Detection of protein homolougs with HIV-1 antigens in bacteria of positive patients - phase II.

OBJECTIVES: Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 is widely accepted as the cause of AIDS (Acquires Immunodeficiency Syndrome) but it is necessary to consider other factors, not only HIV, which may be involved in AIDS process. It is apparent that a viral reservoir persists in virtually all infected individuals receiving HAART. Reservoirs were detected in macrophages and other cells of the blood system, in which even very effective HAART was not able to eliminate the virus. Over the last period of time AIDS research has been focused on the gut and other mucosal tissue as the major site of HIV infection and CD4+ T cells loss. Intestinal bacteria and cells associated with GIT are in close vicinity and so has been raised the idea that bacteria may be involved in AIDS pathogenesis. Matherial/Methods: Bacteria and yeast isolated from a cohort of 67 Cambodian and Kenyan HIV positive children and from a cohort of 62 Slovak and American AIDS patients were analyzed for detection of expression of HIV-1 antigens p17, p24, p55, gp41 and gp120 (Abcam, UK).

RESULTS: By monoclonal antibodies against HIV-1 proteins p17 and p55 was detected protein with molecular weight of 45-55 kDa. In samples of Cambodian and Kenyan HIV positive children was found 35 kDa protein using MAb against HIV-specific protein p17. By using MAbs against p24 was found protein of 55-60 kDa in Cambodian and Kenyan samples but, suprisingly, no proteins were detected in bacterial extracts of American and Slovak AIDS patients by this MAbs. Using monoclonal antibodies against HIV-1 specific protein gp41 was positive signal identified in 30-35% of samples from both cohorts of patients from Kenya and Cambodia and in 75% of samples from American and Slovak patients. The protein of about 75-85 kDa was detected by MAbs against gp120 only in protein extracts obtained from yeasts Candida sp. of Cambodian and Kenyan HIV positive children.

CONCLUSION: The molecular weight of 55 kDa protein was detected by MAbs anti HIV p24, p17+p55. Its molecular weight is comparable to gag-encoded Pr55Gag precursor. Surprisingly, such proteins were not found in bacterial extract from samples of American and Slovak patients by using the MAbs against HIV-specific protein p24. The protein of about 75-85 kDa was detected only in Candida species protein extracts of Cambodian and Kenyan HIV positive children by the MAbs against gp120. In Slovak and American samples, protein reacting with MAbs anti gp120 was not found. These results suggest that there are specific differences between Slovak and American HIV positive patients bacterial proteins on one side and Cambodian and Kenyan on the other. These differences may suggest a diverse bacterial evolution in various geographical areas.

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