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T cell Activation does not drive CD4 decline in longitudinally followed HIV-infected Elite Controllers

Author(s): Kamya Philomena | Tsoukas Christos | Boulet Salix | Routy Jean-Pierre | Thomas Réjean | Côté Pierre | Boulassel Mohamed-Rachid | Lessard Bernard | Kaul Rupert | Ostrowski Mario | Kovacs Colin | Tremblay Cecile | Bernard Nicole

Journal: AIDS Research and Therapy
ISSN 1742-6405

Volume: 8;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 20;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: HIV infection | Elite controllers | activation markers | CD4 count change

Abstract Background Elite controllers (EC) are a rare subset of HIV infected individuals who control viral load below 50 copies/ml of plasma without treatment. Methods Thirty four EC were studied. The slope of CD4 count change was available for 25 of these subjects. We assessed immune activation by measuring the percent of CD38+HLA-DR+CD8+ T cells in the EC group and comparing it with that in 24 treatment-naïve HIV disease progressors and 13 HIV uninfected healthy controls. Results Compared to HIV uninfected subjects, EC had higher percentages of CD38+HLA-DR+CD8+ T cells (p < 0.001) that was lower than that observed in progressors (p < 0.01). Fifteen of 25 EC had a slope of CD4 count change that was not significantly different from 0 while 3 had a positive and 7 a negative CD4 count slope. Immune activation did not distinguish EC subsets with stable/increasing versus declining CD4 counts. Conclusions Elevated immune activation in ECs is not associated with a faster rate of CD4 decline

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