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The CD4/CD8 ratio in HIV-infected subjects is independently associated with T-cell activation despite long-term viral suppression

Published:October 08, 2012DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jinf.2012.09.013

      Summary

      Objectives

      HIV-infected subjects on antiretroviral therapy often fail to normalize the CD4/CD8 ratio despite CD4 count normalization. We aimed to analyze the biological significance of this finding.

      Methods

      Cross-sectional analysis in 20 HIV-infected subjects on stable triple-ART, plasma HIV RNA <40 copies/mL for at least 2 years and CD4 count >350 cells/mm3. Laboratory measurements included T-cell activation (HLADR+, CD38+) and senescence (CD57+), lipopolysaccharide (LPS), sCD14 and the HIV latent reservoir (number of latently infected memory CD4 cells carrying replication-competent virus).

      Results

      CD4/CD8 ratio was positively correlated with CD4 nadir (r = 0.468, p = 0.038) and accumulated ART exposure (r = 0.554, p = 0.0011), and negatively with viral load before ART initiation (r = −0.547, p = 0.013), CD4+HLADR+CD38+ T-cells (r = −0.428, p = 0.086) and CD8+CD57+ T-cells (r = −0.431, p = 0.084). No associations with LPS, sCD14 or HIV latent reservoir were found. After the multivariate analyses, the CD4/CD8 ratio remained independently associated with CD4+HLADR+CD38+ T-cells and CD8+HLADR+ T-cells.

      Conclusions

      In our study in subjects on suppressive ART the CD4/CD8 ratio was independently associated with T-cell activation. Our results must be confirmed in larger studies, as this parameter might be a useful clinical tool to identify subjects with ongoing immune activation despite long-term viral suppression.

      Keywords

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