Tumor necrosis factor α is associated with viral control and early disease progression in patients with HIV type 1 infection

J Infect Dis. 2014 Oct 1;210(7):1042-6. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiu206. Epub 2014 Mar 31.


Inflammation in early human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) disease progression is not well characterized. Ninety patients with untreated primary HIV-1 infection were studied to determine associations of inflammatory proteins with early disease progression. High plasma tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) levels (≥8.5 pg/mL) were significantly associated with an increased viral load set point and shorter times to reaching a CD4(+) T-cell count of <500 cells/mm(3) and initiating antiretroviral therapy. The increased risk of reaching a CD4(+) T-cell count of <500 cells/mm(3) in the group with high TNF-α levels was driven by viral load but was independent of concurrent CD4(+) T-cell count. Thus, TNF-α appears to be an important mediator of inflammation in patients with poor viral control and early HIV-1 disease progression.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS; TNF-α; disease progression; inflammation; viral load set point.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • HIV-1 / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood*
  • Viral Load


  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha