Extended assessments of memory T-cell responses in HIV patients who have a satisfactory virological response to combination antiretroviral therapy (CART) have been limited by availability of longitudinal samples and of antigens to which most individuals (including HIV-negative controls) have been exposed. Studies of cytomegalovirus (CMV) show that interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) responses never recover completely, but this may be antigen-specific. Here we present responses to Candida and CMV antigens analyzed using a statistical approach that derives overall trends from samples collected at variable time points. Results were considered in relation to putative markers of T-regulatory cells. Blood mononuclear cells collected from seventeen HIV-1 patients (nadir < 100 CD4 T cells/mL) 0-8 years after initiation of CART were stimulated with Candida spp lysate, Candida enolase protein or CMV lysate and production of IFN-gamma was assessed by ELISpot assay. CD4 T-cell counts increased fivefold and stabilized within 24 months on CART, following control of plasma viremia. IFN-gamma responses to Candida antigens began low and increased slowly, generating positive slope up to 60 months on CART (Candida enolase p=0.008; Candida lysate p=0.03; mixed-model Wald test). Only two patients displayed a CMV or Candida-specific IFN-gamma response above the median for seronegative controls. Proportions of T cells expressing CD25 or CD57 did not correlate with IFN-gamma responses. Slow reconstitution of IFN-gamma responses to CMV and Candida in previously immunodeficient patients with restored CD4+ T-cell counts on CART suggests a broad and nonresolving defect in memory T-cell responses.
Burgess, K., Price, P., James, I. R., Stone, S., Keane, N. M., Lim, A., ... French, M. (2006). Interferon-Gamma Responses to Candida Recover Slowly or Remain Low in Immunodeficient HIV Patients responding to ART. Journal of Clinical Immunology, 26(2), 160-167. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10875-006-9008-4