HIV-infected individuals with latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection are at significantly greater risk of reactivation tuberculosis (TB) than HIV-negative individuals with latent TB, even while CD4 T cell numbers are well preserved. Factors underlying high rates of reactivation are poorly understood and investigative tools are limited. We used cynomolgus macaques with latent TB co-infected with SIVmac251 to develop the first animal model of reactivated TB in HIV-infected humans to better explore these factors. All latent animals developed reactivated TB following SIV infection, with a variable time to reactivation (up to 11 months post-SIV). Reactivation was independent of virus load but correlated with depletion of peripheral T cells during acute SIV infection. Animals experiencing reactivation early after SIV infection (<17 weeks) had fewer CD4 T cells in the periphery and airways than animals reactivating in later phases of SIV infection. Co-infected animals had fewer T cells in involved lungs than SIV-negative animals with active TB despite similar T cell numbers in draining lymph nodes. Granulomas from these animals demonstrated histopathologic characteristics consistent with a chronically active disease process. These results suggest initial T cell depletion may strongly influence outcomes of HIV-Mtb co-infection. © 2010 Diedrich et al.
Diedrich, C. R., Mattila, J. T., Klein, E., Janssen, C., Phuah, J., Sturgeon, T. J., … Flynn, J. A. L. (2010). Reactivation of latent tuberculosis in cynomolgus macaques infected with SIV is associated with early peripheral T cell depletion and not virus load. PLoS ONE, 5(3). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0009611