Characterization of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected cells in infiltrates associated with CNS opportunistic infections in patients with HIV clade C infection

Anita Mahadevan, Susarla K. Shankar, Parthasarathy Satishchandra, Udaykumar Ranga, Yasha Thagadur Chickabasaviah, Vani Santosh, Ravi Vasanthapuram, Carlos A. Pardo, Avindra Nath, Mary C. Zink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) clade C is the most common HIV infection worldwide, yet its impact on the nervous system remains largely unknown. Autopsy studies from regions affected by this virus are scarce, and HIV dementia has only rarely been reported from these countries. Most patients who develop neurologic complications die of opportunistic infections. We thus conducted a neuropathologic study from a single institution in India to characterize the HIV-infected cells in the inflammatory infiltrates in a total of 15 cases (5 patients each who died of either CNS toxoplasmosis, tuberculosis, or cryptococcal meningitis). Nearly, all patients had HIV-infected cells in the brain, although these cells were most abundant in patients with toxoplasma encephalitis. Interestingly, none of the patients had any multinucleated giant cells. HIV-infected cells were found in the parenchyma, perivascular regions, and choroid plexus and found infiltrating the parenchyma from the meninges, suggesting multiple portals of entry into the brain. These findings suggest the possibility that patients, even if successfully treated for an opportunistic inflection, may be at high risk of developing HIV encephalitis and subsequent dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)799-808
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of neuropathology and experimental neurology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007



  • Clade C
  • Cryptococcal meningitis
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Macrophage
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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