CD4 + T-lymphocyte count/CD8+ T-lymphocyte count ratio: surrogate for HIV infection in infants?


Ganga Devi NP, Ramesh K, Sudha S, Ponnuraja C, Padmapriyadarsini C, Swaminathan S.


Journal of Tropical Pediatrics; 2012; 58; 394-397.


Summary: Introduction : Early diagnosis and treatment is necessary to prevent HIV-infected infants progressing to AIDS. Antibody testing is not confirmatory before the age of 18 months and PCR not widely available in resource-poor settings. We studied the accuracy of CD4+ T-lymphocyte count, CD4% and CD4/CD8 ratio as surrogate markers of infant HIV infection.


Methods: Two hundred and fifty-eight HIV-exposed Indian infants at a median age of 5 months (range 118) had DNA PCR and CD4, CD8 counts performed.


Results: Fifty five infants tested positive by HIV-1 DNA PCR whereas 203 were negative. Median CD4 count, CD4% and CD4/CD8 ratio were significantly lower in DNA PCR+ infants. Overall sensitivity and specificity of CD4/CD8 ratio <1.0 in predicting HIV was 91 and 92% with a negative predicted value (NPV) and positive predicted value (PPV) of 97 and 76%, respectively.


Conclusion: CD4/CD8 ratio <1.0 is a more sensitive surrogate marker of HIV infection in Indian infants than a CD4 count <1500 cells/ m l or CD4% <25%.


Key words: HIV, infants, surrogate marker, CD4/CD8 ratio, diagnosis



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