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March 22, 1993

CD8 T Cells in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection

Author Affiliations

San Francisco, Calif

Arch Intern Med. 1993;153(6):779. doi:10.1001/archinte.1993.00410060079013

In their excellent article on syphilitic meningitis in a human immunodeficiency virus-positive patient, DiNubile et al1 focus on the patient's CD4 T-cell count of 1070 cells per cubic millimeter. According to the numbers in the article, the patient's CD8 T-cell count was approximately 4130 cells per cubic millimeter.

The authors spend the bulk of the report discussing the implications of a normal CD4 T-cell count in this setting. It seems ironic that the authors (like most of the medical establishment) are so fixated on CD4 T cells that they can ignore a CD8 T-cell count four times higher than normal in their patient. I would like to hear more about the implications of significantly increased CD8 T cells in neurosyphilis, since the role of these cells in human immunodeficiency virus disease may be quite important.2,3