Virology: Current Research

Open Access

Anti-Retroviral Therapy and Serum Protein Levels in HIV-1 Seropositive Patients: A Five-Year Retrospective Study


Akor Egbunu Shedrack, Musa Haruna, Eneojo-Abah Eleojo Gloria, Yisa Benjamin Nma, Emmanuel Friday Titus, Dickson Achimugu Musa, Joel Ikojo Oguche, Serah Shaibu, Salami Tijani, David Bukbuk and Samuel Eneojo Abah*

Background: Serum proteins designated as liver function biomarkers are used to evaluate patients for hepatic dysfunction. Hepatic effect of Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) needs further studies in HIV mono-infected patients. In this study, clinically defined patient datasets were analysed for protein levels in HIV-1 mono-infected seropositive patients with and without ART.

Materials and methods: Data were collected for the study groups, consisting of the control group and HIV-1 mono-infected seropositive patients with and without ART and were analysed statistically for differences among the groups. All subjects in the patient groups attended University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Nigeria for a period of 5 years.

Result: The protein levels on initiation of ART were significantly higher than baseline levels (prior to ART). However, continuous use of ART for 5-year period did not induce any further significant change in protein levels. Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves shows that both Albumin (ALB) and Total protein (TP) levels discriminated among the study groups. The baseline levels of ALB in seropositive patients are significantly lower to levels on initiation of ART.

Conclusion: Continuous ART did not cause any further significant change in levels of liver function proteins than was observed on ART initiation. Hence, liver damage on continuous ART is not implied. Both ALB and TP levels could be important in HIV management of patients. Initiation of ART appears to elevate the low ALB level via a yet unknown mechanism and indicates possible role of ALB in ART mechanism of action.


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