Assessment of HTLV-I proviral load, HIV viral load and CD4 T cell count in infected subjects; with an emphasis on viral replication in co-infection

Document Type : Original Article


1 Hematology Department, Ghaem Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Immunology Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Inflammation and Inflammatory Diseases Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran



Objective(s): HTLV-I and HIV virus quantification is an important marker for assessment of virus activities. Since there is a direct relationship between the number of virus and disease progression, HTLV-
I and HIV co-infection might have an influence on the development of viral associated diseases, thus, viral replication of these viruses and co-infection were evaluated.
Materials and Methods:
In this study, 40 subjects were selected; 14 HIV infected, 20 HTLV-I infected and 6 HTLV-I/HIV co-infected subjects. The amount of viruses was measured using qPCR TaqMan method and CD4 and CD8 lymphocytes were assessed by flow cytometry.
The mean viral load of HIV infected subjects and HTLV-I infected individuals were 134626.07±60031.07 copies/ml and 373.6±143.3 copies/104 cells, respectively. The mean HIV viral load in co-infected group was 158947±78203.59 copies/ml which is higher than HIV infected group. The mean proviral load of HTLV-I in co-infected group was 222.33±82.56 copies/ml which is lower than HTLV-I infected group (P<0.05). Also, the mean white blood cell count was higher in co-infected group (5666.67±1146.49 cells/μl). However, the differences between these subjects did not reach to a statistical significance within 95% confidence interval level (P
=0.1). No significant differences were observed regarding CD4 and CD8 positive lymphocytes between these groups.
HTLV-I/HIV co-infection might promote HIV replication and could reduce the HTLV-I proviral load, in infected cells. Considering the presence of both viruses in Khorasan provinces, it encourages researchers and health administrators to have a better understanding of co-infection outcome.


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