Serosurvey and Cellular Immune Status of HTLV-1/2 and HIV Co-infections in Bauchi State, Nigeria
Introduction. Human T-cell lymphotropic virus types 1 and 2 (HTLV-1 & 2) are frequent co-pathogens among immunosuppressed individuals, particularly HIV/AIDS infected persons. Dual infected persons usually present with false normal or high CD4+ T cells count as a result of the ability of HTLV to induce clonal proliferation of CD4+ T lymphocytes. There is paucity of information on this clinical entity in Nigeria.
Aim. This study aimed to determine the seroprevalence of HTLV-1/2 and associated cellular immune response among antiretroviral naïve and experienced HIV infected persons at Bauchi State, Nigeria.
Material and methods. One hundred and eighty two (182) HIV seropositive patients’ blood samples were analyzed for anti HTLV-1/2 IgM and IgG antibodies using ELISA while CD4+ T cells were counted using Flow cytometry technique. Socio-demographic data of the subjects and clinical history were obtained via questionnaire and medical records, respectively.
Results. The seroprevalence of anti-HTLV-1/2 was 14%. This comprised 76 (41.8%) males and 106 (58.2%) females. Six (3%) were seropositive for both ant-HTLV -1&2 IgM and IgG. Of the total positive for anti-HTLV-1/2, 20 (25%) ART-naïve and 6(5.9%) ART-experience subjects. Whole blood CD4+ T cell count was significantly high in HTLV-1/-2 IgG/IgM seropositive subjects compared to their HTLV-1/-2 negative counterpart.
Conclusion. All subjects (100%) who were HTLV-1/-2/HIV co-infected had normal to higher CD4+ T cell counts. It is suggested to be very careful in using only CD4+ counts to monitor HIV progression or as indicators for ART.