Background: The immunomodulatory nutritional product NR100157 was developed for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals. We hypothesized that targeting the compromised gastrointestinal tract of HIV-infected individuals would result in systemic immunological benefits.
Methods: In a multicenter, randomized, controlled, double-blind trial, 340 HIV-1-positive adults not on antiretroviral therapy, with CD4(+) T-cell counts <800/µL, were given either NR100157 or an isocaloric and isonitrogenous control for 52 weeks. Primary outcome was CD4(+) T-cell count. Secondary outcomes included plasma viral load (pVL), safety, and tolerability. In a pilot study (n = 20), levels of CD4(+)CD25(+) and CD8(+)CD38(+) activation were measured (n = 20). The trial is registered at the Dutch Trial Register (NTR886) and ISRCTN81868024.
Results: At 52 weeks, CD4(+) T-cell decline showed a 40-cell/µL difference (P = .03) in the intention-to-treat population in favor of the immunomodulatory NR100157 (control vs active, -68 ± 15 vs -28 ± 16 cells/µL/year). The change in pVL from baseline was similar between groups (P = .81). In the pilot study, the percentage of CD4(+)CD25(+) was lower in the active group (P < .05) and correlated with changes in CD4(+) T-cell count (r = -0.55, P < .05). The percentage of CD8(+)CD38(+) levels was unaffected.
Conclusions: The specific immunonutritional product NR100157 significantly reduces CD4(+) decline in HIV-1-infected individuals, and this is associated with decreased levels of CD4(+)CD25(+). (This nutritional intervention is likely to affect local gut integrity and gut-associated lymphoid tissue homeostasis, which in turn translates positively to systemic effects.) Clinical Trials Registration. ISRCTN81868024.
Keywords: CD4 decline; NR100157; immune activation; immunonutrition.