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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2010 May 1;54(1):10-7. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181d6003b.

Failure of highly active antiretroviral therapy in reconstituting immune response to Clostridium tetani vaccine in aged AIDS patients.

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Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology, State University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of age on tetanus-specific immune response in successfully highly active antiretroviral therapy-treated AIDS patients, using healthy age-matched individuals as controls. Whole Peripheral blood mononuclear cells or CD8(+) cell-depleted peripheral blood mononuclear cells from previously tetanus toxoid (TT)-immunized individuals were activated with TT plus IL-2, and cell proliferation, cytokine production, and in vitro HIV-1 replication were measured. The in vivo magnitude of the humoral immune response was also assessed by antibody measurements. Our results showed that, compared with other groups, both in vitro TT-specific lymphoproliferation and serum antibody concentration were lower in older AIDS patients. Although the IL-1beta and tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) production were higher in cultures from aged HIV-1-infected patients, a dramatic damage on the interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) release was observed, when compared with younger patients. CD8(+) T lymphocytes depletion reduced IL-1beta and TNF-alpha release in the older groups, however, it did not significantly alter their IFN-gamma production. Furthermore, the neutralization of endogenous IL-10 did not change the IFN-gamma deficiency in older AIDS patients. Finally, the lower cellular immune response in this patient group was not related to in vitro HIV-1 replication. The results suggest that successfully highly active antiretroviral therapy-treated aged AIDS patients do not reconstitute the immune response to TT, making them probably more susceptible to tetanus even after vaccination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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