Biomarkers in a Cohort of HIV-Infected Patients Single- or Co-Infected with HTLV-1, HTLV-2, and/or HCV: A Cross-Sectional, Observational Study

Viruses. 2022 Sep 3;14(9):1955. doi: 10.3390/v14091955.


HIV, HTLV-1/-2, and HCV share routes of transmission, and such virus co-infections could account for worse outcomes of associated diseases. Measuring cytokines/chemokines, CD4 and CD8 T cells, and HIV viral load (VL) in HIV single-infected and co-infected individuals has prognostic value. We analyzed such biomarkers in 129 blood samples of HIV-infected individuals matched for age and sex and divided into six groups (G1 (69 HIV); G2 (9 HIV/HTLV-1); G3 (6 HIV/HTLV-2); G4 (11 HIV/HCV); G5 (19 HIV/HCV/HTLV-1); and G6 (15 HIV/HCV/HTLV-2)). Eight cytokines/chemokines from fifteen analytes could be compared. The highest levels of Th1 and pro-inflammatory cytokines were detected in G2 (IFN-γ) and G6 (IL-6 and IL1-β) and of chemokines in G1 (MIG, IP10, RANTES), G4 (MCP1), and G6 (MIP1-β). The highest CD4 cells number and the lowest HIV VL were identified in G3 and the opposite results in G2. Positive correlations between CD4 and CD8 cells counts and IL-6 levels were detected in G2 and G5 and of HIV VL and RANTES in G4. Negative correlations were detected between CD8 and IFN-γ in G4 and HIV VL and RANTES in G6. Despite the small number of the cohort analyzed, and although the cross-sectional study design does not allow firm conclusions, the homogeneity of the characteristics of HIV/HTLV-co-infected individuals regarding age, time and route of HIV acquisition, and criteria for introducing ART enable us to suggest a negative impact of HTLV-1 and a possible protective role of HTLV-2 in HIV infection progression in such patients.

Keywords: CD4 and CD8 cell count; HCV; HIV; HIV viral load; HTLV-1; HTLV-2; biomarkers; chemokines; cytokines; outcomes in co-infections.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers
  • Chemokine CCL5
  • Chemokine CXCL10
  • Coinfection*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • HIV Infections*
  • HIV-1*
  • HIV-2
  • Hepatitis C* / complications
  • Human T-lymphotropic virus 1*
  • Human T-lymphotropic virus 2
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6
  • Viral Load


  • Biomarkers
  • Chemokine CCL5
  • Chemokine CXCL10
  • Interleukin-6

Grant support

This research was funded by São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), grants number 2012/51220-8 and 2016/03654-0, and Instituto Adolfo Lutz (IAL), grants number 106D/2012 and 62H/2015. KRC received scholarship from Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), financial code 001.