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Clin Immunol. 2007 Oct;125(1):60-6. Epub 2007 Jul 12.

Deficient in vitro anti-mycobacterial immunity despite successful long-term highly active antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected patients with past history of tuberculosis infection or disease.

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Laboratory of Dermatology and Immunodeficiencies (LIM-56), Medical School of the University of São Paulo, Av Dr Enéas de Carvalho Aguiar 500, 3rd floor, São Paulo, Brazil.


We evaluated the anti-Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) immune responses of HIV patients after long-term successful HAART, presenting >500 TCD4+ cells/microl, undetectable viral load, and past history of tuberculosis infection (HIV+PPD+, n=14) or disease (HIV+CTB, n=17). Their lymphoproliferative and IFN-gamma responses were compared with those from HIV-uninfected controls either PPD+ (HIV-PPD+, n=17) or with past history of pulmonary tuberculosis (n=15). Most HIV-infected patients presented normal PHA responses while responses to the Mtb recombinant polypeptides ESAT-6 and Ag85B were markedly reduced. Responses to a whole Mtb lysate (S-Mtb) in HIV+PPD+ patients were lower than in HIV-PPD+ controls, while in HIV+CTB patients these responses were similar to that of past-tuberculosis controls. Comparison between the two HIV groups also suggested better S-Mtb responses in those cured from tuberculosis. Thus, while immune responses to single Mtb proteins are depressed even after successful HAART, reactivity to S-Mtb is high, specially in those cured from tuberculosis, possibly as a result of the survival of higher numbers of mycobacteria-specific T cell clones during the immunosuppression phase, which may afford sufficient protection against new Mtb challenges.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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