Longitudinal changes in HIV-1-specific T-cell quality associated with viral load dynamic

Claudia J. Dembek, Sarah Kutscher, Simone Allgayer, Carolina Russo, Tanja Bauer, Dieter Hoffmann, Frank D. Goebel, Johannes R. Bogner, Volker Erfle, Ulrike Protzer, Antonio Cosma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Several correlates of HIV control have been described; however their predictive values remain unclear, since most studies have been performed in cross-sectional settings. Objectives: We evaluated the cause and consequence relationship between quality of HIV-specific T-cell response and viral load dynamic in a temporal perspective. Study design: HIV-1-specific T-cell responses were monitored over 7 years in a patient that following treatment interruption maintained a stable/low viral set point for 3.1 years before control of viral replication was lost and antiretroviral therapy restarted. Results: We observed that high frequencies of HIV-1-specific CD4 and CD8 T cells were unable to prevent loss of viral control. Gradual loss of functionality was observed in these responses, characterized by early loss of IL-2, viral load-dependent decrease of IFN-γ and CD154 expression as well as increase of MIP-1β production. Terminally differentiated HIV-1-specific CD8 T cells expressing CD45RA were lost independently of viral load and preceded the loss-of-control phase of HIV infection. Conclusion: By describing qualitative changes in HIV-1-specific T-cell responses that coincide with loss of viral control, we identified specific correlates of disease progression and putative markers of viral control. Our findings suggest including the markers IL-2, IFN-γ, MIP-1β, CD154 and CD45RA into monitoring of HIV-specific T-cell-responses to prospectively determine correlates of protection from disease-progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-120
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Virology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Correlates of protection
  • HIV
  • Longitudinal study
  • T-cell response


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