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Oral Microbiol Immunol. 2002 Feb;17(1):38-43.

Th1/Th2 cytokine profiles in saliva of HIV-positive smokers with oropharyngeal candidiasis.

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Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Parasitology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, 1901 Perdido Street, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.


Oropharyngeal candidiasis (OPC) is a common opportunistic infection among HIV-positive individuals and often correlates with a CD4 cell number < 200 cells/microl. This study further examined the association of smoking and OPC in HIV-positive persons. A strong association between smoking and OPC was seen in HIV-positive individuals with > or =200 CD4 cells/microl. In HIV-positive persons with > or =200 CD4 cells/microl, OPC+ smokers had lower gamma-interferon (IFN-gamma) concentrations and a trend toward higher interleukin (IL)-4 concentrations in whole saliva compared to OPC- persons with > or =200 CD4 cells/microl, a cytokine profile consistent with that observed in HIV+OPC+ persons with < 200 CD4 cells/microl. These results suggest that premature OPC in HIV-positive smokers is associated with altered oral host defence mechanisms that cannot be overcome by levels of systemic CD4 cells that are otherwise sufficient to protect against OPC.

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