Document Type


Date of Original Version



Cell & Molecular Biology


Maternal human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection has been shown to leave profound and lasting impacts on the HIV-exposed uninfected (HEU) infant, including increased mortality and morbidity, immunological changes, and developmental delays compared to their HIV-unexposed (HU) counterparts. Exposure to HIV or antiretroviral therapy may influence immune development, which could increase morbidity and mortality. However, a direct link between the increased mortality and morbidity and the infant’s immune system has not been identified. To provide a global picture of the neonatal T cell repertoire in HEU versus HU infants, the diversity of the T cell receptor beta chain (TRB) expressed in cord blood samples from HEU infants was determined using next-generation sequencing and compared to healthy (HU) infants collected from the same community. While the TRB repertoire of HU infants was broadly diverse, in line with the expected idea of a naïve T cell repertoire, samples of HEU infants showed a significantly reduced TRB diversity. This study is the first to demonstrate differences in TRB diversity between HEU and HU cord blood samples and provides evidence that maternal HIV, in the absence of transmission, influences the adaptive immune system of the unborn child.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.