Morbidity and mortality associated with HIV infection is immune-mediated, and an understanding of HIV immunology will be beneficial in the management of HIV infectionOBJECTIVE: The objective of this research was to measure the levels of TNF-α, IL-6 and IFN-γ in asymptomatic HIV patients and non-HIV subjects, as well as their relationship with CD4 count.
Blood samples were collected from 173 subjects, consisting of 125 asymptomatic HIV patients (44 HAART-naïve and 81 on HAART) and 48 non-HIV subjects. The IFN-, IL-6, and TNF- levels in the blood were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, and the CD4 count of all participants was determined using flow cytometry.
Regardless of treatment status, the IFN-γ levels of non-HIV subjects were significantly higher than those of HIV patients (p< 0.001). The opposite was true for IL-6, as the levels of IL-6 in non-HIV subjects were significantly lower than those in HAART-naïve HIV patients (p< 0.001) and those on HAART (p 0.05) by immunosuppression (measured by CD4 count 0.05).
In conclusion, asymptomatic HIV infection decreased IFN-γ, increased IL-6, and had no effect on TNF-α levels, regardless of treatment status. Immunosuppression had no impact on these cytokine levels, and there was no relationship between them and CD4 counts.