Role of incidental and/or cured intestinal parasitic infections on profile of CD4+ and CD8+ T cell subsets and activation status in HIV-1 infected and uninfected adult Ethiopians.
Kassu A., Tsegaye A., Wolday D., Petros B., Aklilu M., Sanders EJ., Fontanet AL., Van Baarle D., Hamann D., De Wit TFR.
Intestinal parasitic infections have been suggested to cause persistent immune activation leading to an unbalanced immune state. Such a state has been proposed to be a major factor in the pathogenesis of AIDS in an African context. The present study investigated the effect of incidental parasitic infection and treatment on the profile of T cell differentiation and activation markers on CD4+ and CD8+ T cells from HIV-1 infected and uninfected adult Ethiopians. Cryopreserved PBMCs from 64 subjects (41 HIV-negative and 23 HIV-positive) with follow-up visits at 6-monthly intervals were used to compare the effect of incidental intestinal parasites and their treatment upon T cell subset profiles and activation status. The samples were stained with antibodies to various T cell differentiation and activation markers allowing naive, memory, effector, memory/effector, activated and resting CD4+ and CD8+ T cell subsets to be quantified by triple-colour FACScan. Incidental intestinal parasitic infections resulted in a significant increase in memory CD4+ T cell numbers both in HIV-negative and HIV-positive subjects (P < 0.05). There was also a significant increase in the percentage of CD8+ HLA-DR+ T cells (P < 0.05) in HIV-positive subjects co-infected with parasites. In HIV-negative subjects, a significant decline in activated cells and a significant increase in resting CD8+ T cells (P < 0.05) was observed after treatment for parasites. These data suggest that intestinal parasitic infections could result in the alteration of T cell subset counts and also in the up-regulation of T cell activation markers in peripheral blood. Treatment of parasitic infections showed a tendency to reduce the activation suggesting that, together with other community based intervention strategies, such treatment could be used to down-regulate immune activation and hence protect the host from being easily attacked by HIV.