Immune dysregulation in HIV patients with immune reconstitution after highly active anti-retroviral therapy [ 2003 - 2005 ]

Also known as: Regulation of the restored immune system in HIV patients receiving anti-HIV drugs

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: A/Pr Patricia Price (Principal investigator) ,  Prof Martyn French

Brief description As HIV infection progresses to AIDS, there is a depletion of CD4 T-cells from the patient's blood and inhibition of the function of the remaining cells. Some immune defects resolve if the patient is given treatment with highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART), but it remains to be determined if the function of the imune system returns fully to normal. We have shown that problems with the regulation of the restored immune system in the first 6 months of treatment can lead to diseases associated with Mycobacterial infections (eg: tuberculosis), CMV retinitis, hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus. We have defined these conditions as Immune Restoration diseases (IRD) and shown that they occur in one in four individuals who begin HAART from low baseline CD4 T-cell counts. IRD are likely to become common as therapy becomes available in Africa and Asia as patients begin treatment from low CD4 T-cell counts. There is also emerging evidence that dysregulated T-cell responses may cause disease later in the course of immune reconstitution. For example, some patients with undetectable HIV experience opportunistic infections or autoimmune disease after many months of HAART. This project will use West Australian patients receiving optimal therapy for their HIV infection. We will analyse immune activation and T-cell function in patients beginning HAART with low CD4 T-cell counts and patients who have had well-controlled HIV infection for at least 6 months. Blood samples will be collected for the measurement of immunological messengers (cytokines) known to be involved in different types of immune responses. The results will be correlated with the clinical outcome.

Funding Amount $AUD 411,000.00

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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