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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 278-281

Immunological factors associated with discordant virological response postcombination antiretroviral therapy in pediatric human immunodeficiency virus infection

1 Department of Pediatrics; Department of Microbiology, AIIMS, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Microbiology, AIIMS, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Medicine, Maharishi Markandeshwar Medical College and Hospital, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India
4 Department of Pediatrics, AIIMS, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Bimal Kumar Das
Department of Microbiology, AIIMS, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijp.ijp_616_21

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OBJECTIVES: Evaluation of immunological factors responsible for discordant virological responses postcombination antiretroviral therapy (cART) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive children aged <5 years. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Immunological profiling of enrolled 30 HIV-positive children was done at enrollment, 6 and 12 months. Flow cytometric analysis was performed for enumeration of counts and percentage of CD4+, CD8+, and CD19+ cells; expression of CD19, CD86, PD-1, CD3, CD8 and CD28 on lymphocytes was evaluated using whole blood staining technique with monoclonal antibodies. HIV-1 viral load was quantified using a real-time polymerase chain reaction. Serum levels of immunoglobulin G (IgG), immunoglobulin A (IgA), immunoglobulin (IgM), and interleukin (IL)-7 were quantitated using quantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits. The HIV-infected children were categorized into virological responders (VRs; HIV-1 plasma viral load <47 copies/mL) and virological nonresponders (VNRs; HIV-1 plasma viral load >1000 copies/mL) following 1-year cART. RESULTS: The frequency of CD28+ CTLs cells was higher (P < 0.0001), and the frequency of CD28-CTLs cells was lower (P < 0.0001) in VRs than VNRs. CD28+ and CD28-CTLs cells correlated with HIV-1 plasma viremia (r = −0.4695, P = 0.01; r = 0.40, P = 0.03, respectively). VRs had higher CD19 percentage (P = 0.04) and count (P = 0.01) than VNRs. CD19+ B cells in the VRs had lower expression of CD86 (P = 0.03) and PD-1 (P = 0.002) than VNRs. VR had lower levels of serum IgG (P = 0.03), IgM (P = 0.04), and IL-7 (P = 0.01) than VNRs. CONCLUSIONS: High baseline B-cell counts, lower serum IgG, IgM, IL-7 levels, lower activation and exhaustion of B cells, and higher frequency of CD28+ CTLs are associated with positive virological response, whereas elevated CD28-CTLs are associated with the poor virological outcomes in HIV-infected children.


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