sensitivity of 500 clonally-derived HIV-1 isolates from plasma and CD4+ T cells of 26 individuals sampled longitudinally following transmission and/or after antiretroviral therapy (ART) and analytical treatment interruption (ATI). Determining the concentration of IFNα2 and IFNβ that reduced HIV-1 replication by 50% (IC50), we found remarkably consistent changes in the sensitivity of viruses to IFN-I inhibition, both across individuals and over time. IFN-I resistance was uniformly high during acute infection, decreased in all subjects in the first year post-infection, was reacquired concomitant with CD4+ T cell loss, and remained elevated in subjects with accelerated disease. Isolates obtained by viral outgrowth during suppressive ART were relatively IFN-I sensitive, resembling viruses circulating just prior to ART initiation. However, viruses that rebounded following treatment interruption displayed the highest levels of IFNα2 and IFNβ resistance observed at any time during the infection course. These findings indicate a dynamic interplay between host innate immune responses and the evolving HIV-1 quasispecies, with the relative contribution of IFN-I to HIV-1 control impacted by both ART and ATI. Although elevated at transmission, IFN-mediated pressures are the highest during viral rebound, limiting the viruses that successfully reactivate from latency.One Sentence SummaryHIV-1 resistance to IFN-I is highest during acute infection and following analytic treatment interruption, indicating a dynamic interplay between host innate immunity and virus biology.