This article is part of the supplement: Abstracts from the 2nd International Science Symposium on HIV and Infectious Diseases (HIV SCIENCE 2014)

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HAART restores the frequency of regulatory T cells (Tregs) among HIV/AIDS patients

M Suthandhira1, H Durgadevi1, OR Krishnarajasekar2, K Raja2, B Rayvathy2, Sowmya Swaminathan3, Luke Elizabeth Hanna3, S Anbalagan3 and Elanchezhiyan Manickan1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Microbiology, Dr. ALM PG IBMS, University of Madras, Taramani, Chennai, India

2 Govt. Hospital of Thoracic Medicine, Tambaram Sanatorium, Chennai, India

3 National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (ICMR), Chetpet, Chennai, India

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2014, 14(Suppl 3):E1  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-S3-E1

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:27 May 2014

© 2014 Suthandhira et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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Immunosuppression is the hallmark HIV infection associated with gradual loss of CD4+Tcells. The effector immune response is regulated by CD4+CD25+Foxp3+Tcells (Tregs). Enumeration of Tregs frequency showed equivocal results before and here we showed clearly their frequency by flowcytometry.


One hundred and eight individuals comprising of 71 HIV positive patients (44 patients undergoing HAART and 27 without HAART) and 37 HIV negative healthy controls. PBMCs were isolated and stained with CD4/FITC, CD25/APC, FoxP3/PE antibodies (BD Pharmingen) and analyzed for Tregs frequency by flowcytometer (BD FACS Calibur).


Our study showed that healthy controls had a Tregs frequency of 4.1%. When Tregs frequency analyzed among HIV/AIDS patients who are yet to receive HAART we found a significant reduction in Tregs population i.e. 1.2%. Encouragingly this deep plunge in Tregs population was found to be restored and surged upon HAART up to 12.6%. However, these changes in percentages did not alter based on their gender or age or absolute CD4 count of the study population.


HAART is known to decrease viral load and improve the patient’s CD4 cells count. Here we report that HAART has improved the Tregs frequency. It is yet to be known that the consequence of resurging Tregs during HIV/AIDS.