Characterizing the immune system after long-term undetectable viral load in HIV-1-infected children

J Clin Immunol. 2003 Jul;23(4):279-89. doi: 10.1023/a:1024536816684.


Thirty two HIV-infected children, on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and > 500 CD4+ T cells/mm3, were rated according to the time-course of viral load (VL) during the whole follow-up period (> 18 months) in a longitudinal retrospective study. (a) uVL group: 15 children with VL below 400 copies/mL; (b) dVL group: 17 children with higher VL. The uVL group showed higher memory (CD4+CD45RO+) T cells than did dVL group, and higher number of memory activated CD4+CD45RO+HLA-DR+ than did control group (healthy age-matched uninfected children), whereas CD4+CD45RA(hi)+CD62L+ was similar. However, TCR rearrangement excision circles (TRECs) were higher in uVL group than in dVL group. uVL Group showed CD8+CD45RO+ and CD8+CD45RO+CD38- higher number than the control group, but lower than the dVL group. The percentage of CD8+CD45RA(hi)+CD62L+, CD8+CD45RA+, CD8+CD62L-, and CD8+CD28+ was higher in uVL group than in dVL group, and lower than in control group. The uVL group showed higher number of activated (HLA-DR+CD38+, HLA-DR+, HLA-DR+CD38-) CD4+ T cells and lower percentages of CD4+HLA-DR-CD38+ than dVL group. In activated CD8- T cell, the uVL group had lower CD8+HLA-DR+CD38+, CD8+HLA-DR+, and CD8+CD38+ than the dVL group. Preeffector (CD8+CD57-CD28- and CD8+CD45RA-CD62L-) T cells were lower in the uVL group than in dVL group. In the effector (CD8+CD57+, CD8+CD57+CD28-, and CD8+CD45RA+CD62L-) T cells, HIV-infected-children had higher values than control group. HIV-infected-children who respond to HAART had TRECs reconstitution, decreased immune activation, and lower effector CD8+ T cells. Moreover, successful HAART allow the increment of activated CD4+ T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active*
  • CD28 Antigens / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8 Antigens / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Child
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • HIV-1 / drug effects*
  • HIV-1 / immunology
  • HIV-1 / physiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens / immunology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / classification
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • Thymus Gland / immunology
  • Viral Load


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • CD28 Antigens
  • CD8 Antigens
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens