Tuberculous meningitis is associated with higher cerebrospinal HIV-1 viral loads compared to other HIV-1-associated meningitides

To gain a better understanding of the immunopathogenesis of tuberculous meningitis (TBM) and identify potential diagnostic biomarkers that may discriminate TBM from other HIV-1-associated meningitides, we assessed HIV-1 viral load levels, drug resistance patterns in antiretroviral therapy (ART)-experienced patients with persistent viremia and soluble immunological analytes in peripheral blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of HIV-1 infected patients with TBM versus other meningitides. One hundred and three matched blood and CSF samples collected from HIV-1 infected patients with TBM or other meningitides presenting at a hospital in Durban, South Africa, from January 2009 to December 2011 were studied. HIV-1 RNA and 28 soluble immunological potential biomarkers were quantified in blood plasma and CSF. Viremic samples were assessed for HIV-1 drug resistance mutations. There were 16 TBM, 46 probable TBM, 35 non-TBM patients, and six unclassifiable patients. TBM and non-TBM patients did not differ in median plasma viral load but TBM patients had significantly higher median CSF viral load than non-TBM participants (p = 0.0005). No major drug resistance mutations were detected in viremic samples. Interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-17, platelet derived growth factor (PDGF)-BB, granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) and cathelicidin were significantly elevated in the CNS of TBM participants compared to other patients although these associations were lost after correction for false discovery. Our data suggest that TB co-infection of the CNS is associated with enhanced localized HIV-1 viral replication but none of the evaluated soluble immunological potential biomarkers could reliably distinguish TBM from other HIV-associated meningitides.

Authors: 
Ikanyeng D Seipone, Ravesh Singh, Vinod B Patel, Avashna Singh, Michelle L Gordon, Daniel M Muema, Keertan Dheda and Thumbi Ndung’u
Journal: 
PLoS One
Volume: 
13
Issue: 
2
Publication Date: 
February, 2018
IBN number: 
10.1371/journal.pone.0192060