The immune interaction between HIV-1 infection and Mycobacterium tuberculosis


The modulation of tuberculosis (TB)-induced immunopathology caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 coinfection remains incompletely understood but underlies the change seen in the natural history, presentation, and prognosis of TB in such patients. The deleterious combination of these two pathogens has been dubbed a "deadly syndemic," with each favoring the replication of the other and thereby contributing to accelerated disease morbidity and mortality. HIV-1 is the best-recognized risk factor for the development of active TB and accounts for 13% of cases globally. The advent of combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) has considerably mitigated this risk. Rapid roll-out of ART globally and the recent recommendation by the World Health Organization (WHO) to initiate ART for everyone living with HIV at any CD4 cell count should lead to further reductions in HIV-1-associated TB incidence because susceptibility to TB is inversely proportional to CD4 count. However, it is important to note that even after successful ART, patients with HIV-1 are still at increased risk for TB. Indeed, in settings of high TB incidence, the occurrence of TB often remains the first presentation of, and thereby the entry into, HIV care. As advantageous as ART-induced immune recovery is, it may also give rise to immunopathology, especially in the lower-CD4-count strata in the form of the immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome. TB-immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome will continue to impact the HIV-TB syndemic.

Journal details

Volume 4
Issue number 6
Pages TBTB2-0012-2016
Publication date

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