Re: CAUSES OF LOW CD4 COUNTS IN AIDS - a question to the Perth Group 14 September 2004
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Peter Flegg,
Consultant physician
Blackpool, UK FY3 8NR

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Re: Re: CAUSES OF LOW CD4 COUNTS IN AIDS - a question to the Perth Group

I was interested to read the Perth Group's assertion that "A person can get CD4 counts of less than 50 per microliter and immune suppression by repeated exposure to: drugs,(1 2) semen, (3-6) Factor 8,(7-9) and malnutrition.(10)" (Sept 14).

I would also be fascinated to know how many of these articles actually do say the persons in question get CD4 counts of less than 50/mcl, and if they do in what percentage it has occurred. Would the Perth Group be so kind as to oblige by accurately quoting the relevant sentence from each of the studies in question?

I only ask because I have no immediate access to the relevant articles in full text version, only in abstract form. Unfortunately in these I can find little to indicate that CD4 lymphopenia occurs to the profoundly low level of under 50/mcl in anybody. Some of the studies are not even in humans, or appear to discuss other immunosuppressive effects such as impaired CTL responses, reduced numbers of PBMCs and so on. The nearest I can get is the finding that four of 229 drug users met the criteria for idiopathic CD4 lymphopenia, (which is defined as having a CD4 count less than 300/mcl).

Perhaps I am missing something? Or perhaps I am merely entertaining the forlorn hope that for once, just once, references used by the Perth Group might have been cited accurately.

Competing interests: None declared