Protection versus pathology in aviremic and high viral load HIV-2 infection-the pivotal role of immune activation and T-cell kinetics

Andrea Hegedus, Samuel Nyamweya, Yan Zhang, Sheila Govind, Richard J Aspinall, Alla Mashanova, Vincent A A Jansen, Hilton C Whittle, Assan B Jaye, Katie L Flanagan, Derek Clive Macallan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Many human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-2-infected individuals remain aviremic and behave as long-term non-progressors but some progress to AIDS.We hypothesized that immune activation and T-cell turnover would be critical determinants of non-progressor/progressor status. Methods. We studied 37 subjects in The Gambia, West Africa: 10 HIV-negative controls, 10 HIV-2-infected subjects with low viral loads (HIV-2-LV), 7 HIV-2-infected subjects with high viral loads (HIV-2-HV), and 10 with HIV-1 infection. We measured in vivo T-cell turnover using deuterium-glucose labeling, and correlated results with T-cell phenotype (by flow cytometry) and T-cell receptor excision circle (TREC) abundance. Results. Immune activation (HLA-DR/CD38 coexpression) differed between groups with a significant trend: controls (P <.01 for all cell types). A similar trend was observed in the pattern of in vivo turnover of memory CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells and TREC depletion in naive CD4+ T-cells, although naive T-cell turnover was relatively unaffected by either infection. T-cell turnover, immune activation, and progressor status were closely associated. Conclusions. HIV-2 non-progressors have low rates of T-cell turnover (both CD4+ and CD8+) and minimal immune activation; high viral load HIV-2 progressors had high values, similar to or exceeding those in HIV-1 infection. ? The Author 2014.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)752 - 761
Number of pages10
JournalThe Journal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Cite this