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Title: Phenotype and function of B cells in children infected with human immunodeficiency vius
Author: Muema, Daniel Kyuson Muli
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2013
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HIV infection has been shown to affect alllymphocyte populations, including the B-cell compartment. Defects in phenotype and function of B cells have been well characterized in HIV -infected adults. However, only a few studies have investigated the effect of HIV on the B-cell compartment in children, and such studies have been less detailed than in adults. As a result, much remains to be described with regard to B cells in HIV -infected children. In this study, I assessed the phenotype and function ofB cells in HIV-infected children. I also assessed the in vitro effect of various B-cell stimulant-combinations and the effect of recombinant HIV -1 nef protein on the resultant B-cell responses. The phenotypic defects observed in the HIV -infected children were broadly similar to those observed in HIV -infected adults but with minor differences. Furthermore, high viraemia and low CD4+ T-cell percentages interfered with the age-related accumulation of B-cell memory, suggesting that children of all ages might benefit from immediate initiation of HAART upon diagnosis with HIV -infection. HIV infection was also associated with poor B-cell responses to vaccine antigens, implying that such children may require revaccination upon initiation of HAART. In the in vitro experiments, different B-cell stimulants elicited synergistic effects on B cells. However, HIV -1 Nef did not affect various B-cell responses upon exposure to the' B-cell stimulants. WHO has recently revised the recommendations for management of paediatric HIV. All children below five years of age are to be started on HAAR T the moment they are diagnosed with HIV, but such recommendations are yet ' to be adopted into national guidelines. The possibilities of revaccinating HIV -infected children once on HAART need to be evaluated. Even though some studies have repotted on the possible causes of B cell defects in HIV, more research needs to be done to elucidate other causes that may offer intervention targets.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available