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AIDS. 1991 Oct;5(10):1165-72.

HIV-2-induced immunosuppression among asymptomatic West African prostitutes: evidence that HIV-2 is pathogenic, but less so than HIV-1.

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  • 1Medical Research Council Laboratories, Fajara, The Gambia.


Two hundred and forty-one prostitutes working in The Gambia were tested for retroviral infections and their immune system evaluated. Sixty-three were seropositive for HIV-2 only, five for HIV-1 only and six for both HIV-1 and HIV-2 (26.1, 2.1 and 2.5%, respectively). When compared to seronegative individuals, the 63 women infected with HIV-2 clearly had an abnormal immune system, with significantly lower CD4+ and higher CD8+ lymphocyte counts and percentages, lower CD4+:CD8+ ratios, lower CD25+ (activated) lymphocyte counts, and lower lymphocyte proliferation responses after stimulation with phytohaemagglutinin, purified protein derivative (PPD), Candida or pokeweed mitogen, and higher levels of neopterin and beta 2-microglobulin. However, when the HIV-2-seropositive prostitutes were compared with the five women infected with HIV-1, the former were less abnormal, with significantly higher CD4+ percentages and CD4+:CD8+ ratios and lower CD8+ percentages and counts. Immunological anomalies were seen in five women known to have been infected with HIV-2 for less than 17 months. Coinfection with HTLV-1 resulted in more severe immunological alterations than infection with HIV-2 alone.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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