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Alveolar T-helper 17 responses to streptococcus pneumoniae are preserved in ART-untreated and treated HIV-infected Malawian adults.

Alveolar T-helper 17 responses to streptococcus pneumoniae are preserved in ART-untreated and treated HIV-infected Malawian adults.
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Peno C, Banda DH, Jambo N, Kankwatira AM, Malamba RD, Allain TJ, Ferreira DM, Heyderman RS, Russell DG, Mwandumba HC, Jambo KC,


Peno C, Banda DH, Jambo N, Kankwatira AM, Malamba RD, Allain TJ, Ferreira DM, Heyderman RS, Russell DG, Mwandumba HC, Jambo KC, (click to view)

Peno C, Banda DH, Jambo N, Kankwatira AM, Malamba RD, Allain TJ, Ferreira DM, Heyderman RS, Russell DG, Mwandumba HC, Jambo KC,

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The Journal of infection 2017 11 2976(2) 168-176 pii 10.1016/j.jinf.2017.10.013

Abstract
OBJECTIVE
We explored if HIV infection is associated with impaired T-Helper 17 responses against Streptococcus pneumoniae in the lung.

METHODS
We recruited 30 HIV-uninfected healthy controls, 23 asymptomatic HIV-infected adults not on ART, and 40 asymptomatic HIV-infected adults on ART (Median time 3.5yrs), in whom we collected bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. We measured alveolar CD4+ T cell immune responses following stimulation with pneumococcal cell culture supernatant using flow cytometry-based intracellular cytokine staining.

RESULTS
We found that the proportion of alveolar CD4+ T cells producing IL-17A following stimulation with pneumococcal cell culture supernatant (CCS) was similar between HIV-uninfected controls and ART-naïve HIV-infected adults (0.10% vs. 0.14%; p = 0.9273). In contrast, the proportion and relative absolute counts of CD4+ T cells producing IL-17A in response to pneumococcal CCS were higher in ART-treated HIV-infected adults compared HIV-uninfected controls (0.22% vs. 0.10%, p = 0.0166; 5420 vs. 1902 cells/100 ml BAL fluid; p = 0.0519). The increase in relative absolute numbers of IL-17A-producing alveolar CD4+ T cells in ART-treated individuals was not correlated with the peripheral blood CD4+ T cell count (r=-0.1876, p = 0.1785).

CONCLUSION
Alveolar Th17 responses against S. pneumoniae are preserved in HIV-infected adults. This suggests that there are other alternative mechanisms that are altered in HIV-infected individuals that render them more susceptible to pneumococcal pneumonia.

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