PLoS One 2019 18;14(4):e0214800. Epub 2019 Apr 18.
Yunnan Key Laboratory of Laboratory Medicine, Kunming, Yunan, China.
Background: Prior to being spread throughout broader China, multiple human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 genotypes were originally discovered in the Yunnan Province. As the HIV-1 epidemic continues its spread in Yunnan, knowledge of the influence of gender, age, and ethnicity to instances of HIV reservoirs will benefit monitoring the spread of HIV.
Methods: The degree to which T cells are depleted during an HIV infection depends on the levels of immune activation. T-cell subsets were assessed in newly-diagnosed HIV/AIDS patients in Yunnan, and the influence of age, gender, and ethnicity were investigated. Patients that were newly diagnosed with the HIV-infection between the years 2015 and 2018 at the First Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical College were selected for this study (N = 408). The lymphocyte levels and T cell subsets were retrospectively measured in whole blood samples by FACS analysis.
Results: The median CD4 count was 224 ± 191 cells/μl. Significantly higher mean frequencies and absolute numbers were observed in CD3+, CD3+CD4+, CD3+CD8+, CD45+, and CD3+CD4+/CD45+ in females compared to males. Han patients showed a higher total number of CD3+T cells and the ratio of CD3+ /CD45+ cells compared to any other ethnic minority (P < 0.001). The numbers of CD3+ T-cells, CD3+CD8+ T cells, and CD45+ T cells were highest in the age group ≥ 60. Significant differences were observed in the counts of CD3+, CD3+CD8+, and CD45+ cells and the ratio of CD3+/CD45+ and CD3+CD4+/CD45+ cells between the ≤ 29 and 30-59 age groups.
Conclusion: This study has revealed that low levels of CD4+ T cells can be observed in newly-diagnosed HIV/AIDS patients in the Yunnan province. It has also been demonstrated that gender, age, and ethnicity have a significant association with the ratio of T-cell subsets that may contribute to virus progression and disease prognosis in individuals belonging to certain subsets of the population. This study has highlighted the importance of HIV/AIDS screening in at-risk populations to ensure timely and adequate clinical management in Yunnan.