OKURUT Samuel | B-cell Responses, Immune Modulation, and Survival Among Patients with HIV-Associated Cryptococcal Meningitis

OKURUT Samuel studied the immunopathogenesis of HIV-associated cryptococcal meningitis. He interrogated the B cell compartment and the stimulated immune responses in the central nervous system in collaboration with clinical and micro- biologic factors. Using Bayesian and spatial regression models, the study found more cases of HIV-associated cryptococcal meningitis reported among males, but more case-fatality reported among females. Biological gender-influenced survival-specific activated neuroimmune signatures. Correlates of survival including the proportion of PD-1 expressing plasmablasts/plasma cells, circulating CSF white cells, peripheral CD4/CD8 T cells, CSF CXCL10/ CCL11 chemokines, CSF Th1 - IL-2, IFN-/TNF-ï¡ cytokines were elevated among survivors and correlated with lower CSF cryptococcal fungal burden. Advances to the use of immune restoration treatment and developments to lead immune-based diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic interventions using elucidated novel CXCL10/CCL11 chemokines and Th1 -IL-2, IFN-ï/TNF-¡ cytokines pathways could benefit patients to lower cryptococcal fun- gal burden and improve survival. The study was funded by GlaxoSmithKline - Trust in Science Africa and Fogarty International Center and National Institute of Health and was supervised by Prof. David B. Meya, Prof. Edward N. Janoff, Prof. Yukari C. Manabe, and Prof. Joseph O. Olobo.