Manifestations of pulmonary disease in pediatric AIDS patients differ from those in adults. To evaluate whether differences in the frequency of alveolar macrophage (AM) infection with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) could account for these clinical distinctions, we undertook a comparative analysis of HIV-1 DNA in AMs from pediatric and adult AIDS patients by enzymatic amplification. A higher frequency of viral DNA detection in pediatric cases (100%) compared with adults (67%) was observed. The sensitivity of detection was 1 viral DNA copy per 4000 AMs; matched peripheral blood mononuclear cells from six of seven pediatric and eight of nine adult patients tested HIV-1 DNA positive. Adult but not pediatric patients exhibited a marked alveolar lymphocytosis, 32% mean lymphocyte count compared with 7.0%, respectively. These results suggest that the burden of HIV-1 in the lungs of pediatric AIDS patients is greater than that in adults.
- alveolar macrophages
- pediatric AIDS