Country of residence is associated with distinct inflammatory biomarker signatures in HIV-infected patients.
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BACKGROUND: Inflammation and coagulation biomarkers are independent predictors of morbidity and mortality in HIV-infected patients. The impact of country of residence on these biomarkers is unknown and was investigated in persons at similar stages of HIV infection. METHODS: Cryopreserved plasma specimens were analysed from 267 ART-naive patients with CD4 cell counts <100 cells/μl from Mexico (n=124) and South Africa (n=143). Biomarkers were compared and dimension reduction analyses were performed to highlight biosignatures according to nationality, gender and tuberculosis co-infection. RESULTS: Mexican patients were significantly different from South Africans with regard to age, gender, CD4 cell count, haemoglobin, presence of AIDS-defining illness and prevalence of active tuberculosis. After adjusting for baseline characteristics, patients from Mexico had higher levels of IFN-γ, IL-8, and CXCL-10 whereas patients from South Africa had higher levels of fibrinogen, LTB4, P-selectin, protein S, and sCD40 ligand. The effect of country on the profile of biomarker expression was stronger than gender differences and tuberculosis co-infection. CONCLUSION: Inflammation and coagulation biomarkers vary significantly by country. Further studies are needed to evaluate how these differences may contribute to HIV pathogenesis and prognosis in diverse populations and how they can be accounted for in studies using biomarkers as surrogate end points.
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