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Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex enhances susceptibility of CD4 T Cells to HIV through a TLR2-mediated pathway
Among HIV-infected individuals, co-infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis is associated with faster progression to AIDS. We investigated the hypothesis that M. bovis BCG and M. tuberculosis (Mtb complex) could enhance susceptibility of CD4+ cells to HIV infection. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) collected from healthy donors were stimulated with M. bovis BCG, M. tuberculosis CDC1551 and M. smegmatis MC2155, and stimulated CD4+ cells were infected with R5-and X4-tropic single replication-competent pseudovirus. CD4+ cells stimulated with Mtb complex showed enhanced infection with R5- and X4-tropic HIV, compared to unstimulated cells or cells stimulated with M. smegmatis (p<0.01). Treatment with TLR2 siRNA reversed the increased susceptibility of CD4+ cells with R5- and X4-tropic virus induced by Mtb complex. These findings suggest that TB infection and/or BCG vaccination may be a risk factor for HIV acquisition.
Thayil S, Ho Y, Bollinger RC, Blankson J, Siliciano R, Karakousis P, Page KR. Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex enhances susceptibility of CD4 T Cells to HIV through a TLR2-mediated pathway. PLoS One. 2012; 7(7):e41093. Epub 2012 Jul 23. PMCID:PMC3402510