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Spontaneous virologic suppression in HIV controllers is independent of delayed-type hypersensitivity test responsiveness

DOI: 10.1186/1742-6405-9-10

Keywords: HIV, Elite controllers, HIV controllers, Delayed-type hypersensitivity test, HAART

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Abstract:

DTH testing consisted of ≥ 3 recall antigens applied approximately every 6 months. DTH responses were classified by the number of positive skin tests: anergic (0), partial anergic (1), or non-anergic (≥ 2). HIV controllers were compared to treatment na?ve non-controllers (n = 3822) and a subgroup of non-controllers with VL < 400 copies/mL on their initial HAART regimen (n = 491). The proportion of non-anergic results at first DTH testing was similar for HIV controllers compared to non-controllers (81.9% vs. 77.6%; P = 0.22), but tended to be greater in HIV controllers compared to the HAART subgroup (81.9% vs. 74.5%; P = 0.07). Complete anergy was observed in 14 (10.1%) HIV controllers with CD4 counts ≥ 400 cells/uL. For longitudinal testing, the average percentage of non-anergic DTH determinations per participant was higher in HIV controllers compared to non-controllers (81.2 ± 31.9% vs. 70.7 ± 36.8%; P = 0.0002), however this difference was eliminated with stratification by CD4 count: 200-399 (83.4 ± 35.6% vs. 71.9 ± 40.9%; P = 0.15) and > 400 cells/uL (81.2 ± 31.5% vs. 80.4 ± 32.7%; P = 0.76).Spontaneous virologic control was not associated with DTH responsiveness, and several HIV controllers were anergic despite having elevated CD4 counts. These findings suggest that cellular immunity assessed by DTH is not a principal factor contributing to spontaneous virologic suppression in HIV controllers.Delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) testing can be used as an in vivo assessment of cell-mediated immunity (CMI). Compared to HIV-seronegative individuals, patients with HIV typically have less favorable DTH responses, particularly in the setting of low CD4 cell counts where anergy is common [1,2]. Among HIV-infected persons on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), DTH responsiveness has been shown to be both a predictor of treatment outcomes and a marker for improved CMI [3-5].Elite and viremic controllers, collectively termed HIV controllers, are characterized by

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