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Clin Immunol. 2009 Mar;130(3):280-9. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2008.09.006. Epub 2008 Nov 8.

Significantly skewed memory CD8+ T cell subsets in HIV-1 infected infants during the first year of life.

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South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative, Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine and School of Child and Adolescent Health, University of Cape Town, Anzio Road, Observatory, 7925, South Africa.


HIV-1 infection causes a severe T cell compromise; however, little is known about changes in naive, memory, effector and senescent T cell subsets during the first year of life. T cell subsets were studied over the first year of life in blood from 3 infant cohorts: untreated HIV-infected, HIV-exposed but uninfected, and HIV-unexposed. In HIV-infected infants, the frequency of CCR7(+)CD45RA(+) naive CD8(+) T cells was significantly decreased, while the frequency of CCR7(-)CD45RA(-) effector memory CD8(+) T cells was increased, compared with the control cohorts. A larger population of CD8(+) T cells in HIV-infected infants displayed a phenotype consistent with senescence. Differences in CD4(+) T cell subset frequencies were less pronounced, and no significant differences were observed between exposed and unexposed HIV-uninfected infants. We concluded that the proportion of naive, memory, effector and senescent CD8(+) T cells during the first year of life is significantly altered by HIV-1 infection.

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