Analysis of Dominant HIV Quasispecies Suggests Independent Viral Evolution Within Spinal Granulomas Coinfected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and HIV-1 Subtype C. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, : doi:10.1089/aid.2015.0189 (2016).

Publication Latest Publications

Title: Analysis of Dominant HIV Quasispecies Suggests Independent Viral Evolution Within Spinal Granulomas Coinfected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and HIV-1 Subtype C
Authors: Danaviah S, de Oliveira T, Gordon M, Govender S, Chelule P, Pillay S, Naicker T, Cassol S, Ndung'u T.
Journal: AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses,:doi:10.1089/aid.2015.0189 (2016)

Journal Impact Factor (I.F.): 2.457
Number of citations (Google Scholar): 1


Extrapulmonary tuberculosis (TB) is a significant public health challenge in South Africa and worldwide, largely fuelled by the HIV epidemic. In spinal TB, Mycobacteria infect the spinal column without dissemination to the spinal cord. The immune microenvironment, target cell characteristics, and other evolutionary forces within granulomas during HIV/TB coinfection are poorly characterized.

We investigated whether spinal TB granulomas represent a sequestered anatomical site where independent HIV evolution occurs, and assessed the role of macrophages as a target cell for both HIV and mycobacteria. RNA was extracted from plasma and granulomatous tissue from six antiretroviral-naive HIV-1/spinal TB-coinfected patients, RT-PCR amplified, and the C2-V5 env segment was cloned and sequenced. Analysis of genetic diversity, phylogeny and coalescence patterns was performed on clonal sequences. To investigate their role in HIV sequestration, macrophages and the HIV-1 p24 protein were immune localized and ultrastructural features were studied.

Intercompartment diversity measurements and phylogenetic reconstruction revealed anatomically distinct monophyletic HIV-1 clusters in four of six patients. Genotypic CCR5-tropic variants were predominant (98.9%) with conservation of putative N-linked glycosylation sites in both compartments. CD68+ reactivity was associated with higher tissue viral load (r=1.0; p<0.01) but not greater intrapatient diversity (r=0.60; p>0.05). Ultrastructural imaging revealed the presence of bacterial and virus-like particles within membrane-bound intracellular compartments of macrophages. Spinal tuberculosis granulomas may form anatomically discreet sites of divergent viral evolution. Macrophages in these granulomas harbored both pathogens, suggesting that they may facilitate the process of viral sequestration within this compartment.

Impact of point-of-care Xpert MTB/RIF on tuberculosis treatment initiation: a cluster randomised trial
Journal: Am J Respir Crit Care Med (2017)

Hyperbilirubinemia in atazanavir-treated human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients: the impact of the UGT1A1*28 allele
Journal: Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine (2017)

Rates of virological suppression and drug resistance in adult HIV-1-positive patients attending primary healthcare facilities in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Journal: Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (2017)
All publications...

KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP), K-RITH Tower Building, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, UKZN

Contact: Prof. Tulio de Oliveira, Tel: +27 31 260 4898, Email: &

Page design updated 2013. Many of the pages were previously hosted at