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African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
ISSN: 1680-6905
EISSN: 1680-6905
Vol. 15, No. 2, 2015, pp. 334-343
Bioline Code: hs15051
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Health Sciences, Vol. 15, No. 2, 2015, pp. 334-343

 en A non-specific biomarker of disease activity in HIV/AIDS patients from resource-limited environments
Bipath, Priyesh; Levay, Peter; Olorunju, Steve & Viljoen, Margaretha


Background: A general non-specific marker of disease activity that could alert the clinician and prompt further investigation would be of value in patients with HIV/AIDS, especially in resource limited environments.
Objective: To investigate the potential of neopterin as non-specific biomarker in patients with advanced HIV/AIDS.
Methods: Cross-sectional study in 105 HIV positive patients (75 on highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART). Neopterin was assessed by enzyme linked immune-absorbent assay and cytokines by flow cytometry.
Results: Neopterin levels were significantly higher (p<0.001) for the total patient than for the control group. Significant correlations between neopterin and plasma indicators of inflammation showed neopterin to be a good indicator of active inflammatory status and of the effect of HAART on the immune system. Neopterin was superior to C-reactive protein and to individual cytokines as indicator of immune deficiency. Increased neopterin levels were associated with a decline in albumin, haemoglobin and the albumin/globulin ratio, and with increases in red cell distribution width.
Conclusions: Plasma neopterin is a good non-specific biomarker of disease activity in HIV/AIDS patients. It is a good indicator of inflammatory activity, perpetuation of inflammation-associated co-morbidities, degree of immune deficiency and has predictive value for underlying disease, and for monitoring the HAART response.

neopterin; biomarkers; immune activation; HIV/AIDS

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