The relationship between Cytomegalovirusspecific cellular immune response and CD4+ T cell count in HIV positive individuals in a South African setting

Arendse, Germaine Veronique (Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2011-03)

Abstract

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Introduction: Reactivation of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection in individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may lead to life-threatening end-organ diseases (EOD). The EOD becomes clinically apparent when a critical number of cells in the affected organs become damaged as a consequence of HCMV-infection. Treatment of the HCMV-associated disease at this point may not be effective. Therefore, early detection of HCMV reactivation may be useful to guide pre-emptive therapy. Aim: The aim of this study was to determine whether there is a point at which the HCMV-specific cellular immune response breaks down, as determined by the interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assay, and HCMV reactivation occurs in HIV-positive, antiretroviral therapy (ART)-naïve individuals in a South African setting. This was done in relation to the CD4+ T cell count and the HCMV viral load as determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Materials and methods: Fifty-two (52) HIV-infected, ART-naïve subjects were recruited from primary healthcare centres that they attended for the management of their HIV infection. Heparinised blood samples were collected to quantify the HCMV-specific cellular immune response using the IFN-γ-ELISPOT assay and to determine the HCMV IgG serostatus. Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) blood samples were collected for the determination of the CD4+ T cell counts and the HCMV viral loads. Results: All 52 subjects recruited were confirmed to be HIV-HCMV co-infected based on their HCMV IgG serostatus. The results of 34 subjects with completed data sets were analysed. The CD4+ T cell counts of these subjects ranged from 10 to 784 cells/μl. Twenty-two (22) (65%) subjects had positive HCMV IFN-γ-ELISPOT results with 94% having no detectable HCMV viral loads. All subjects (28) with a CD4+ T cell count above 100 cells/μl had undetectable HCMV viral loads. Two of the six subjects with CD4+ T cell counts <100 cells/μl had detectable HCMV viral loads. There was no statistically significant association between the CD4+ T cell counts and the HCMV IFN-γ-ELISPOT results. Conclusion: No specific point could be determined when there is loss of integrity of the HCMV-specific cellular immune response in HIV-positive individuals. Low CD4+ T cell counts did not correlate with HCMV IFN-γ-ELISPOT results suggesting that the HCMV-specific cellular immunity did not necessarily break down at low CD4+ T cell counts. Nevertheless, a CD4+ T cell count above 100 cells/μl appeared to be protective against viraemia as determined by the HCMV viral load qPCR. The IFN-γ-ELISPOT assay was employed as a tool to determine the integrity of the HCMV-specific cellular immune response in HIV-positive individuals. However, the IFN-γ-ELISPOT assay should be used in conjunction with the CD4+ T cell count and the HCMV viral load qPCR to determine when there is loss of integrity of the HCMV-specific cellular immune response and HCMV reactivation occurs. This may assist clinicians in their choice of management and appropriate pre-emptive treatment in the HIV-HCMV co-infected individual at a risk for HCMV reactivation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Inleiding: Heraktivering van menslike sitomegaalvirus (MSMV) in menslike immuniteitsgebreksvirus (MIV)-MSMV ko-geïnfekteerde individue kan lei tot dodelike end-orgaan siektes (EOS). Die EOS word klinies duidelik wanneer 'n kritieke aantal selle in die organe beskadig raak as gevolg van die MSMV-infeksie. Behandeling van die MSMV-verwante siekte op hierdie punt mag moontlik nie meer effektief wees nie. Daarom kan die vroeë opsporing van MSMV heraktivering nuttig wees in die gebruik van voorkomende terapie. Doel: Die doel van hierdie studie is om die punt te bepaal wanneer die MSMV-spesifieke sellulêre immuun reaksie afgebreek word met behulp van die interferon gamma (IFN-γ) ensiem-gekoppelde immunospot (ELISPOT) toets en MSMV heraktivering voorkom in MIV-positiewe, antiretrovirale terapie (ART)-naïewe individue in' n Suid-Afrikaanse instelling. Dit word gedoen in verhouding met die CD4+ T sel telling en die MSMV virale lading. Materiale en metodes: Twee-en-vyftig (52) MIV-geïnfekteerde, ART-naïewe pasiënte is vanaf primêre gesondheidsentrums, wat hul bywoon vir die behandeling van hul MIV infeksie, genader. Gehepariniseerde bloedmonsters is gebruik om die MSMV-spesifieke sellulêre immuun reaksie met behulp van die IFN-γ-ELISPOT toets en die MSMV IgG serostatus te bepaal. Etileendiamientetra-asynsuur (EDTA) bloed monsters is versamel vir die bepaling van hul CD4+ T sel telling en hul MSMV virale lading met behulp van die ―real-time‖ polimerase kettingreaksie (qPKR) waardes. Resultate: Al 52 pasiënte is bevestigde MIV-MSMV ko-infeksies, gebasseer op hul serologiese status. Die resultate van 34 pasiënte met voltooide data is ontleed. Die CD4+ T sel tellings van hierdie pasiënte het gewissel 10-784 selle/μl. Twee-en-twintig (22) (65%) pasiënte het positiewe MSMV IFN-γ-ELISPOT resultate met 94% wat ‗n negatiewe qPKR resultate. Alle pasiënte (28) met 'n CD4+ T-seltelling bo 100 selle/μl het' n negatiewe qPKR resultate. Twee van die ses pasiënte met 'n CD4+ T-seltelling <100 selle/μl het waarneembare MSMV virale ladings oor die qPKR. Daar was geen statisties beduidende assosiasie tussen die CD4+ T sel tellings en die MSMV IFN-γ-ELISPOT resultate nie. Gevolgtrekking: Geen spesifieke punt wanneer die MSMV-spesifieke sellulêre immuun reaksie afgebreek word kon in MIV-positiewe individue bepaal word nie. Lae CD4+ T sel tellings het nie ooreengestem met die MSMV IFN-γ-ELISPOT resultate nie en dui daarop dat die MSMV-spesifieke sellulêre immuniteit nie noodwendig afgebreek word teen 'n lae CD4+ T sel tellings nie. Tog blyk 'n CD4+ T-seltelling bo 100 selle/μl om beskerming teen viremie te bied. Die meriete van die gebruik van die IFN-γ-ELISPOT toets die integriteit van die MSMV-spesifieke sellulêre immuun response in MIV-positiewe individue te bepaal, is waargeneem in die opgehoopte data. Tog kan die gebruik van die IFN-γ-ELISPOT toets in samewerking met die CD4+ T sel telling en die MSMV virale lading meer voordelig in die bepaling van 'n punt wanneer die MSMV-spesifieke sellulêre immuun reaksie afbreek en herstel plaasvind. Dit kan help om klinici in hul keuse van bestuur en gepaste voorkomende behandeling in die MIV-MSMV mede-geïnfekteerde individu op 'n risiko vir herstel.

Thesis (MScMedSc)--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

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