HIV-1 coreceptor usage and CXCR4-specific viral load predict clinical disease progression during combination antiretroviral therapy

Barbara Weiser, Sean Philpott, Thomas Klimkait, Harold Burger, Christina Kitchen, Philippe Bürgisser, Meri Gorgievski, Luc Perrin, Jean Claude Piffaretti, Bruno Ledergerber, C. Aebi, M. Battegay, E. Bernasconi, J. Böni, H. Bucher, Ph Bürgisser, A. Calmy, S. Cattacin, M. Cavassini, J. CheseauxR. Dubs, M. Egger, L. Elzi, P. Erb, M. Fischer, M. Flepp, A. Fontana, P. Francioli, H. Furrer, A. Gayet-Ageron, S. Gerber, M. Gorgievski, C. Grawe, H. Günthard, T. Gyr, H. Hirsch, B. Hirschel, I. Hösli, Ch Kahlert, L. Kaiser, U. Karrer, O. Keiser, C. Kind, Th Klimkait, B. Ledergerber, G. Martinetti, B. Martinez De Tejada, N. Müller, D. Nadal, M. Opravil, F. Paccaud, G. Pantaleo, L. Perrin, S. Regenass, M. Rickenbach, C. Rudin, P. Schmid, D. Schultze, J. Schüpbach, R. Speck, P. Taffé, P. Tarr, A. Telenti, A. Trkola, Y. Vallet, P. Vernazza, A. Wechsler, R. Weber, D. Wunder, C. Wyler, S. Yerly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Although combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) dramatically reduces rates of AIDS and death, a minority of patients experience clinical disease progression during treatment. OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether detection of CXCR4(X4)-specific strains or quantification of X4-specific HIV-1 load predict clinical outcome. METHODS: From the Swiss HIV Cohort Study, 96 participants who initiated cART yet subsequently progressed to AIDS or death were compared with 84 contemporaneous, treated nonprogressors. A sensitive heteroduplex tracking assay was developed to quantify plasma X4 and CCR5 variants and resolve HIV-1 load into coreceptor-specific components. Measurements were analyzed as cofactors of progression in multivariable Cox models adjusted for concurrent CD4 cell count and total viral load, applying inverse probability weights to adjust for sampling bias. RESULTS: Patients with X4 variants at baseline displayed reduced CD4 cell responses compared with those without X4 strains (40 versus 82 cells/μl; P = 0.012). The adjusted multivariable hazard ratio (HR) for clinical progression was 4.8 [95% confidence interval (CI) 2.3-10.0] for those demonstrating X4 strains at baseline. The X4-specific HIV-1 load was a similarly independent predictor, with HR values of 3.7 (95% CI, 1.2-11.3) and 5.9 (95% CI, 2.2-15.0) for baseline loads of 2.2-4.3 and > 4.3 log10 copies/ml, respectively, compared with < 2.2 log10 copies/ml. CONCLUSIONS: HIV-1 coreceptor usage and X4-specific viral loads strongly predicted disease progression during cART, independent of and in addition to CD4 cell count or total viral load. Detection and quantification of X4 strains promise to be clinically useful biomarkers to guide patient management and study HIV-1 pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-479
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • AIDS
  • Antiretroviral therapy
  • CCR5
  • CXCR4
  • Heteroduplex tracking assay
  • HIV-1 tropism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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