Impact of immune activation and inflammation on the susceptibility to HIV infection and disease progression in HIV serodiscordant and seroconcordant couples

Doctoral Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The biological correlates of protection against HIV infection remain poorly characterized, hindering the development of an effective prevention strategy. Studies of individuals who resist HIV infection or progress more slowly after being infected are important for the conception of appropriate approaches for mimicking the effective responses against HIV infection or progression. The role of immune activation and chronic inflammation in the modulation of HIV acquisition risk and/or rate of HIV disease progression has been proposed as one of the most important mechanisms determining risk and pathogenesis but is not fully understood. A state of immune quiescence has been associated with protection against HIV infection and slower disease progression. To explore potential risk factors associated with HIV transmission and HIV disease progression, this dissertation investigates the relationship between clinical and biological biomarkers and resistance to HIV infection or disease progression (including viral load, CD4 counts, cellular activation, soluble inflammatory and regulatory cytokines, and HIV co-receptor expression) in stable long-term HIV seroconcordant and serodiscordant couples.

Includes bibliographical references.