Skip to main content

Lymphocyte subset changes between 3 and 15 months of age in infants born to HIV‐seropositive women in South Africa

Buy Article:

$51.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


The evolution of T‐lymphocyte subsets during infancy in perinatally HIV‐infected African babies has not been previously described. In a hospital‐based cohort study, T‐lymphocyte subset changes were investigated in 72 South African black children born to HIV seropositive mothers. Sixteen (22.2%) children were classified as infected and 56 (77.8%) as uninfected by 18 months of age. Four (25%) of the infected infants died before the age of 9 months from HIV‐related disease.

The CD4 and CD8 T‐lymphocyte subsets, expressed in absolute numbers, as percentages, percentiles or as ratios, were clear indicators of HIV infection at all ages between 3 and 15 months. The most marked changes were a decreased percentage of CD4 cells and an increase in percentage of CD8 cells in the infected group. In the 4 infected infants who died, CD8 count and CD4:CD8 ratio clearly predicted poor clinical outcome at 3 months. Taken together, both CD4:CD8 ratio and CD4 percentage are reliable markers of HIV infection in an African paediatric population; however, a raised CD8 lymphocyte count rather than a CD4 count is a more specific prognostic marker of disease progression in HIV infected children.

Keywords: T‐lymphocyte subsets; diagnostic and prognostic markers; perinatal HIV infection

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Natal, Durban, South Africa, 2: Department of Haematology, University of Natal, Durban, South Africa, 3: MRC Centre for Epidemiological Research, Medical Research Council, Durban, South Africa

Publication date: May 1, 1997

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more