COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Alterations of natural killer cell and T-lymphocyte counts in adults infected with human immunodeficiency virus through blood and plasma sold in the past in China and in whom infection has progressed slowly over a long period.

Natural killer (NK) cells, natural killer T (NKT) cells, and T lymphocytes were analyzed by using a flow cytometer in 225 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive individuals infected through the past sale of blood and plasma without receiving antiretroviral therapy in the People's Republic of China. According to CD4 T-cell counts these HIV-infected adults were stratified into three groups: long-term slow progressors, HIV-infected subjects, and AIDS patients. NK cell counts in long-term slow progressors were higher compared to HIV infection and AIDS patients (P < 0.05) and lower compared to normal controls (P < 0.05), whereas NKT cell counts in slow progressors and the HIV infection group were not different from those of normal controls. NK cell counts in HIV-seropositive subjects were positively correlated with CD4 T-cell counts (P < 0.05), and NKT cell counts were positively correlated with CD4 T-cell and CD8 T-cell counts (P < 0.05). The CD8 T-cell counts were higher in slow progressors compared to those with HIV infection, AIDS patients, and normal controls. These results indicated that HIV infection causes alterations of NK cells and T cells in slow progressors, HIV-infected subjects, and AIDS patient groups, but no difference was found in NKT cell counts and percentages in slow progressors and the HIV-infected group compared to normal controls.

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