Analyses of immune activation in HIV-exposed seronegative individuals (HESN) yielded discrepant results. To clarify this issue we performed an extensive investigation of immune parameters in HESN and, in particular, we analyzed in these individuals the possible presence of microbial translocation, the most widely accepted reason driving immune activation in HIV-infected patients. Results showed that immune activation, a skewing of T lymphocyte maturation, and increased responsiveness to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) characterize the HESN phenotype; this is not driven by alterations of the gastrointestinal barrier and microbial translocation. The activation state seen in HESN may influence the induction of stronger adaptive antiviral immune responses and may represent a virus exposure-induced innate immune protective phenotype against HIV.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases