BMC infectious diseases 2017 08 2217(1) 581 doi 10.1186/s12879-017-2676-2
Persistent residual viremia (RV) and low grade inflammation and immune activation have been associated with non-AIDS defining events. The impact of persistent RV and HIV-DNA load on immune activation/inflammation remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to gain new insights into the relation between viremia, markers of inflammation and HIV-DNA levels.
Three hundred and twenty-one HIV-infected patients were studied. A retrospective analysis of viremia values, prospectively collected for 48 months, was performed. Patients were separated into three groups: 113 TND (Target Not Detected, patients with sustained undetectable viremia); 113 RV (Residual Viremia, patients who had at least three detectable viral load (VL) values <37 copies/ml); 95 LLV (Low Level Viremia, patients with at least two VL values >37 but <200 copies/ml). HIV-DNA, TNF-α, IL-6 and sCD14 were analyzed. RESULTS
HIV-DNA, sCD14 and TNF-α were significantly lower in the TND group than in the RV and LLV groups. In addition, RV patients showed lower levels of HIV-DNA and sCD14 than LLV individuals. HIV-DNA load was not related to markers of inflammation. The ordinal logistic analysis showed that two independent variables were significantly associated with VL pattern: sCD14, HIV-DNA. In addition NRTIs plus NNRTIs and NRTIs plus PIs were negatively associated to VL pattern compared to INI-containing regimen.
Persistent undetectable viremia was associated with lower levels of inflammatory markers and HIV-DNA. However, the lack of normalization of these biomarkers in the TND group and the fact that HIV-DNA load was not associated with inflammation strongly suggest that other mechanisms play a major role in maintaining inflammation over time.