Publications & Reports

Residual T cell activation and skewed CD8+ T cell memory differentiation despite antiretroviral therapy-induced HIV suppression.

Ramla F Tanko, Andreia P Soares, Lindi Masson, Nigel J Garrett, Natasha Samsunder, Quarraisha Abdool Karim, Salim S Abdool Karim, Catherine Riou, Wendy A Burgers
Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine and Department of Pathology, Division of Medical Virology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa.


HIV infection results in excessive T cell activation and dysfunction which may persist even during effective antiretroviral therapy (ART). The dynamics of immune ‘deactivation’ and extent to which T cell memory subsets normalize after ART are unclear. We longitudinally assessed the influence of 1year of ART on the phenotype of T cells in HIV-infected African women, relative to matched HIV-uninfected women, using activation (CD38, HLA-DR) and differentiation markers (CD27, CD45RO). ART induced a substantial reduction in T cell activation, but remained higher than HIV-uninfected controls. ART largely normalized the distribution of CD4+ T cell memory subsets, while the distribution of CD8+ T cell memory subsets remained significantly skewed compared to HIV-uninfected individuals. Thus, there was a considerable but only partial reversal of T cell defects upon ART. Understanding T cell impairment may provide important insights into mechanisms of HIV pathogenesis in the era of ART.


  • Journal: Clinical Immunology
  • Published: 01/10/2018
  • Volume: 195
  • Pagination: 127-138



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