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HIV-infected individuals with severe immunodeficiency are at risk of opportunistic infection (OI). Tuberculosis (TB) may occur without substantial immune suppression suggesting an early and sustained adverse impact of HIV on Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB)-specific cell mediated immunity (CMI). This prospective observational cohort study aimed to observe differences in OI-specific and MTB-specific CMI that might underlie this. Using polychromatic flow cytometry, we compared CD4+ responses to MTB, cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and Candida albicans in individuals with and without HIV infection. MTB-specific CD4+ T-cells were more polyfunctional than virus specific (CMV/EBV) CD4+ T-cells which predominantly secreted IFN-gamma (IFN-γ) only. There was a reduced frequency of IFN-γ and IL-2 (IL-2)-dual-MTB-specific cells in HIV-infected individuals, which was not apparent for the other pathogens. MTB-specific cells were less differentiated especially compared with CMV-specific cells. CD127 expression was relatively less frequent on MTB-specific cells in HIV co-infection. MTB-specific CD4+ T-cells PD-1 expression was infrequent in contrast to EBV-specific CD4+ T-cells. The variation in the inherent quality of these CD4+ T-cell responses and impact of HIV co-infection may contribute to the timing of co-infectious diseases in HIV infection.

Original publication




Journal article


Immun Inflamm Dis

Publication Date





141 - 153


Candida albicans, Epstein-Barr virus, HIV, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, cytomegalovirus