Sixteen HIV-seropositive haemophiliacs were followed up for 42 months and 9 other patients for 24 months. All patients were infected in 1983 or 1984. T cell subsets and serum neopterin levels were measured twice a year. The patients were divided into three groups according to their age in 1989: group A (children) <14 years old (n = 6); group B (adolescents) 14-20 years old (n = 8); group C (adults) >20 years old (n = 1). At the last measurement performed in November, 1989, patients of group A had significantly higher absolute number and percentage of CD4+ lymphocytes and significantly lower serum neopterin levels than patients of group B and C. In addition, the percentage of the activated, CD3+DR+ lymphocytes was also significantly higher in the adult-adolescent group than in the children group. Until the end of December, 1989, AIDS developed in 0, 1 and 2 patients and ARC was diagnosed in 0, 5, and 2 patients of groups A, B, and C, respectively. The progression of the HIV disease towards AIDS in these patients was predicted by the T cell subset and neopterin measurements performed in 1987. Only those 3 patients who progressed to AIDS had CD4+ cells less than 350/μl and a neopterin value of more than 20 nmol/l. These findings confirm previous observations indicating that in patients with haemophilia the progression of HIV disease is influenced by age: a relatively slow progression can be expected in prepuberty children. The lower neopterin serum concentrations and CD3+DR+ subset percentages in children suggest that the observed slower progression in this age group could be associated with a lower degree of activation of cellular immunity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy