Human immunodeficiency virus type 1-hepatitis C virus coinfection: intraindividual comparison of cellular immune responses against two persistent viruses.
Lauer GM., Nguyen TN., Day CL., Robbins GK., Flynn T., McGowan K., Rosenberg ES., Lucas M., Klenerman P., Chung RT., Walker BD.
Both human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) lead to chronic infection in a high percentage of persons, and an expanding epidemic of HIV-1-HCV coinfection has recently been identified. These individuals provide an opportunity for simultaneous assessment of immune responses to two viral infections associated with chronic plasma viremia. In this study we analyzed the breadth and magnitude of the CD8(+)- and CD4(+)-T-lymphocyte responses in 22 individuals infected with both HIV-1 and HCV. A CD8(+)-T-lymphocyte response against HIV-1 was readily detected in all subjects over a broad range of viral loads. In marked contrast, HCV-specific CD8(+)-T-lymphocyte responses were rarely detected, despite viral loads in plasma that were on average 1,000-fold higher. The few HCV-specific responses that were observed were relatively weak and limited in breadth. CD4-proliferative responses against HIV-1 were detected in about half of the coinfected subjects tested, but no proliferative response against any HCV protein was found in these coinfected persons. These data demonstrate a major discordance in immune responses to two persistent RNA viruses. In addition, they show a consistent and profound impairment in cellular immune responses to HCV compared to HIV-1 in HIV-1-HCV-coinfected persons.