Immunological profiles of immune restoration disease presenting as mycobacterial lymphadenitis and cryptococcal meningitis
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Objectives: A proportion of HIV patients beginning antiretroviral therapy (ART) develop immune restoration disease (IRD). Immunological characteristics of IRD were investigated in a cohort of HIV patients beginning therapy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Methods: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were collected at weeks 0, 6, 12, 24 and 48 of ART from five patients experiencing IRD [two with cryptococcal and three with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) disease], eight non-IRD controls who had begun ART with CD4 T-cell counts of <100 cells/µL and 17 healthy controls. Leukocytes producing interferon-gamma (IFN?) were quantified by enzyme-linked immunospot assay after stimulation with purified protein derivative (PPD), early secretory antigenic target-6 (ESAT-6), Cryptococcus neoformans or Cytomegalovirus antigens. Plasma immunoglobulin (IgG) antibodies reactive with these antigens were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Proportions of activated (HLA-DRhi) and regulatory (CD25 CD127lo and CTLA-4+) CD4 T-cells were quantified by flow cytometry. Results: Plasma HIV RNA declined andCD4 T-cell counts rose within 8-27 weeks on ART. Mtb IRD patients displayed elevated IFN? responses and/or plasma IgG to PPD, but none responded to ESAT-6. Cryptococcal IRD occurred in patients with low baseline CD4 T-cell counts and involved clear IFN? and antibody responses to cryptococcal antigen. Proportions of activated and regulatory CD4 T-cells declined on ART, but remained higher in patients than in healthy controls. At the time of IRD, proportions of activated CD4 T-cells and regulatory CD4 T-cells were generally elevated relative to other patients. Conclusions: Cryptococcal and Mtb IRD generally coincide with peaks in the proportion of activated T-cells, pathogen-specific IFN? responses and reactive plasma IgG. IRD does not reflect a paucity of regulatory CD4 T-cells. © 2008 British HIV Association.
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