CD4+ T cell-dependent reduction in hepatitis C virus-specific humoral immune responses after HIV infection

Dale M. Netski, Tim Mosbruger, Jacquie Astemborski, Shruti H. Mehta, David L. Thomas, Andrea L. Cox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Background. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection adversely affects all stages of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, leading to increased rates of viral persistence, higher levels of HCV viremia, and accelerated progression of HCV-related liver disease. These disease interactions may result in part from impairment of B cell function, which is CD4+ T cell dependent. Methods. To determine the effect of HIV infection on B cell function, we compared HCV antibody levels and specificities in 29 HCV-infected persons before and after they acquired HIV and assessed the temporal correlation of these changes with overall CD4+ T lymphocyte counts. Results. The pre-HIV infection HCV antibody titer was a predictor of the subsequent titer for all antigens, and decreasing CD4+ T cell numbers was strongly associated with a decrease in anti-HCV titers for several antigens. CD4+ T cells counts of <500 cells/mm3 were significantly associated with lower HCV antibody end-point titers. Higher HCV end-point titers were associated with fewer years from HIV infection and, for Core antigen, current drug use. Conclusions. HCV-specific antibody production is impaired by HIV infection, and loss of antibody production depends on CD4+ T cell depletion. However, the decrease in titers is less significant in those who continue to actively inject drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)857-863
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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