HIV-specific CD8 + T-cell proliferation is prospectively associated with delayed disease progression

Lyle R. McKinnon, Rupert Kaul, Joshua Kimani, Nico J. Nagelkerke, Charles Wachihi, Keith R. Fowke, Terry Blake Ball, Francis A. Plummer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-specific CD8 + T-cell proliferation is consistently correlated with enhanced host HIV immune control, but whether proliferative responses are a cause or consequence of immune protection is unclear. We measured Env-specific CD8 + T-cell proliferation and interferon (IFN)-γ secretion in HIV-infected participants with CD4 counts >200, who then completed 121 person-years of prospective follow-up to monitor HIV disease progression. In all, 13 of 31 participants (42%) reached end point during longitudinal follow-up. Strong Env-specific CD8 + T-cell proliferation (>10% of CD8 + T cells) was observed in 14/31 participants at baseline, and this was associated with a longer time to HIV disease progression end point, stratified baseline CD4 count (P=0.016). No associations were observed for IFN-γ ELISPOT responses and progression (P>0.2). Strong proliferation remained significant in multivariate Cox regression analyses (P=0.044) as an independent predictor of delayed HIV disease progression, along with baseline CD4 count (P=0.04). Duration of HIV infection was associated with more rapid progression in univariate, but not multivariate, analysis (P=0.112). Age and baseline viral load were not predictive of progression. HIV-specific CD8 + T-cell proliferation was a correlate of protective immunity in this prospective study; such responses may be important for HIV vaccine protection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-351
Number of pages6
JournalImmunology and Cell Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Africa
  • CD8 T cells
  • female sex workers
  • longitudinal
  • proliferation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology


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