Individual Differences in CD4/CD8 T-Cell Ratio Trajectories and Associated Risk Profiles Modeled from Acute HIV Infection

Robert Paul*, Kyu Cho, Jacob Bolzenius, Carlo Sacdalan, Lishomwa C. Ndhlovu, Lydie Trautmann, Shelly Krebs, Somporn Tipsuk, Trevor A. Crowell, Duanghathai Suttichom, Donn J. Colby, Thomas A. Premeaux, Nittaya Phanuphak, Phillip Chan, Eugène Kroon, Sandhya Vasan, Denise Hsu, Adam Carrico, Victor Valcour, Jintanat AnanworanichMerlin L. Robb, Julie A. Ake, Somchai Sriplienchan, Serena Spudich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective We examined individual differences in CD4/CD8 T-cell ratio trajectories and associated risk profiles from acute HIV infection (AHI) through 144 weeks of antiretroviral therapy (ART) using a data-driven approach. Methods A total of 483 AHI participants began ART during Fiebig I-V and completed follow-up evaluations for 144 weeks. CD4+, CD8+, and CD4/CD8 T-cell ratio trajectories were defined followed by analyses to identify associated risk variables. Results Participants had a median viral load (VL) of 5.88 copies/ml and CD4/CD8 T-cell ratio of 0.71 at enrollment. After 144 weeks of ART, the median CD4/CD8 T-cell ratio was 1.3. Longitudinal models revealed five CD4/CD8 T-cell ratio subgroups: group 1 (3%) exhibited a ratio >1.0 at all visits; groups 2 (18%) and 3 (29%) exhibited inversion at enrollment, with normalization 4 and 12 weeks after ART, respectively; and groups 4 (31%) and 5 (18%) experienced CD4/CD8 T-cell ratio inversion due to slow CD4+ T-cell recovery (group 4) or high CD8+ T-cell count (group 5). Persistent inversion corresponded to ART onset after Fiebig II, higher VL, soluble CD27 and TIM-3, and lower eosinophil count. Individuals with slow CD4+ T-cell recovery exhibited higher VL, lower white blood cell count, lower basophil percent, and treatment with standard ART, as well as worse mental health and cognition, compared with individuals with high CD8+ T-cell count. Conclusions Early HIV disease dynamics predict unfavorable CD4/CD8 T-cell ratio outcomes after ART. CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell trajectories contribute to inversion risk and correspond to specific viral, immune, and psychological profiles during AHI. Adjunctive strategies to achieve immune normalization merit consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)976-983
Number of pages8
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • ART
  • CD4/CD8 T-cell ratio
  • GBTA
  • HIV
  • machine learning
  • trajectories


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