Aaron Diamond Research Center

New York City, NY, United States

Aaron Diamond Research Center

New York City, NY, United States
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Ghose C.,Aaron Diamond Research Center | Kelly C.P.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Infectious Disease Clinics of North America | Year: 2015

Clostridium difficile is a spore-forming anaerobic gram-positive organism that is the leading cause of antibiotic-associated nosocomial infectious diarrhea in the Western world. This article describes the evolving epidemiology of C difficile infection (CDI) in the twenty-first century, evaluates the importance of vaccines against the disease, and defines the roles of both innate and adaptive host immune responses in CDI. The effects of passive immunotherapy and active vaccination against CDI in both humans and animals are also discussed. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

Prada N.,Aaron Diamond Research Center | Markowitz M.,Aaron Diamond Research Center
Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs | Year: 2010

Importance of the field: Integrase inhibitors are the newest class of antiretroviral agents developed to treat HIV-1 infection. Raltegravir (RAL), the only integrase inhibitor (INI) currently approved for the treatment of HIV-infected patients, has proven to be a potent and well-tolerated antiretroviral (ARV) agent. It is currently approved and used for the treatment of both ARV-experienced and ARV-naive patients. Nevertheless, the relatively low genetic barrier for resistance of RAL encourages the search for new INIs with different mechanisms of actions and resistance profiles. Areas covered in this review: Here we review the data available about INI that are currently being tested in clinical trials or are in preclinical development: elvitegravir (EVG), S/GSK1349572, S/GSK1265744 and LEDGINs. We focus on their clinical efficacy, pharmacokinetic, safety and resistance profiles. What the reader will gain: Up-to-date overview on the currently available, clinically relevant INIs and promising preclinical inhibitors at all phases of development. Take home message: Integrase inhibitors represent the newest therapeutic class available to treat HIV-1 infection. There are a variety of compounds either available in the clinic (RAL), advancing to Phase III trials (EVG), or in earlier phases of development. Taken together, this class offers new treatment options for the HIV-infected individual. © 2010 Informa UK, Ltd.

Ghose C.,Aaron Diamond Research Center
Emerging Microbes and Infections | Year: 2013

Clostridium difficile is a spore-forming gram-positive bacillus, and the leading cause of antibiotic-Associated nosocomial diarrhea and colitis in the industrialized world. With the emergence of a hypervirulent strain of C. difficile (BI/NAP1/027), the epidemiology of C. difficile infection has rapidly changed in the last decade. C. difficile infection, once thought to be an easy to treat bacterial infection, has evolved into an epidemic that is associated with a high rate of mortality, causing disease in patients thought to be low-risk. In this review, we discuss the changing face of C.difficile infection and the novel treatment and prevention strategies needed to halt this ever growing epidemic.

Vasan S.,Aaron Diamond Research Center | Vasan S.,Rockefeller University | Tsuji M.,Aaron Diamond Research Center
Seminars in Immunology | Year: 2010

NKT cells are known to play a role against certain microbial infections, including malaria and HIV, two major global infectious diseases. NKT cells exhibit either protective or pathogenic role against malaria. They are depleted by HIV infection and have a direct pathogenic role against many opportunistic infections common in end-stage AIDS. This review discusses the various features of the interaction between NKT cells and malaria parasites and HIV, and the potential to harness this interaction for therapeutic and vaccine strategies. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Niewiadomska A.M.,Aaron Diamond Research Center | Gifford R.J.,Aaron Diamond Research Center
PLoS Biology | Year: 2013

The reticuloendotheliosis viruses (REVs) comprise several closely related amphotropic retroviruses isolated from birds. These viruses exhibit several highly unusual characteristics that have not so far been adequately explained, including their extremely close relationship to mammalian retroviruses, and their presence as endogenous sequences within the genomes of certain large DNA viruses. We present evidence for an iatrogenic origin of REVs that accounts for these phenomena. Firstly, we identify endogenous retroviral fossils in mammalian genomes that share a unique recombinant structure with REVs-unequivocally demonstrating that REVs derive directly from mammalian retroviruses. Secondly, through sequencing of archived REV isolates, we confirm that contaminated Plasmodium lophurae stocks have been the source of multiple REV outbreaks in experimentally infected birds. Finally, we show that both phylogenetic and historical evidence support a scenario wherein REVs originated as mammalian retroviruses that were accidentally introduced into avian hosts in the late 1930s, during experimental studies of P. lophurae, and subsequently integrated into the fowlpox virus (FWPV) and gallid herpesvirus type 2 (GHV-2) genomes, generating recombinant DNA viruses that now circulate in wild birds and poultry. Our findings provide a novel perspective on the origin and evolution of REV, and indicate that horizontal gene transfer between virus families can expand the impact of iatrogenic transmission events. © 2013 Niewiadomska, Gifford.

Henning M.S.,Aaron Diamond Research Center | Dubose B.N.,Aaron Diamond Research Center | Burse M.J.,Vanderbilt University | Aiken C.,Vanderbilt University | Yamashita M.,Aaron Diamond Research Center
PLoS Pathogens | Year: 2014

The host protein CPSF6 possesses a domain that can interact with the HIV-1 capsid (CA) protein. CPSF6 has been implicated in regulating HIV-1 nuclear entry. However, its functional significance for HIV-1 replication has yet to be firmly established. Here we provide evidence for two divergent functions of CPSF6 for HIV-1 replication in vivo. We demonstrate that endogenous CPSF6 exerts an inhibitory effect on naturally occurring HIV-1 variants in individuals carrying the HLA-B27 allele. Conversely, we find a strong selective pressure in these individuals to preserve CPSF6 binding, while escaping from the restrictive activity by CPSF6. This active maintenance of CPSF6 binding during HIV-1 CA evolution in vivo contrasts with the in vitro viral evolution, which can reduce CPSF6 binding to evade from CPSF6-mediated restriction. Thus, these observations argue for a beneficial role of CPSF6 for HIV-1 in vivo. CPSF6-mediated restriction renders HIV-1 less dependent or independent from TNPO3, RanBP2 and Nup153, host factors implicated in HIV-1 nuclear entry. However, viral evolution that maintains CPSF6 binding in HLA-B27+ subjects invariably restores the ability to utilize these host factors, which may be the major selective pressure for CPSF6 binding in vivo. Our study uncovers two opposing CA-dependent functions of CPSF6 in HIV-1 replication in vivo; however, the benefit for binding CPSF6 appears to outweigh the cost, providing support for a vital function of CPSF6 during HIV-1 replication in vivo. © 2014 Henning et al.

We conducted a Phase I dose-escalation trial of ADMVA, a Clade-B'/C-based HIV-1 candidate vaccine expressing env, gag, pol, nef, and tat in a modified vaccinia Ankara viral vector. Sequences were derived from a prevalent circulating HIV-1 recombinant form in Yunnan, China, an area of high HIV incidence. The objective was to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of ADMVA in human volunteers. ADMVA or placebo was administered intramuscularly at months 0, 1 and 6 to 50 healthy adult volunteers not at high risk for HIV-1. In each dosage group [1x10(7) (low), 5x10(7) (mid), or 2.5x10(8) pfu (high)] volunteers were randomized in a 3:1 ratio to receive ADMVA or placebo in a double-blinded design. Subjects were followed for local and systemic reactogenicity, adverse events including cardiac adverse events, and clinical laboratory parameters. Study follow up was 18 months. Humoral immunogenicity was evaluated by anti-gp120 binding ELISA, immunoflourescent staining, and HIV-1 neutralization. Cellular immunogenicity was assessed by a validated IFNgamma ELISpot assay and intracellular cytokine staining. Anti-vaccinia binding titers were measured by ELISA. ADMVA was generally well-tolerated, with no vaccine-related serious adverse events or cardiac adverse events. Local or systemic reactogenicity events were reported by 77% and 78% of volunteers, respectively. The majority of events were of mild intensity. The IFNgamma ELISpot response rate to any HIV antigen was 0/12 (0%) in the placebo group, 3/12 (25%) in the low dosage group, 6/12 (50%) in the mid dosage group, and 8/13 (62%) in the high dosage group. Responses were often multigenic and occasionally persisted up to one year post vaccination. Antibodies to gp120 were detected in 0/12 (0%), 8/13 (62%), 6/12 (50%) and 10/13 (77%) in the placebo, low, mid, and high dosage groups, respectively. Antibodies persisted up to 12 months after vaccination, with a trend toward agreement with the ability to neutralize HIV-1 SF162 in vitro. Two volunteers mounted antibodies that were able to neutralize clade-matched viruses. ADMVA was well-tolerated and elicited durable humoral and cellular immune responses. Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00252148.

Gifford R.J.,Aaron Diamond Research Center
Trends in Genetics | Year: 2012

Lentiviruses are a distinctive genus of retroviruses that cause chronic, persistent infections in mammals, including humans. The emergence of pandemic HIV type-1 (HIV-1) infection during the late 20th century shaped a view of lentiviruses as 'modern' viruses. However, recent research has revealed an entirely different perspective, elucidating aspects of an evolutionary relationship with mammals that extends across many millions of years. Such deep evolutionary history is likely to be typical of many host-virus systems, fundamentally underpinning their interactions in the present day. For this reason, establishing the deep history of virus and host interaction is key to developing a fully informed approach to tackling viral diseases. Here, I use the example of lentiviruses to illustrate how paleovirological, geographic and genetic calibrations allow observations of virus and host interaction across a wide range of temporal and spatial scales to be integrated into a coherent ecological and evolutionary framework. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Katzourakis A.,University of Oxford | Gifford R.J.,Aaron Diamond Research Center
PLoS Genetics | Year: 2010

Integration into the nuclear genome of germ line cells can lead to vertical inheritance of retroviral genes as host alleles. For other viruses, germ line integration has only rarely been documented. Nonetheless, we identified endogenous viral elements (EVEs) derived from ten non-retroviral families by systematic in silico screening of animal genomes, including the first endogenous representatives of double-stranded RNA, reverse-transcribing DNA, and segmented RNA viruses, and the first endogenous DNA viruses in mammalian genomes. Phylogenetic and genomic analysis of EVEs across multiple host species revealed novel information about the origin and evolution of diverse virus groups. Furthermore, several of the elements identified here encode intact open reading frames or are expressed as mRNA. For one element in the primate lineage, we provide statistically robust evidence for exaptation. Our findings establish that genetic material derived from all known viral genome types and replication strategies can enter the animal germ line, greatly broadening the scope of paleovirological studies and indicating a more significant evolutionary role for gene flow from virus to animal genomes than has previously been recognized. © 2010 Katzourakis, Gifford.

Tsuji M.,Aaron Diamond Research Center
Experimental Parasitology | Year: 2010

Due to the fact that the life cycle of malaria parasites is complex, undergoing both an extracellular and intracellular phases in its host, the human immune system has to mobilize both the humoral and cellular arms of immune responses to fight against this parasitic infection. Whereas humoral immunity is directed toward the extracellular stages which include sporozoites and merozoites, cell-mediated immunity (CMI), in which T cells play a major role, targets hepatic stages - liver stages - of the parasites. In this review, the role of T cells in protective immunity against liver stages of the malaria infection is being re-evaluated. Furthermore, this review intends to address how to translate the findings regarding the role of T cells obtained in experimental systems to actual development of malaria vaccine for humans. © 2009 Elsevier Inc.

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