NK cells, gammadelta T cell antigen receptor chain-positive cells, and CD3(+)CD16/56(+) (natural T [NT]) cells are involved in innate immunity and immunoregulation; however, their role in clinical infection is not well defined. Cytofluorometric analysis was used to examine peripheral blood from bacteremic, nonbacteremic, and healthy human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive and -negative persons in Malawi, Africa.
Mycobacteremia was associated with a higher proportion of CD3(+)CD8(-) gammadelta cells (median, 16.6% vs. 0.7% for all other cells; P<.001), and
Salmonella bacteremia was associated with a higher proportion of NT cells (4.3% vs. 2.2%; P=. 002). HIV plasma RNA levels were weakly positively correlated with NT cells (rs=.39; P=.002), NK cells (rs=.38; P=.003), and gammadelta cells (rs=.43; P<.001). Compared with patients who survived, patients who died had a higher percentage of NT cells (3.7% vs. 1. 9%; P=.017) and a higher percentage of NT cells that spontaneously produced interferon-gamma (2.4% vs. 1.2%; P=.035). The data support the clinical relevance of gammadelta and NT cells in mycobacterial, Salmonella, and HIV infections and of NT cells in mortality.
Jason J, Buchanan I, Archibald LK, Nwanyanwu OC, Bell M, Green TA, Eick A, Han A, Razsi D, Kazembe PN, Dobbie H, Midathada M, Jarvis WR
J. Infect. Dis. 2000 Aug;182(2):474-81