Background: Immune reconstitution complications (IRC) are a major problem faced by HIV treated patients world wide. Interleukin (IL)-2 and IL-7 play vital roles in peripheral T-cell homeostasis. Our study objective was to measure and compare the blood plasma levels of IL-2 and IL-7 amongst antiretroviral therapy (ART) patients attending the Yaoundé University Teaching Hospital, Cameroon.
Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study with 296 HIV positive patients enrolled between July 2017 and May 2018 at the Yaoundé University Teaching Hospital. IL-2, IL-7, T-cell profile counts and plasma viral load were measured on whole blood specimens. Data obtained were analyzed using Graph Pad Prism 5.0 and Epi info 7.0. Software.
Results: IL-2 and IL-7 plasma concentration levels were higher in patients with ART failure compared to ART success, with a mean SD of 19.4±8 and 17.1±6 pg /ml, 35.26±11 and 21.5±5 pg/ml, with p < 0.001 and < 0.001. There was a direct and significant correlation between viral load, IL-2 and IL-7 with p values = 0.028, and 0.020, respectively. There was an association between IL-2, IL-7 and viral load in relation to the duration on treatment (DT), with p values = 0.003 (R2=0.041, CI= 0.069 - 0.34) ,0.017 (R2=0.027, CI=-0.30 - 0.030), and 0.001 (R2=0.048, CI=-0.047-0.76).
Conclusion: Considering that limited surrogate markers are availiable for monitoring immune reconstitution and high associated mortality rates, IL-2 and IL-7 could be a good immunological predictor for ART failure and success in HIV infected individuals.
Keywords: ART; Homeostasis; Immune reconstitution; Interleukins.