Volume 85, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



T cell activation and depletion of naive T cells are hallmarks of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pathogenesis. This study explored the relationships between certain co-infections (including syphilis, hepatitis B and C, human T cell lymphotrophic viruses I and II [HTLV-I/II], Kaposi sarcoma–associated herpesvirus [KSHV], malaria, and tuberculosis), and levels of activated CD8 and CD4 T cell subsets as well as naive and memory CD4 T cells in HIV-infected adults in a rural area of southern Mozambique. We found that syphilis infection and to a lesser extent HTLV-I/II seropositivity were independently associated with higher CD8 T cell activation (CD8+ CD38+ HLA-DR+) whereas only syphilis was associated with higher CD4 T cell activation. Furthermore, KSHV and HTLV-I/II seropositivities were independently associated with a lower percentage of naive CD4 T cells (CD4+ CD45RA+ CD62L+). These results highlight the importance of screening and prompt treatment of syphilis, and raise questions as to whether HIV-positive persons with certain chronic viral co-infections should initiate combined antiretroviral therapy at higher CD4 cell counts.


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  • Received : 20 Dec 2010
  • Accepted : 02 May 2011

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