Anti-nef antibodies and other predictors of disease progression in HIV-1 seropositive injecting drug users.

Journal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents

PubMedID: 1359736

Rezza G, Titti F, Pezzotti P, Sernicola L, Lo Caputo S, Angarano G, Lazzarin A, Sinicco A, Rossi GB, Verani P. Anti-nef antibodies and other predictors of disease progression in HIV-1 seropositive injecting drug users. J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 1992;6(1):15-20.
A cross-sectional and retrospective longitudinal study has been conducted in three Italian infectious disease centres to evaluate the role of anti-nef antibodies and other markers (HIV-1 p24 antigen, p24 Ag; Beta 2-microglobulin, B2-M; and number of CD4+ lymphocytes) as predictors of disease progression in HIV seropositive injecting drug users (IDUs). The selected patients were: 1) HIV-seropositive IDUs in different stages of HIV infection; 2) HIV-seropositive IDUs who had developed AIDS, from whom serial serum samples were available during the asymptomatic stage, and 3) HIV seropositive IDUs who remained asymptomatic through a follow-up period of the same duration as the patients who developed AIDS. Absence of anti-nef antibodies was associated with symptomatic HIV infection. A significant association between the absence of anti-nef antibodies, the presence of p24 Ag, high levels of B2-M, a number of CD4+ lymphocytes less than 500/ml at first visit and disease progression was found. Subjects who were persistently positive for antibody to nef were less likely to develop AIDS than those who were transiently or persistently negative. This difference was statistically significant (p = 0.03). The results of this study show that absence or disappearance of anti-nef antibodies may be used as predictor of disease evolution in HIV seropositive IDUs. This study also confirms the usefulness of other markers, such as p24 Ag, B2-M and number of CD4+ lymphocytes previously shown to be predictive of rapid disease progression for predicting the course of HIV seropositive IDUs.