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Untreated human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease disrupts B cell populations causing reduced memory and reduced naïve resting B cells leading to increases in specific co-infections and impaired responses to vaccines. To what extent antiretroviral treatment reverses these changes in an African population is uncertain.
A cross-sectional study was performed. We recruited HIV-uninfected and HIV-infected Malawian adults both on and off antiretroviral therapy attending the Queen Elizabeth Central hospital in Malawi. Using flow cytometry, we enumerated B cells and characterized memory B cells and compared these measurements by the different recruitment groups.
Overall 64 participants were recruited - 20 HIV uninfected (HIV-), 30 HIV infected ART naïve (HIV+N) and 14 HIV-infected ART treated (HIV+T). ART treatment had been taken for a median of 33 months (Range 12-60 months). Compared to HIV- the HIV+N adults had low absolute number of naïve resting B cells (111 vs. 180 cells/μl
HIV infected Malawian adults have abnormal B-cell numbers. Individuals treated with ART show a return to normal in B-cell numbers but a persistent deficit in the memory subset is noted. This has important implications for long term susceptibility to co-infections and should be evaluated further in a larger cohort study.
The results below are discovered through our pilot algorithms. Let us know how we are doing!