During anti-retroviral therapy (ART) HIV-1 persists in cellular reservoirs, mostly represented by CD4+ memory T cells. Several approaches are currently being undertaken to develop a cure for HIV-1 infection through elimination (or reduction) of these reservoirs. Few studies have so far been conducted to assess the possibility of reducing the size of HIV-1 reservoirs through vaccination in virologically controlled HIV-1-infected children. We recently conducted a vaccination study with a combined hepatitis A virus (HAV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine in 22 HIV-1-infected children. We assessed the size of the virus reservoir, measured as total HIV-1 DNA copies in blood cells, pre- and postvaccination. In addition, we investigated by immunostaining whether the frequencies of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and parameters of immune activation and proliferation on these cells were modulated by vaccination. At 1 month from the last vaccination dose, we found that 20 out of 22 children mounted a serological response to HBV; a majority of children had antibodies against HAV at baseline. The number of HIV-1 DNA copies in blood at 1 month postvaccination was reduced in comparison to baseline although this reduction was not statistically significant. A significant reduction of HIV-1 DNA copies in blood following vaccination was found in 12 children. The frequencies of CD4+ (naÃ¯ve, effector memory) and CD8+ (central memory) T-cell subpopulations changed following vaccinations and a reduction in the activation and proliferation pattern of these cells was also noticed. Multivariate linear regression analysis revealed that the frequency of CD8+ effector memory T cells prior to vaccination was strongly predictive of the reduction of HIV-1 DNA copies in blood following vaccination of the 22 HIV-1-infected children. The results of this study suggest a beneficial effect of vaccination to reduce the size of virus reservoir in HIV-1-infected children receiving ART. A reduced frequency of activated CD4+ cells and an increase in central memory CD8+ T cells were associated with this finding. Further studies should assess whether vaccination is a possible tool to reduce HIV-1 reservoirs.
|Titolo:||Hepatitis B virus vaccination in HIV-1-infected young adults: A tool to reduce the size of HIV-1 reservoirs?|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|