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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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Expression of cytokine-mRNA in PBMC of HIV-1 subtype C infected individuals with opportunistic viral infections from South India

Jaiprasath Sachithanandham1*, Veena Vadhini Ramalingam1, Jaganathan Raja1, Ooriyapadickal Cherian Abraham2, Susanne A Pulimood3 and Rajesh Kannangai1

Author Affiliations

1 Departments of Clinical Virology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India

2 Internal Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India

3 Dermatology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2014, 14(Suppl 3):E10  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-S3-E10

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

Published:27 May 2014

© 2014 Sachithanandham 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. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.


HIV disease progression is associated with marked change in the level of plasma cytokines. The study reported here investigated the level of mRNA expression of different cytokines: TNF alpha, INF-gamma, IL-10 and IL-21 in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) among the HIV infected individuals with viral opportunistic infections.


We quantified the mRNA levels of 4 cytokines in PBMC directly from the blood of individuals infected with HIV and normal healthy controls using TaqMan based RealTime PCR.


The mRNA expressions of all the 4 cytokines in HIV-1 infected individuals were significantly higher compared to healthy controls (p value range 0.0004-0.01). The mean level of IL-10, INF-gamma and TNF alpha were higher in HIV infected individuals with low CD4 counts (<300 cells/µL). The IL-10 expression showed a significant negative correlation with CD4 counts (r = -0.25, p = 0.04) while IL-21 showed a positive correlation with CD4 counts (r = 0.26, p = 0.03). There was significant negative correlation between the CMV viral load and IL-21 expression.


The study showed a significant negative correlation between CD4+ T cell counts and IL-10 mRNA expression showing a shift towards TH2 profile during the late stages of the HIV disease in subtype C infected individuals. This study on HIV-1 subtype C infected individuals with opportunistic viral infections like EBV and CMV adding new information in such specific opportunistic infections.