Resource Logo
AIDS Research and Therapy

T cell Activation does not drive CD4 decline in longitudinally followed HIV-infected Elite Controllers



Elite controllers (EC) are a rare subset of HIV infected individuals who control viral load below 50 copies/ml of plasma without treatment.


Thirty four EC were studied. The slope of CD4 count change was available for 25 of these subjects. We assessed immune activation by measuring the percent of CD38+HLA-DR+CD8+ T cells in the EC group and comparing it with that in 24 treatment-naïve HIV disease progressors and 13 HIV uninfected healthy controls.


Compared to HIV uninfected subjects, EC had higher percentages of CD38+HLA-DR+CD8+ T cells (p < 0.001) that was lower than that observed in progressors (p < 0.01). Fifteen of 25 EC had a slope of CD4 count change that was not significantly different from 0 while 3 had a positive and 7 a negative CD4 count slope. Immune activation did not distinguish EC subsets with stable/increasing versus declining CD4 counts.


Elevated immune activation in ECs is not associated with a faster rate of CD4 decline


HIV infection; Elite controllers; activation markers; CD4 count change

*Corresponding author: Nicole F Bernard


© 2011 Kamya et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



Copyright © 2011 -

All articles published by AIDS Research and Therapy are made freely and permanently accessible online immediately upon publication, without subscription charges or registration barriers. Further information about open access can be found here.

Authors of articles published in AIDS Research and Therapy are the copyright holders of their articles and have granted to any third party, in advance and in perpetuity, the right to use, reproduce or disseminate the article, according to the BioMed Central copyright and license agreement.

Information in this article was accurate in June 16, 2011. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.