Article Abstract

MicroRNA profiling in plasma of HIV-1 infected patients: potential markers of infection and immune status

Authors: Yuhua Qi, Haiyang Hu, Hongxiong Guo, Peng Xu, Zhiyang Shi, Xiping Huan, Zheng Zhu, Minghao Zhou, Lunbiao Cui


Background: Circulating miRNAs are recently used as promising biomarkers for infectious diseases. The aim of this study was to identify plasma miRNAs for infection detection and monitoring the immune status of HIV infection.
Methods: A cohort of 128 plasma samples from HIV-1 infected subjects and 37 samples from healthy donors were analyzed by TaqMan Low-Density Array (TLDA) method to find the differentially expressed miRNAs, in the light of HIV-1infected patients with low (<200 cell/μL), medium (200–350 cell/μL), and high (>350 cell/μL) CD4+ T cell count.
Results: Seven miRNAs (miR-29a, miR-223, miR-27a, miR-19b, miR-151-3p, miR-28-5p, miR-766 and miR-30a-3p) were significantly associated with CD4+ T cell count (P<0.05) and thus have a great potential to serve as biomarkers for monitoring the HIV immune status. A combination of five miRNAs (miR-29a, miR-223, miR-27a, miR-19b, miR-151-3p) were found to distinguish the HIV-1 infected patients from healthy controls with sensitivity of 96.1% and specificity of 97.3% by RT-qPCR and receiver operational characteristic (ROC) curve analysis (AUC =0.99).
Conclusions: We have identified highly sensitive and specific signatures of circulating miRNAs enabling non invasive detection and immune status monitoring of HIV-1 infection.