In Vivo Delayed-Type Hypersensitivity Skin Test Anergy in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Infection Is Associated with T Cell Nonresponsiveness In Vitro

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In a cross-sectional study, the prevalence of delayed-type hypersensitivity skin test anergy (DTHA) was examined in 136 asymptomatic human immunodeficiency virus-infected participants in relation to immunologic and virologic parameters. DTHA was assessed with a multitest cell-mediated immunity skin test. Of the 136 participants, with a mean CD4 T cell count of 335 × 106/L, 25 were anergic (18.4%). In the stepwise forward multivariate logistic regression models, after adjustment for CD4 T cell counts, depending on whether it was analyzed continuously or after dichotomization (20th percentile), both T cell reactivity to CD2 plus CD28 antibodies or to CD3 antibodies were the most predictive markers of DTHA (odds ratio, 0.80; 95% confidence interval, 0.67-0.94; and odds ratio, 2.97; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-8.3, respectively). This study shows a strong correlation between the decreased T cell responses in vitro and DTHA. Therefore, next to DTHA testing, T cell function assays may be useful to test immune reconstitution observed during antiretroviral treatment.

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