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International Journal of Infectious Diseases


Objectives: To longitudinally compare SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell and humoral immune responses between convalescent individuals who are HIV-positive (HIV+) and HIV-negative (HIV-). Methods: We conducted enzyme-linked immunospots to determine the SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell responses to spike and nucleocapsid, membrane protein, and other open reading frame proteins (NMO), whereas an immunofluorescence assay was used to determine the humoral responses. Participants were sampled at baseline and after 8 weeks of follow-up. Results: Individuals who are HIV- had significantly more T cell responses to NMO and spike than individuals who are HIV+ at baseline, P-value = 0.026 and P-value = 0.029, respectively. At follow-up, T cell responses to NMO and spike in individuals who are HIV+ increased to levels comparable with individuals who are HIV-. T cell responses in the HIV- group significantly decreased from baseline levels at the time of follow-up (spike [P-value = 0.011] and NMO [P-value = 0.014]). A significantly higher number of individuals in the HIV+ group had an increase in T cell responses to spike (P-value = 0.01) and NMO (P-value = 0.026) during the follow-up period than the HIV- group. Antispike and antinucleocapsid antibody titers were high (1: 1280) and not significantly different between individuals who were HIV- and HIV+ at baseline. A significant decrease in antinucleocapsid titer was observed in the HIV- (P-value = 0.0001) and the HIV+ (P-value = 0.001) groups at follow-up. SARS-CoV-2 vaccination was more effective in boosting the T cell than antibody responses shortly after infection. Conclusion: There is an impairment of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell immunity in individuals who are HIV+ with advanced immunosuppression. SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell immune responses may be delayed in individuals who are HIV+, even in those on antiretroviral therapy. There is no difference in SARS-CoV-2-specific humoral immunity between individuals who are HIV- and HIV+.

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