Summary:We compared the immune activation profile of 46 HIV-negative and 75 HIV-positive Israelis infected with HIV-1 subtype B, with 85 HIV-negative and 102 HIV-positive Ethiopian immigrants to Israel, who were infected with HIV subtype C. The HIV-negative Ethiopians had exceedingly high blood levels of eosinophils, immunoglobulin E (IgE), and p75s tumor-necrosis factor receptors (p75sTNFR); secretion of interleukin-4 (IL-4) and IL-10 by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC); proportion of human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DR+ cells within CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+ T-cell subsets; and proportion of CD45RO+ CD4+ cells; while having significantly lower secretion of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) by PBMC and percentage of CD45RA+ CD4+ and CD28+ CD8+ cells. HIV infection in both populations was associated with reduced IL-2, IL-4, IL-10, and IL-12 secretion, number of CD28+ and CD45RA+ CD8+ cells, and increased number of HLA-DR+-CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+ cells, and CD45RO+ CD8+ cells. Thus, infection with HIV-1 subtypes B and C of studied Israelis and Ethiopians, respectively, results in a similar immune activation profile at all stages of the infection when living in the same environment, despite the striking different immune profile observed in the HIV-negative Israeli and Ethiopian populations. Together with our previous observations, this indicates that HIV subtype is not a major determinant in the natural course of HIV infection.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Zvi Bentwich, R. Ben-Ari Institute of Clinical Immunology, AIDS Center, Kaplan Medical Center, Rehovot 76100, Israel; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Z. Weisman and A. Kalinkovich contributed equally to this work.
Manuscript received October 9, 1998; accepted February 19, 1999.
© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.