Immunologic profile of highly exposed yet HIV type 1-seronegative men

Otto O. Yang, Michael Shodell, Gene M. Shearer, Edith Grene, Mary Carrington, Steve O'Brien, Charles B. Price, Roger Detels, Beth D. Jamieson, Janis V. Giorgi, W. John Boscardin, Jose Matud, Mary Ann Hausner, Lance E. Hultin, Patricia M. Hultin, Roger Shih, John Ferbas, Frederick P. Siegal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The host immune factors that determine susceptibility to HIV-1 infection are poorly understood. We compared multiple immunologic parameters in three groups of HIV-1-seronegative men: 14 highly exposed (HR10), 7 previously reported possibly to have sustained transient infection (PTI), and a control group of 14 low risk blood bank donors (BB). Virus-specific cellular immune assays were performed for CD4+ T helper cell responses, CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte activity, CD8+ cell chemokine release, and CD8+ cell-derived antiviral soluble factor activity. General immune parameters evaluated included CCR5 genotype and phenotype, interferon α production by PBMCs, leukocyte subset analysis, and detailed T lymphocyte phenotyping. Comparisons revealed no detectable group-specific differences in measures of virus-specific immunity. However, the HR10 group differed from the BB group in several general immune parameters, having higher absolute monocyte counts, higher absolute CD8+ T cell counts and percentages, lower naive and higher terminal effector CD8+ cells, and lower levels of CD28+CD8+ cells. These changes were not associated with seropositivity for other chronic viral infections. The PTI men appeared to have normal levels of monocytes and slightly elevated levels of CD8+ T cells (also with increased effector and decreased naive cells). Although we cannot entirely exclude the contribution of other chronic viral infections, these findings suggest that long-lived systemic cellular antiviral immunity as detected by our assays is not a common mechanism for resistance to infection, and that resistance may be multifactorial. General immune parameters reflected by CD8+ T cell levels and activation, and monocyte concentrations may affect the risk of infection with HIV-1, and/or serve as markers of exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1051-1065
Number of pages15
JournalAIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
Issue number14
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


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