Hierarchical Clustering and Trajectory Analyses Reveal Viremia-Independent B-Cell Perturbations in HIV-2 Infection

Emil Johansson, Priscilla F. Kerkman, Lydia Scharf, Jacob Lindman, Zsófia I. Szojka, Fredrik Månsson, Antonio Biague, Patrik Medstrand, Hans Norrgren, Marcus Buggert, Annika C. Karlsson, Mattias N.E. Forsell, Joakim Esbjörnsson, Marianne Jansson, SWEGUB CORE group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Time to AIDS in HIV-2 infection is approximately twice as long compared to in HIV-1 infection. Despite reduced viremia, HIV-2-infected individuals display signs of chronic immune activation. In HIV-1-infected individuals, B-cell hyperactivation is driven by continuous antigen exposure. However, the contribution of viremia to B-cell perturbations in HIV-2-infected individuals remains largely unexplored. Here, we used polychromatic flow cytometry, consensus hierarchical clustering and pseudotime trajectory inference to characterize B-cells in HIV-1- or HIV-2-infected and in HIV seronegative individuals. We observed increased frequencies of clusters containing hyperactivated T-bethighCD95highCD27int and proliferating T-bet+CD95highCD27+CD71+ memory B-cells in viremic HIV-1 (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001, respectively), viremic HIV-2 (p < 0.001 and p = 0.014, respectively) and in treatment-naïve aviremic HIV-2 (p = 0.004 and p = 0.020, respectively)-infected individuals, compared to seronegative individuals. In contrast, these expansions were not observed in successfully treated HIV-1-infected individuals. Finally, pseudotime trajectory inference showed that T-bet-expressing hyperactivated and proliferating memory B-cell populations were located at the terminal end of two trajectories, in both HIV-1 and HIV-2 infections. As the treatment-naïve aviremic HIV-2-infected individuals, but not the successfully ART-treated HIV-1-infected individuals, showed B-cell perturbations, our data suggest that aviremic HIV-2-infected individuals would also benefit from antiretroviral treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3142
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Oct

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Infectious Medicine

Free keywords

  • B-cell phenotype
  • CD95
  • HIV-1
  • HIV-2
  • immune perturbations
  • T-bet
  • viremia


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