Skip to main content

HIV-1 infection and circulating peripheral blood B cell subpopulations


Progression of HIV-1 infection can be monitored by studying the frequency of B cell subpopulations which could serve as a better surrogate marker. The study evaluated the distribution as well as the frequency of B cell subsets in peripheral blood of HIV-1 infected Indian individuals.


In HIV infected, ART naïve adults and healthy controls, frequency of B cell subpopulations were measured by flow cytometry. Difference between groups was compared using Student t test and p value of <0.05 was considered significant.


In HIV infected adults, a significant reduction in non-switched memory B cells (CD19+IgD+CD27+) was observed, compared to healthy controls (p=0.046). With ongoing viral replication and reduced CD4 count, an expansion in CD21loCD27- (tissue like memory) population was observed and the correlation was statistically significant (p=0.0004). The mean frequency of CD21hiCD27hi (resting memory) was significantly higher in controls (p=0.0002) compared to HIV-1 infected adults, while tissue like memory were highly expanded in HIV infected adults compared to controls (p=0.0001). B cells in HIV-1 infected adults expressed higher frequency of CD95 compared to healthy controls (p=0.0004).


HIV mediated alteration in B cell development and differentiation may result in loss of switched and non-switched memory B cells. Moreover, association of persistent viremia with expansion of CD21lo tissue like memory cells suggests loss of CD21 expression as a marker of ongoing HIV replication. B cells in HIV-1 infected adults are more prone to Fas mediated apoptosis compared to healthy controls.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ravinder Singh.

Rights and permissions

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Singh, R., Negi, N., Das, B.K. et al. HIV-1 infection and circulating peripheral blood B cell subpopulations. BMC Infect Dis 14 (Suppl 3), O6 (2014).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: