UCARE: Undergraduate Creative Activities & Research Experiences


UCARE Research Products

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UCARE Poster Presentation, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Spring 2018 Research Fair.


Copyright 2018 by the authors.


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection of CD4+ T cells results in a weakened immune system due to decreased white blood cells, particularly multi-lobed neutrophils (neutropenia) and other granulocytes.1 The purpose of this study was to determine whether a correlation exists between HPV/HIV status and presence of neutrophils. To test this, we used a computer software program (QuPath) to analyze neutrophil infiltration seen in pap smears of both HIV+ and HIV- patients from samples collected in Tanzania from three different sites: Bagamoyo, Chalinze, and Dar es Salaam. The software was used to quantify neutrophils per image based on the size and shape of the nuclei. For each sample, three slide images were taken and the average neutrophil count was determined through QuPath and compared to data about sample HIV and HPV status from a previous study. Results showed that HIV+ patients had significantly lower neutrophil counts, regardless of HPV type and cytology grade based on the Bethesda system. Therefore, we concluded that cervical neutrophil infiltration is suppressed in HIV+ samples for both normal and abnormal pap smears.

1. Shi, X. et al. Neutropenia during HIV infection: adverse consequences and remedies. Int Rev Immunol 33, 511-536 (2014).