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Training Years: 2013-2014

Training Site: University of Cape Town

Country: South Africa

Mentors: Graeme Meintjes, MB ChB FRCP(UK) FCP(SA) MPH PhD; Jeffrey Wilkinson, MD

Title: Effects of type 2 diabetes and obesity on the human immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria and pandemic H1N1 influenza virus within the context of HIV/AIDS

Project Objectives:  

Aim: To determine how BMI and type II diabetes in HIV‐infected patients being treated with ART will alter the cellular immune responses to Mtb and pH1N1. Hypotheses: We hypothesize that obesity, overweight, and/or type II diabetes will impair the cellular immune responses to Mtb and pH1N1 in HIV‐infected patients on ART, compared to healthy weight HIV‐positive and HIV‐negative individuals without type II diabetes, which will be characterized by decreased CD4+ and CD8+ T cell numbers; impaired expression of CD69, interferon‐γ (IFNγ), tumor necrosis factor‐α (TNFα), interleukin‐IL12 receptor (IL12R), granzyme B (GrB), and granulysin; a shift towards TH2 CD4+ cytokine production (elevated levels of IL4, IL5, IL6, and IL13) and away from TH1 CD4+ cytokine production (lower levels of IFNγ); and decreased secretion of TNFα and IL12. In addition, we hypothesize that poor diabetes disease control will further worsen the impaired cellular immune response.

NIH Support: Fogarty fellowship postdoctoral training award

Heather Paich Headshot