Evaluation of the impact of HIV-1 infections on Cytomegalovirus Specific T cells responses
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Background: Incomplete understanding of the effect of HIV-1 infection on T cell immune response to HCMV is a barrier to development of better control strategies for HCMV infection in HIV-1 infected individuals. Depletion of CD4+ T cells after HIV infection has been associated with increased rates of reactivation and re-infection with HCMV, and previous studies mainly focused on HIV-1-induced CD4+ T Cell depletion as the cause of HCMV reactivation, however, the function of CD4+/CD8+ T Cells and the effect of HIV-1 infection on HCMV-specific T cell responses is understudied. Therefore, we investigated the impact of HIV-1 infection on T cell immune responses to HCMV. Method: This was a cross-sectional study. We stimulated PBMCs from 9HIV-1 negative and 14early HIV-1 positive antiretroviral therapy-naïve participants with whole HCMV antigen, and used flow cytometry analysis to compare different CD4+ and CD8+ T cells memory phenotypes, the frequency of IFN-γ, IL-2 and TNF- α secreting CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Results: The difference in the frequency of different CD4+ and CD8+ T cells memory phenotypes in HIV positive and HIV negative participants was not statistically significant. There was no significant difference in the median frequencies of IFN-γ-, IL-2- and TNF-α-secreting CD8+ T cells in response to whole HCMV stimulation between HIV-positive and HIV negative participants. Conclusion|: HIV infection does not lead to a significant effect on CD4+ and CD8+ T cell specific responses to HCMV antigen. Recommendations: Due to the small sample size of this study, we recommend another study using an adequate sample size. Additional T cell functional assays including T cell proliferation should be performed to assess T cell function.