Objective: The goal of this study was to identify in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals immunologic markers that correlated with transmission of HIV by heterosexual contact. Methods: In a case-control comparison of couples, immunologic and viral parameters were evaluated in 343 HIV-positive individuals who were members of 67 HIV- seroconcordant couples (both partners HIV positive) and 211 HIV serodiscordant couples (one positive, one negative). Results: The most striking immunologic finding was the increased numbers of CD3+CD8+ cells found in the index member of discordant couples as compared to the index member of the concordant couples. Differences in CD3+CD8+ levels persisted after adjustment for stage of disease and CD3+CD4+ count. This increase in the number of CD3+CD8+ cells was accompanied by a concomitant decrease in the amount of viral replication measured by both HIV culture endpoint and quantitative RNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Conclusion: Data presented here further support the role of CD3+CD8+ cells in suppressing or controlling vital activity, although a causal role based on case-control data must be advanced cautiously. This in vivo biologic function may help prevent or lower the risk of HIV transmission.
Denny, T. N., Skurnick, J. H., Palumbo, P., Perez, G., Monel, R., Stephens, R., … Louria, D. B. (1998). CD3+CD8+ cell levels as predictors of transmission in human immunodeficiency virus-infected couples: A report from the heterosexual HIV transmission study. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 2(4), 186–192. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1201-9712(98)90050-9