We have compared the immunological features of two matched groups of seronegative and seropositive haemophilia A individuals. Both groups were exposed from 1981 to 1985 to comparable amounts and batches of FVIII concentrates not subjected to virus inactivation procedures, and had therefore a 100% probability of receiving HIV-contaminated material. The presence of proviral HIV-1 sequences was evaluated by PCR in the DNA from peripheral blood lymphocytes and/or monocytes. After hybridization with specific probes, DNA from all seropositive haemophiliacs revealed HIV sequences; no HIV sequences were observed from the DNA of seronegative patients, even after two rounds of amplification, thus suggesting that these patients were not affected by a latent HIV infection. Seronegative/PCR - and seropositive/PCR + patients showed a normal and reduced number of CD4 + lymphocytes, and a slight and marked increase of CD8 + cells respectively. Activated T cells expressing the HLA-DR antigen were elevated in both groups. Interestingly, a significant reduction of circulating CD56 +/CD3 - NK lymphocytes was observed only in seropositive haemophiliacs, whereas NK lymphocytes with CD56 +/CD3 + phenotype were within normal levels in both groups. In seropositive patients no correlation was found between the number of CD4 + and CD56 +/CD3 - lymphocytes. The marked reduction of CD56 +/CD3 - lymphocytes observed in seropositive haemophiliacs in addition to the CD4 + cell depletion may represent a key pathogenetic factor which facilitates the onset and/or the progression of HIV-1 infection in haemophiliacs, and is related to the capacity of HIV to infect NK cells.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||British Journal of Haematology|
|Publication status||Published - 1992|
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