Biomarkers of Inflammation Correlate with Clinical Scoring Indices in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Kenyans

Andrew Letizia*, Michael A. Eller, Christina Polyak, Leigh Anne Eller, Matthew Creegan, Peter Dawson, Christopher Bryant, D. Kim, Trevor A. Crowell, Kara Lombardi, Eric Rono, Merlin L. Robb, Nelson L. Michael, Jonah Maswai, Julie A. Ake

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background In high-income countries, inflammation has been associated with increased morbidity and mortality in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals despite treatment with antiretroviral therapy (ART). However, these findings may not be generalizable to low-income settings. Methods In this cross-sectional study, multivariable linear regression was used to compare 28 inflammatory biomarker levels in HIV-infected and -uninfected participants. Correlations between biomarkers and Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) index, Fibrosis-4 (FIB-4) score, and Framingham risk score were assessed. Results Plasma samples from 304 Kenyans were analyzed. Compared to HIV-uninfected controls, virologically suppressed HIV-infected participants had higher levels of CCL5, CXCL10, fatty acid binding protein (FABP) 2, fas ligand (FASLG), matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 1, MMP7, soluble CD14 (sCD14), and soluble CD163 (sCD163) and lower MMP9 (P <.01). CD4 + /HLA-DR + CD38 + (ρ = 0.32; P <.001), sCD14 (ρ = 0.25; P =.004), and sCD163 (ρ = 0.24; P =.006) were correlated with the VACS index. FABP2 was positively correlated (ρ = 0.29; P =.002), whereas MMP1 (ρ = -.32; P <.001) and MMP2 (ρ = -0.28; P =.002) were inversely correlated with the FIB-4 score. Conclusions Differences in biomarker levels exist between well-controlled HIV-infected participants on ART and uninfected controls. Some biomarkers are correlated to scoring indices predictive of morbidity and mortality. These biomarkers could serve as prognostic indicators and inform therapeutic development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-294
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - 7 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV
  • biomarkers
  • inflammation
  • noninfectious morbidity


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