JC virus-specific immune responses in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 patients with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy

Khanna, Nina; Wolbers, Marcel; Mueller, Nicolas J; Garzoni, Christian; Du Pasquier, Renaud A; Fux, Christoph A; Vernazza, Pietro; Bernasconi, Enos; Viscidi, Raphael; Battegay, Manuel; Hirsch, Hans H (2009). JC virus-specific immune responses in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 patients with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. Journal of virology, 83(9), pp. 4404-11. Baltimore: American Society for Microbiology 10.1128/JVI.02657-08

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Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) is a frequently fatal disease caused by uncontrolled polyomavirus JC (JCV) in severely immunodeficient patients. We investigated the JCV-specific cellular and humoral immunity in the Swiss HIV Cohort Study. We identified PML cases (n = 29), as well as three matched controls per case (n = 87), with prospectively cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cells and plasma at diagnosis. Nested controls were matched according to age, gender, CD4(+) T-cell count, and decline. Survivors (n = 18) were defined as being alive for >1 year after diagnosis. Using gamma interferon enzyme-linked immunospot assays, we found that JCV-specific T-cell responses were lower in nonsurvivors than in their matched controls (P = 0.08), which was highly significant for laboratory- and histologically confirmed PML cases (P = 0.004). No difference was found between PML survivors and controls or for cytomegalovirus-specific T-cell responses. PML survivors showed significant increases in JCV-specific T cells (P = 0.04) and immunoglobulin G (IgG) responses (P = 0.005). IgG responses in survivors were positively correlated with CD4(+) T-cell counts (P = 0.049) and negatively with human immunodeficiency virus RNA loads (P = 0.03). We conclude that PML nonsurvivors had selectively impaired JCV-specific T-cell responses compared to CD4(+) T-cell-matched controls and failed to mount JCV-specific antibody responses. JCV-specific T-cell and IgG responses may serve as prognostic markers for patients at risk.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Clinic of Infectiology

UniBE Contributor:

Fux, Christoph Andreas




American Society for Microbiology




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:14

Last Modified:

04 May 2014 23:23

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Web of Science ID:



https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/32445 (FactScience: 197653)

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