Inproceedings: an article in a conference proceedings.
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Prolonged antiretroviral therapy initiated at seroconversion is associated with a polyfunctional HIV-1-specific T-cell profile comparable to that of long-term non-progressors (LTNPs)
Title of the conference
17th Annual Conference of the British HIV Association (BHIVA)
Bournemouth, United-Kingdom, 6-8 April 2011
Publication type : Meeting Abstract
Background: Early initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) may dramatically curtail cumulative immunological damage allowing maximal levels of immune preservation/reconstitution and induce an immunovirological status similar to that of HIV-1 LTNPs with low viral reservoirs and polyfunctional HIV-1 specific T cell responses.Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study of an HIV-1 seroconverter cohort on long-term ART (LTTS) and compared it to one of LTNPs. Inclusion criteria for 20 LTTS were: (a) ?4 years ART; (b) long-term aviremia and (c) absence of treatment failure and for 15 LTNPs: (a) ?7 years of documented HIV-1 infection; (b) <1000 HIV-1 RNA copies/mL and ?500 CD4+ T-cells/mm3 in >90% of measurements; (d) absence of AIDS-defining conditions; (e) ART-naı¨ve except for temporary ART for prevention of MTCT. In both cohorts, we analysed residual viral replication and reservoirs in peripheral blood, as measured by cellassociated HIV-1 RNA and DNA in PBMCs, respectively and used polychromatic flow cytometry to analyse HIV-1-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell functional profile in terms of cytokine production using IFN-c, IL-2, TNF-a production.Results: Cell-associated DNA [47.7 (4.8-583.2) in LTTS and 19.7 (0.5-295.5) in LTNPS, p=0.10], and RNA [3.9 (0-36) and 5.8 (0-10.3), respectively] were shown to be similarly low in both cohorts. We identified 103 CD8 T cell epitope-specific responses, all subjects responding to ?1 epitope. Mean responding number of responding epitopes per patient was 2 and 4 in LTTS and LTNPS, respectively. Mean% of cytokine-secreting CD8 T cells was 0.37% and 0.50% (p=0.06), of these 43% and 39% (p=0.12) were secreting simultaneously IFN-c, IL-2 and TNF-a. Respective values for CD4 T cells were 0.28% and 0.33% (p=0.28) of which 33% and 30% (0.32) were secreting these 3 cytokines simultaneously.Conclusions: Long-term aviremia after very early ART initiation is associated with low levels of reservoirs saturation ad residual replication. Although less broad CD8 T cell responses were found in LTTS, HIV-1 specific CD4 and CD8 T cell responses showed similar magnitude and functional profile in the 2 cohorts. Our results indicate that prolonged ART initiated at the time of HIV-1 seroconversion is associated with immuno-virological features which resemble those of LTNPs. (BHIVA Research Award Winner 2008: Anna Garcia-Diaz.)
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