Basic Science Programme / HIV dual infection studies

Lead Research Organisation: MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS

Abstract

The immune system of individuals infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS, usually reacts with the development of immune cells and the production of antibodies that are directed against HIV. This immune reaction does not normally protect the infected individual from disease, but it may potentially protect the patient from infection with another strain of HIV (super infection). In Africa, it is not known how often infection with two different strains of HIV occurs (dual infection), and to what extent this dual infection happens simultaneously or subsequently (after development of an immune response against the first strain). The information is of interest from epidemiological, virological and immunological points of view, and may be important in the context of designing an effective HIV vaccine.

Technical Summary

The project aims to develop and apply new assays to detect inter- and intra- subtype dual infection (both simultaneous co-infection and consecutive super-infection) to determine the prevalence of dual infection within the population of the Rural Clinical Cohort.||Based on archived blood samples from HIV infected participants of the Rural Clinical Cohort (RCC) in Masaka District and of the Good Health for Women Project (GHWP) in Kampala, the Heteroduplex Mobility Assay (HMA), molecular cloning and viral sequencing will be employed to identify and study specimens from this cohort that show dual HIV infection and infection with recombinant viruses. Single genome amplified (SGA) env-V1-V4 genes will be used to map recombination breakpoints with the help of SimPlot software. The RCC is an open cohort that has been established at one of MRC Uganda s field stations and followed for 20 years. The GHWP is a cohort of women at high risk of HIV recruited in a red light area of Kampala.
 
Description EDCTP
Amount £30,000 (GBP)
Organisation World Health Organization (WHO) 
Sector Public
Country Global
Start 02/2007 
End 01/2009
 
Description EDCTP
Amount £200,000 (GBP)
Organisation Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) 
Department European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership
Sector Public
Country Netherlands
Start 04/2007 
End 03/2009
 
Description Dual and superinfection studies 
Organisation University of Alabama at Birmingham
Department School of Medicine
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Generation of ideas and Proposal writting Looking for external funding Supervision
Collaborator Contribution Training Supervision of studentsTraining Supervision of students Paper manuscripts
Impact Training Supervision External funding
Start Year 2008
 
Description Dual and superinfection studies 
Organisation University of Cape Town
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Generation of ideas and Proposal writting Looking for external funding Supervision
Collaborator Contribution Training Supervision of studentsTraining Supervision of students Paper manuscripts
Impact Training Supervision External funding
Start Year 2008
 
Description Conference presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Type Of Presentation Paper Presentation
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact This was an international conference attended by many international delegates

Questions from audience
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Dual infection 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact Our staff involved have presented the results of thesew studies at various international meetings

More Unit visibility and recognition. We are now collaborating with other partners working in related areas
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Present at ministry and media 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact There was a lot of interest in our results showing that superinfection does occur and hence need to educate even those already infected.

This is changing the messages about prevention in the HIV positives
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010