BACKGROUND: Among the different faces of immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS) developing in HIV-patients, no clinical definition has been reported for Schistosomiasis-IRIS (Schisto-IRIS). Although Schisto-IRIS remains largely uninvestigated, matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMP) have previously been associated with S. mansoni infection and tuberculosis-IRIS. Here, we aimed to investigate the relevance of these markers in Schisto-IRIS.
METHODOLOGY: Patients were diagnosed with IRIS related to S. mansoni within a cohort of patients with Schistosomiasis-HIV co-infection, using a clinical working definition of Schisto-IRIS. We compared 9 patients who developed Schisto-IRIS to 9 Schisto+HIV+ controls who did not, and 9 Schisto-HIV+ controls. Plasma levels of MMP-1, MMP-7, MMP-10, TIMP-1, TIMP-2, sCD14, intestinal fatty-acid binding protein, C-reactive protein, and 8 anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA) were analyzed prior to and during 3 months of ART.
PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Although no differences were observed for MMP-1 and -7, MMP-10 levels decreased significantly in Schisto+HIV+ controls during 3 months of ART (p = 0.005) while persisting in Schisto-IRIS patients at significantly higher levels compared to Schisto-HIV+ controls (p≤0.030). In contrast TIMP-1 levels only decreased significantly in Schisto-IRIS patients (p = 0.012), while TIMP-2 levels were lower compared to Schisto+HIV+ controls at 2 weeks (p = 0.007), 1 month (p = 0.005) and 3 months (p = 0.031) of ART. Five out of 8 ANAs studied decreased significantly in Schisto-IRIS patients after 1 month of ART(p≤0.039), whereas only 1 ANA decreased for Schisto+HIV+ controls (p = 0.027).
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: In this study, we propose a working definition for the diagnosis of Schisto-IRIS in resource limited settings. We report persistent plasma levels of MMP-10, along with a more pronounced decrease in TIMP-1 and ANA-levels, and low levels of TIMP-2 during 3 months of ART. Corresponding to the clinical symptoms, these data suggest that Schisto-IRIS is marked by unbalanced MMP/TIMP dynamics which favor inflammation.