Background: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections
are important public health issues.
Objective: This study aimed to assess the association between microRNAs expression leveland immunological
and viral markers in HIV, HCV, and HIV/HCV co-infected patients.
Methods: The expression level of miR-29, miR-149, miR-199, miR-let7, miR-223, miR-155,
miR-122, and miR-150 was evaluated in 20 HIV, 20 HCV, 20 co-infected patients, and 20 healthy
controls using real-time PCR assay. HIV and HCVviral loads were measuredby real-time PCR, and
also, CD4+ T-lymphocyte count was measuredby the PIMA CD4 analyzer.
Results: The miRNA expression pattern in each mentioned group showed significantly different expression
profiles, but some miRNA species were shared between the groups. MiR-122 and
miR-155 were upregulated, while miR-29 and miR-223 were downregulated in three patients
groups compared to healthy controls. A significant positive correlation was observed between the
expression of miR-122 and HIV/HCV loads. But, miR-29 and let-7 were negatively correlated with
HIV load, and miR-149 and let-7 were negatively correlated with HCV load. Also, miR-155 was
positively correlated with HCV load. MiR-122 and miR-199 were negative while others were positively
correlated with CD4+ T cell count.
Conclusion: These miRNAs are probably involved in the clinical progression and pathogenesis of
HIV and HCV infections. Therefore, determining and manipulating these miRNAs can lead to
opening a new gate to control these important infections.