Epidemiology and transversal research
In addition to general medical activities within the department of virology of the Bordeaux Pellegrin Hospital, our team is involved epidemiologic studies and translational researches. In parallel to regular SANGER sequencing, we developed state of the art sequencing technics [ultra-deep pyrosequencing (UDPS)] that are also used in basic research projects. This expertise is used to monitor the emergence of resistance mutations associated with treatment failures (Laboratoire certifié OMS) but also to study HIV-1 evolution over time and locations. For example, we studied the prevalence of CRF06_cpx in Algeria (Abdellaziz et al, 2016), HIV-1 diversity among patients in Brazil and in Aquitaine (Alves BM et al, 2019; Tumiotto et al, 2018) leading to the discovery and characterization of a novel variant, CRF98_cpx (Recordon-Pinson et al, 2018).
Development of a vaccine
The Provir/Latitude 45 project was initiated by Pr. Hervé Fleury in 2011 and is funded in part by MSDAvenir.
The aim of this study was to identify conserved HIV-1 CTL epitopes to develop a curative vaccine in patients according to their HLA alleles A and B. The study group was composed of patients close to primary infection and under suppressive HIV therapy from Bordeaux and latter on extended to patients from Montreal (Papuchon J et al, 2014). To access to minority variants data, we improved our analysis using NGS technology on proviral DNA (Tumiotto C et al, 2017). Thanks to a collaboration with Brazilian colleagues, we managed to design a multi-epitope CTL vaccine (Tumiotto C et al, 2019) that is currently tested by ELISpot (enzyme-linked immunospot) assay using samples from HIV infected patients under antiretroviral therapy. Finally, we showed that the specific CTL epitopes expressed in plasma are conserved in the gut compartment (Recordon-Pinson et al submitted).