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Sepako, Enoch; Glennie, Sarah J.; Jambo, Kondwani C.; Mzinza, David; Iwajomo, Oluwadamilola H.; Banda, Dominic; van Oosterhout, Joep J.; A. Williams, Neil; Gordon, Stephen B.; Heyderman, Robert S. (2014)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Journal: PLoS ONE
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: Microbial Pathogens, Research Article, wc_217, Immunity, Immunodeficiency Viruses, Acquired Immune System, qw_541, Immune Response, Immune System, Immunology, Biology and Life Sciences, Microbiology, wc_503_5, wc_503, wc_503_2, Medicine, Bacterial Pathogens, Q, Medical Microbiology, Viral Pathogens, R, Streptococcus, qw_573, Virology, Science
HIV-infected African adults are at a considerably increased risk of life-threatening invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) which persists despite antiretroviral therapy (ART). Defects in naturally acquired pneumococcal-specific T-cell immunity have been identified in HIV-infected adults. We have therefore determined the extent and nature of pneumococcal antigen-specific immune recovery following ART. HIV-infected adults were followed up at 3, 6 and 12 months after initiating ART. Nasopharyngeal swabs were cultured to determine carriage rates. Pneumococcal-specific CD4 T-cell immunity was assessed by IFN-γ ELISpot, proliferation assay, CD154 expression and intracellular cytokine assay. S. pneumoniae colonization was detected in 27% (13/48) of HIV-infected patients prior to ART. The rates remained elevated after 12 months ART, 41% (16/39) (p = 0.17) and significantly higher than in HIV-uninfected individuals (HIVneg 14%(4/29); p = 0.0147). CD4+ T-cell proliferative responses to pneumococcal antigens increased significantly to levels comparable with HIV-negative individuals at 12 months ART (p = 0.0799). However, recovery of the pneumococcal-specific CD154 expression was incomplete (p = 0.0015) as were IFN-γ ELISpot responses (p = 0.0040) and polyfunctional CD4+ T-cell responses (TNF-α, IL-2 and IFN-γ expression) (p = 0.0040) to a pneumolysin-deficient mutant strain. Impaired control of pneumococcal colonisation and incomplete restoration of pneumococcal-specific immunity may explain the persistently higher risk of IPD amongst HIV-infected adults on ART. Whether vaccination and prolonged ART can overcome this immunological defect and reduce the high levels of pneumococcal colonisation requires further evaluation.

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