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Association between different anti-Tat antibody isotypes and HIV disease progression: Data from an African cohort

By Francesco Nicoli, Mkunde Chachage, Petra Clowes, Asli Bauer, Dickens Kowour, Barbara Ensoli, Aurelio Cafaro, Leonard Maboko, Michael Hoelscher, Riccardo Gavioli, Elmar Saathoff and Christof Geldmacher


Background: The presence of IgG and IgM against Tat, an HIV protein important for viral replication and immune dysfunction, is associated with slow disease progression in clade B HIV-infected individuals. However, although Tat activities strictly depend on the viral clade, our knowledge about the importance of anti-Tat antibodies in non-clade B HIV infection is poor. The objective of this study was to investigate the association of different anti-Tat antibody isotypes with disease progression in non-clade B HIV-infected subjects and to study the relationship between anti-Tat humoral responses and immunological abnormalities. Methods: Anti-clade B and -clade C Tat IgG, IgM and IgA titers were assessed in serum samples from 96 cART-naïve subjects with chronic HIV infection from Mbeya, Tanzania, and associated with CD4+ T cell count, plasma viremia and CD4+ and CD8+ T cell phenotypes. Results: Anti-Tat IgM were preferentially detected in chronic HIV-infected subjects with low T cell activation (p-value = 0.03) and correlated with higher CD4+ T cell counts and lower viral loads irrespective of the duration of infection (p-value = 0.019 and p-value = 0.037 respectively). Conversely, anti-Tat IgA were preferentially detected in individuals with low CD4+ T cell counts and high viral load (p-value = 0.02 and p-value < 0.001 respectively). The simultaneous presence of anti-Tat IgG and IgM protected from fast CD4+ T cell decline (p-value < 0.01) and accumulation of CD38+HLADR+CD8+ T cells (p- value = 0.029). Conclusions: Anti-Tat IgG alone are not protective in non-clade B infected subjects, unless concomitant with IgM, suggesting a protective role of persistent anti-Tat IgM irrespective of the infecting clade

Topics: Antibodies, Clade B HIV, Clade C HIV, Diseases progression, Immune activation, Tat, Infectious Diseases
Year: 2016
DOI identifier: 10.1186/s12879-016-1647-3
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