Immune activation and virologic response to immunization in recent HIV type 1 seroconverters

Edward N. Janoff, Sybil A. Tasker, Mario Stevenson, Jeffrey B. Rubins, James O'Brien, Greg Utz, Peter Weiss, Frank W. Hall, Mark R. Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Antigenic stimulation from invasive bacterial infections, and the vaccines designed to prevent them, may promote T cell activation and enhancement of HIV-1 replication. Changes in viral load have been correlated with antigen-specific responses. We prospectively determined the impact of immunization with 23-valent pneumococcal vaccine (PVAX) and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)-modified diphtheria toxoid CRM197 (DT) vaccine on HIV-1 replication in recent HIV-1 seroconverters (n = 14; median, 5.5 months from infection; median CD4+ T cells, 535 μl), and correlated results with vaccine-related immune activation. Specific antibody responses, markers of CD4+ T cell activation (transferrin and interleukin 2 receptors), and viral burden were measured at weeks -2 (pre), 0, 1, 2, 6, and 12 after immunization. By week 2, levels of IgG had increased significantly over baseline in both HIV-l-infected patients and HIV-l-seronegative control subjects (n = 9) for each antigen (geometric mean fold rise: PVAX, 10.1 versus 5.3; Hib, 16.0 versus 11.7; and DT, 26.2 versus 24.5, respectively). Despite these vigorous responses to both polysaccharide and protein antigens, HIV-1-infected patients showed limited evidence of CD4+ T cell activation at 1 week, no consistent rise in HIV-1 burden at any point, and no decline in CD4+ T cell number over time. We conclude that recent HIV-1 seroconverters show vigorous humoral responses to vaccine antigens and limited early evidence of T cell activation, but no substantial or sustained increase in viral replication or decline in CD4+ T cell number. Thus, respiratory bacterial vaccines appear immunogenic and safe early in HIV-1 infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)837-845
Number of pages9
JournalAIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jun 10 1999


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