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Clin Exp Immunol. 2001 Feb;123(2):233-8.

Impact of tuberculosis (TB) on HIV-1 activity in dually infected patients.

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Department of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University and Veterans Administration Medical Center, Cleveland, OH 44106-4984, USA.


Active TB in HIV-1-infected subjects is associated with increased HIV-1-related immunodeficiency and mortality. We assessed plasma viral load in HIV-1-infected patients with pulmonary TB (HIV/TB) and non-TB symptomatic HIV-1-infected patients (HIV). HIV-1 load was higher in HIV/TB compared with HIV at higher CD4 counts (> 500/microl) (P < 0.01), but not at lower CD4 counts (< 500/microl). We also evaluated the status of HIV-1 gene expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and serum from HIV/TB and CD4-matched healthy HIV-infected patients (HIV/C) by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction over a range of CD4 (> 900/microl to < 200/microl). HIV-1 RNA in serum and PBMC correlated to one another, and both were markedly higher in HIV/TB compared with HIV/C with higher CD4 counts. Also, during a longitudinal study of anti-tuberculous chemoprophylaxis in HIV-1-infected patients, 10 subjects who developed TB had serologies before, at the time, and after the diagnosis of TB. These HIV/TB patients had an increase in viral load (average 2.5-fold) at the time of diagnosis of TB (P < 0.05). Overall, these data indicate that the transcriptional activity of HIV-1 is enhanced in HIV-1-infected patients with active TB, especially during early HIV-1 disease. As TB often is an early HIV-1 opportunistic infection, it may particularly favour early viral replication and dissemination, and therefore contribute to progression of HIV-1 disease.

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