Immunologic Responses Associated with 12 Weeks of Combination Antiretroviral Therapy Consisting of Zidovudine, Lamivudine, and Ritonavir: Results of AIDS Clinical Trials Group Protocol 315


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Abstract

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 infection is associated with progressive cell-mediated immune deficiency and abnormal immune activation. Although highly active antiretroviral therapy regimens can increase circulating CD4 T lymphocyte counts and decrease the risk of opportunistic complications, the effects of these treatments on immune reconstitution are not well understood. In 44 persons with moderately advanced HIV-1 infection, after 12 weeks of treatment with zidovudine, lamivudine, and ritonavir, plasma HIV-1 RNA fell a median of 2.3 logs (P < .0001). Circulating numbers of naive and memory CD4 T lymphocytes (P < .001), naive CD8 T lymphocytes (P < .004), and B lymphocytes (P < .001) increased. Improved lymphocyte proliferation to certain antigens and a tendency to improvement in delayed-type hypersensitivity also were seen. Dysregulated immune activation was partially corrected by this regimen; however, the perturbed expression of T cell receptor V regions in the CD4 and CD8 T lymphocyte populations was not significantly affected. Ongoing studies will ascertain if longer durations of virus suppression will permit more complete immune restoration.

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