Open Forum Infectious Diseases
This study was done to characterize parameters associated with semen human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 ribonucleic acid (RNA) viral load (VL) variability in HIV-infected, therapy-naive men. Methods.
Paired blood and semen samples were collected from 30 HIV-infected, therapy-naive men who have sex with men, and 13 participants were observed longitudinally for up to 1 year. Human immunodeficiency virus RNA, bacterial load by 16S RNA, herpesvirus (Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegalovirus [CMV]) shedding, and semen cytokines/chemokines were quantified, and semen T-cell subsets were assessed by multiparameter flow cytometry. Results.
Semen HIV RNA was detected at 93% of visits, with >50% of men shedding high levels of virus (defined as >5000 copies/mL). In the baseline cross-sectional analysis, an increased semen HIV VL correlated with local CMV reactivation, the semen bacterial load, and semen inflammatory cytokines, particularly interleukin (IL)-8. T cells in semen were more activated than blood, and there was an increased frequency of Th17 cells and γδ-T-cells. Subsequent prospective analysis demonstrated striking interindividual variability in HIV and CMV shedding patterns, and only semen IL-8 levels and the blood VL were independently associated with semen HIV levels. Conclusions.
Several clinical and immune parameters were associated with increased HIV semen levels in antiretroviral therapy-naive men, with induction of local proinflammatory cytokines potentially acting as a common pathway.
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Osborne, B., Marsh, A., Huibner, S., Shahabi, K., Liu, C., Contente, T., Nagelkerke, N., Kovacs, C., Benko, E., Price, L., MacDonald, K., & Kaul, R. (2017). Clinical and Mucosal Immune Correlates of HIV-1 Semen Levels in Antiretroviral-Naive Men.. Open Forum Infectious Diseases, 4 (2). http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ofid/ofx033