Within and between race differences in lymphocyte, CD4+, CD8+ and neutrophil levels in HIV-uninfected children with or without HIV exposure in Europe and Uganda

Madeleine Bunders, Eric Lugada, Jonathan Mermin, Robert Downing, Willy Were, Claire Thorne, Marie Louise Newell, C. Giaquinto, O. Rampon, A. de Rossi, R. D'Elia, I. Grosch-Wörner, J. Mok, I. Bates, I. de José, F. Hawkins, M. C. Garcia-Rodriguez, C. Ladrón de Guevara, J. Ma Pená, J. Gonzales GarciaJ. R. Arribas Lopez, F. Asensi-Botet, M. C. Otero, D. Pérez-Tamarit, A. Orti, M. J. San Miguel, H. Scherpbier, M. Kreyenbroek, K. Boer, A. B. Bohlin, E. Belfrage, S. Lindgren, L. Navér, J. Levy, M. Hainaut, A. Peltier, T. Goetghebuer, P. Barlow, A. Ferrazin, A. de Maria, C. Gotta, A. Mǔr, M. A. López-Vilchez, A. Payà, R. Carreras, N. H. Valerius, T. Niemeç, M. Marczynska, A. Vigano, V. Giacomet, E. Ferrazzini, W. Buffolano, A. Vegnente, R. Iorio, P. Martinelli

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Abstract

Background: Racial immuno-haematological differences have been reported in children but to date have not been well quantified. Aim: To investigate differences in haemato-immunological markers over age between children born and living in Europe and Uganda. Subjects: HIV-uninfected children living in Uganda (n=1633) with cross-sectional data. Black (n=604) and white children (n=1355) living in Europe, both with prospective data. The children born in Europe were HIV-uninfected but born to HIV-infected mothers and were included in the European Collaborative Study (ECS). Methods: Patterns and levels of total lymphocyte (TLC), CD4+, CD8+ counts and CD4% were visualised by smoothers (a line representing the weighted average of all measurements over age by study group). Differences between groups were quantified using age-standardised Z-scores for individual TLC, CD4+ and CD8+ counts in uni- and multivariate regression models. Results: In infancy, TLC, CD4+ and CD8+ counts were lower in Ugandan than black European children; neutrophil counts were similar. Thereafter, only neutrophil counts were lower in Ugandan children. To assess within-race differences, we compared Z-scores of ECS children born to Ugandan mothers with those of Ugandan children. Levels of all four markers were lower in Ugandan children at all ages. In Ugandan children, CD4+ counts were 0.5985 Z-score (p<0.001) and neutrophil counts 0.3872 Z-score (p<0.001) lower than in European children born to Ugandan mothers. Conclusions: There are differences in levels of haemato-immunological markers in children with comparable genetic backgrounds, suggesting that environmental factors such as nutrition and exposure to micro-organisms might have important effects on the developing immune system. © 2006 The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-179
JournalAnnals of Tropical Paediatrics
Volume26
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2006

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