Indexed on: 12 Jul '14Published on: 12 Jul '14Published in: The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy
Chronic and systemic inflammatory alterations occur in HIV-infected patients and elderly uninfected subjects and in both scenarios these alterations are associated with the development of chronic morbidities and mortality. However, whether the levels of inflammatory alterations in untreated HIV-infected patients and elderly individuals are similar is unknown. Moreover, whether long-term antiretroviral therapy normalizes inflammatory alterations compared with HIV-uninfected persons of different age is not known.We analysed soluble inflammatory levels [high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, interferon (IFN)-γ, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8 and IL-17] in a cohort of viraemic HIV-infected patients compared with (i) age-matched, (ii) elderly and (iii) non-survivor elderly, uninfected healthy controls. We longitudinally analysed the effect of long-term 48 and 96 week suppressive combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) on the soluble inflammatory levels compared with those found in control subjects.Baseline IL-6 and IL-8 levels were at similar or lower concentrations in untreated patients compared with healthy elderly individuals. However, TNF-α and IFN-γ levels broadly exceeded those found in survivors and non-survivor elderly individuals. Long-term suppressive cART normalized most of the inflammatory markers, with the exception of TNF-α levels, which persisted as high as those in elderly non-survivor controls.Chronic inflammatory alterations associated with HIV infection are maintained at a different level from those of ageing. The persistent alteration of TNF-α levels in HIV-infected patients might cause tissue damage and have implications for developing non-AIDS-defining illnesses, even when HIV replication is long-term controlled by cART.