Short communication: CD8(+) T cell polyfunctionality profiles in progressive and nonprogressive pediatric HIV type 1 infection.
Thobakgale CF., Streeck H., Mkhwanazi N., Mncube Z., Maphumulo L., Chonco F., Prendergast A., Tudor-Williams G., Walker BD., Goulder PJ., Altfeld M., Ndung'u T.
Pediatric HIV-1 infection is characterized by rapid disease progression and without antiretroviral therapy (ART), more than 50% of infected children die by the age of 2 years. However, a small subset of infected children progresses slowly to disease in the absence of ART. This study aimed to identify functional characteristics of HIV-1-specific T cell responses that distinguish children with rapid and slow disease progression. Fifteen perinatally HIV-infected children (eight rapid and seven slow progressors) were longitudinally studied to monitor T cell polyfunctionality. HIV-1-specific interferon (IFN)-γ(+) CD8(+) T cell responses gradually increased over time but did not differ between slow and rapid progressors. However, polyfunctional HIV-1-specific CD8(+) T cell responses, as assessed by the expression of four functions (IFN-γ, CD107a, TNF-α, MIP-1β), were higher in slow compared to rapid progressors (p=0.05) early in infection, and was associated with slower subsequent disease progression. These data suggest that the quality of the HIV-specific CD8(+) T cell response is associated with the control of disease in children as has been shown in adult infection.