July 19, 2019  |  

Multiplexed highly-accurate DNA sequencing of closely-related HIV-1 variants using continuous long reads from single molecule, real-time sequencing.

Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT(®)) Sequencing (Pacific Biosciences, Menlo Park, CA, USA) provides the longest continuous DNA sequencing reads currently available. However, the relatively high error rate in the raw read data requires novel analysis methods to deconvolute sequences derived from complex samples. Here, we present a workflow of novel computer algorithms able to reconstruct viral variant genomes present in mixtures with an accuracy of >QV50. This approach relies exclusively on Continuous Long Reads (CLR), which are the raw reads generated during SMRT Sequencing. We successfully implement this workflow for simultaneous sequencing of mixtures containing up to forty different >9 kb HIV-1 full genomes. This was achieved using a single SMRT Cell for each mixture and desktop computing power. This novel approach opens the possibility of solving complex sequencing tasks that currently lack a solution. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

July 19, 2019  |  

Heterosexual transmission of subtype C HIV-1 selects consensus-like variants without increased replicative capacity or interferon-a resistance.

Heterosexual transmission of HIV-1 is characterized by a genetic bottleneck that selects a single viral variant, the transmitted/founder (TF), during most transmission events. To assess viral characteristics influencing HIV-1 transmission, we sequenced 167 near full-length viral genomes and generated 40 infectious molecular clones (IMC) including TF variants and multiple non-transmitted (NT) HIV-1 subtype C variants from six linked heterosexual transmission pairs near the time of transmission. Consensus-like genomes sensitive to donor antibodies were selected for during transmission in these six transmission pairs. However, TF variants did not demonstrate increased viral fitness in terms of particle infectivity or viral replicative capacity in activated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MDDC). In addition, resistance of the TF variant to the antiviral effects of interferon-a (IFN-a) was not significantly different from that of non-transmitted variants from the same transmission pair. Thus neither in vitro viral replicative capacity nor IFN-a resistance discriminated the transmission potential of viruses in the quasispecies of these chronically infected individuals. However, our findings support the hypothesis that within-host evolution of HIV-1 in response to adaptive immune responses reduces viral transmission potential.

July 19, 2019  |  

Towards better precision medicine: PacBio single-molecule long reads resolve the interpretation of HIV drug resistant mutation profiles at explicit quasispecies (haplotype) level.

Development of HIV-1 drug resistance mutations (HDRMs) is one of the major reasons for the clinical failure of antiretroviral therapy. Treatment success rates can be improved by applying personalized anti-HIV regimens based on a patient’s HDRM profile. However, the sensitivity and specificity of the HDRM profile is limited by the methods used for detection. Sanger-based sequencing technology has traditionally been used for determining HDRM profiles at the single nucleotide variant (SNV) level, but with a sensitivity of only = 20% in the HIV population of a patient. Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies offer greater detection sensitivity (~ 1%) and larger scope (hundreds of samples per run). However, NGS technologies produce reads that are too short to enable the detection of the physical linkages of individual SNVs across the haplotype of each HIV strain present. In this article, we demonstrate that the single-molecule long reads generated using the Third Generation Sequencer (TGS), PacBio RS II, along with the appropriate bioinformatics analysis method, can resolve the HDRM profile at a more advanced quasispecies level. The case studies on patients’ HIV samples showed that the quasispecies view produced using the PacBio method offered greater detection sensitivity and was more comprehensive for understanding HDRM situations, which is complement to both Sanger and NGS technologies. In conclusion, the PacBio method, providing a promising new quasispecies level of HDRM profiling, may effect an important change in the field of HIV drug resistance research.

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