Restoration of anti-tetanus toxoid responses in patients initiating highly active antiretroviral therapy with or without a boost immunization: An INITIO substudy

C. T. Burton, R. L. Goodall, A. Samri, B. Autran, A. D. Kelleher, G. Poli, G. Pantaleo, F. M. Gotch, N. Imami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


INITIO is an open-labelled randomized trial evaluating first-line therapeutic strategies for human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infection. In an immunology substudy a tetanus toxoid booster (TTB) immunization was planned for 24 weeks after initiation of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). All patients had received tetanus toxoid immunization in childhood. Generation of proliferative responses to tetanus toxoid was compared in two groups of patients, those receiving a protease inhibitor (PI)-sparing regimen (n = 21) and those receiving a PI-containing (n = 54) regimen. Fifty-two participants received a TTB immunization [PI-sparing (n = 15), PI-containing (n = 37)] and 23 participants did not [PI-sparing (n = 6) or PI-containing (n = 17)]. Cellular responses to tetanus antigen were monitored by lymphoproliferation at time of immunization and every 24 weeks to week 156. Proportions with a positive response (defined as stimulation index ≥ 3 and Δ counts per minute ≥ 3000) were compared at weeks 96 and 156. All analyses were intent-to-treat. Fifty-two participants had a TTB immunization at median 25 weeks; 23 patients did not. At weeks 96 and 156 there was no evidence of a difference in tetanus-specific responses, between those with or without TTB immunization (P = 0.2, P = 0.4). There was no difference in the proportion with response between those with PI-sparing or PI-containing regimens at both time-points (P = 0.8, P = 0.7). The proliferative response to tetanus toxoid was unaffected by initial HAART regimen. Anti-tetanus responses appear to reconstitute eventually in most patients over 156 weeks when treated successfully with HAART, irrespective of whether or not a TTB immunization has been administered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-257
Number of pages6
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2008



  • HIV-1
  • PI
  • Tetanus toxoid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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