Brief Report: Role of Thymic Reconstitution in the Outcome of AIDS-Related PML

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Implications of thymopoiesis in AIDS-related opportunistic infections remain unexplored. We used progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), caused by JC virus (JCV), as an opportunistic infection model, and we simultaneously investigated thymic output and T-cell responses against JCV in 22 patients with PML treated with combined antiretroviral therapy. Thymic output was significantly associated with JCV-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses and improved survival. Our data suggest that patients with AIDS-related PML and impaired thymopoiesis are less likely to develop a robust JCV-specific cellular immune response and consequently are at an increased risk for a poor clinical outcome.

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