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Selective reduction of IFN-γ single positive mycobacteria-specific CD4+ T cells in HIV-1 infected individuals with latent tuberculosis infection

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posted on 14.09.2020 by Catherine Riou, Rubina Bunjun, Tracey L Müller, Agano Kiravu, Zekarias Ginbot, Tolu Oni, Rene Goliath, Robert J Wilkinson, Wendy A Burgers
HIV-1 is recognized to increase the risk for tuberculosis even before CD4+ T cell deficiency is profound. To better understand how HIV-1 alters immunity to latent tuberculosis, we compared the magnitude and functional profile of mycobacteria-specific CD4+ T cells between HIV-uninfected and HIV-infected individuals, using flow cytometry. In HIV-1 infection, IFN-γ single positive mycobacteria-specific CD4+ T cells were decreased, while the frequency of polyfunctional cells (IFN-γ+IL-2+TNF-α+) remained unchanged. Moreover, the proportion of IFN-γ single positive cells correlated inversely with viral replication. Our results suggest that HIV-1 affects mycobacteria-specific cells differentially, depending on their functional capacity.

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