Persistent low-level viremia in HIV-1 elite controllers and relationship to immunologic parameters.
ABSTRACT Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) elite controllers are able to control virus replication to levels below the limits of detection by commercial assays, but the actual level of viremia in these individuals is not well defined. Here, we quantify plasma HIV-1 RNA in elite controllers and correlate this with specific immunologic parameters.
Plasma HIV-1 RNA levels were quantified in 90 elite controllers with use of a real time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assay with a sensitivity of 0.2 copies/mL. HIV-1-specific immune responses and longitudinal CD4(+) T cell counts were examined.
The median plasma HIV-1 RNA level was 2 copies/mL (interquartile range, 0.2-14 copies/mL). A longitudinal analysis of 31 elite controllers demonstrated 2-5-fold fluctuations in viremia in the majority of individuals; 6 had persistent levels below 1 copy/mL. Viremia correlated directly with HIV-1-specific neutralizing antibodies and Western blot reactivity but not with CD8(+) T cell responses. Absolute CD4(+) T cell decrease was more common among individuals with detectable viremia (P = .04).
Low-level viremia is present in the majority of elite controllers and is associated with higher HIV-1-specific antibody responses. Absolute CD4(+) T cell loss is more common among viremic individuals, suggesting that even very low-level viremia has negative consequences over time.
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ABSTRACT: Background. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 elite controllers (ECs) represent an ideal population to study the effects of HIV persistence on chronic inflammation in the absence of antiretroviral therapy (ART). Methods. Twenty inflammatory markers measured in cohorts of ECs, HIV suppressed noncontrollers, and HIV-uninfected controls were compared using rank-based tests and partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLSDA). Spearman correlations were determined among the inflammatory markers, residual viremia by the single-copy assay, and CD4(+) T cell slope. Results. Significant differences were seen between cohorts in 15 of the soluble inflammatory markers. Human immunodeficiency virus-1 ECs were found to have the highest levels for all of the markers with the exception of RANTES. In particular, median levels of 7 inflammatory markers (soluble CD14 [sCD14], interferon [IFN]-γ, IFN-γ-inducible protein [IP]-10, interleukin [IL]-4, IL-10, sCD40L, and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor) were twice as high in the HIV-1 ECs compared with either of the HIV-suppressed or uninfected groups. Multivariate PLSDA analysis of inflammatory markers improved differentiation between the patient cohorts, discerning gender differences in inflammatory profile amongst individuals on suppressive ART. Soluble markers of inflammation in ECs were not associated with either levels of residual HIV-1 viremia or CD4(+) T cell decline. Conclusions. Despite maintaining relatively low levels of viremia, HIV-1 ECs had elevated levels of a set of key inflammatory markers. Additional studies are needed to determine whether ECs may benefit from ART and to further evaluate the observed gender differences.01/2014; 2(1):ofu117-ofu117. DOI:10.1093/ofid/ofu117
The Indian Journal of Medical Research 01/2015; 141(1):119-21. · 1.66 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We describe a case of Candida esophagitis in a human immunodeficiency virus elite controller with a preserved CD4 count, a population in which opportunistic infections are almost never seen. The patient has hepatitis C virus coinfection and compensated cirrhosis, suggesting a possible multifactorial etiology of immune dysregulation.12/2014; 1(3):ofu111. DOI:10.1093/ofid/ofu111