Cytomegalovirus-Specific CD4+ T-cell Responses and CMV-IgG Levels Are Associated With Neurocognitive Impairment in People Living With HIV

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



Mechanisms leading to neurocognitive impairment (NCI) in people living with HIV (PLWHIV) on stable combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) remain unknown. We investigated the association between immunity against cytomegalovirus (CMV), HIV-specific variables, and NCI in PLWHIV on stable cART and with low comorbidity.


Fifty-two PLWHIV on stable cART and 31 HIV-uninfected controls matched on age, sex, education, and comorbidity were tested with a neurocognitive test battery, and CMV-immunoglobulin G (CMV-IgG) levels were measured. In PLWHIV, CMV-specific (CMV-pp65 and CMV-gB) CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses were measured using intracellular cytokine staining and flow cytometry. NCI was defined as a global deficit scale score (GDS score) ≥0.5. GDS scores and domain-specific scores defined severity of NCI. Logistic and linear multivariable regression analyses were used.


NCI was detected in 30.8% of PLWHIV, and HIV was associated with an adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of 5.18 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.15 to 23.41, P = 0.033] for NCI. In PLWHIV, higher CMV-specific CD4+ T-cell responses increased the probability of NCI with an aOR of 1.68 (95% CI: 1.10 to 2.57) for CMV-pp65 or an aOR of 3.73 (95% CI: 1.61 to 16.98) for CMV-gB, respectively. Similar associations were not found with CMV-IgG or CMV-specific CD8+ T cells, but when assessing severity of NCI, higher CMV-IgG (per 100 U/mL) was associated with worse GDS scores (β = 0.08) (0.01–0.16), P = 0.044), specifically in the domain of speed of information processing (β = 0.20 (0.04–0.36, P = 0.019).


PLWHIV had increased risk of NCI. Excess risk may be associated with CMV-specific CD4+ T-cell responses and CMV-IgG. Larger longitudinal studies investigating the impact of immunity against CMV on risk of NCI are warranted.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles