Background: Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has led to a decline in autoimmune diseases
but lacks studies on its effect on autoantibodies.
Methods: It is a cross-sectional study with archived samples from 100 paired HIV-1 infected ART
naïve and experienced individuals and 100 prospectively collected matched blood-donor controls.
Antinuclear antibody, IgG anticardiolipin antibody, IgM and IgG β2 glycoprotein-1 antibodies, and
total IgG levels were detected. Results are expressed as mean with standard deviation (SD), median,
percentage positivity, and a p<0.05 is considered significant. The study was approved by the
Institutional Review Board.
Results: The median viral load of the treatment naïve samples was 4.34 Log copies/mL, while all
were virally suppressed post ART with a median duration of treatment for 12 months (range: 3-36
months). The percentage of antinuclear antibody positivity was 5% among ART naïve and controls,
with a decrease of 2% post ART (p= 0.441). The positivity for anti-cardiolipin antibody was
15% among ART naïve while none of the ART experienced or controls were positive (p<0.05).
IgM β2 glycoprotein-1 were 4%, 1% and 3% among ART naïve, treated and controls, respectively
(p<0.05). IgG β2 glycoprotein-1 was 2% among ART naïve while none of the treated and controls
were positive (p<0.05). The mean total IgG level among ART naïve, experienced, and controls
were 21.82 (SD 6.67), 16.91 (SD 3.38), 13.70 (SD 2.24) grams/Litre, respectively (p<0.05).
Conclusion: ART has a significant effect on IgG anti-cardiolipin antibody and total IgG but only a
marginal effect on ANA, IgM, and IgG β2 glycoprotein-1 antibodies.