In HIV-1 infection, a population of latently infected cells facilitates viral persistence despite antiretroviral therapy (ART). With the aim of identifying individuals in whom ART might induce a period of viraemic control on stopping therapy, we hypothesised that quantification of the pool of latently infected cells in primary HIV-1 infection (PHI) would predict clinical progression and viral replication following ART. We measured HIV-1 DNA in a highly characterised randomised population of individuals with PHI. We explored associations between HIV-1 DNA and immunological and virological markers of clinical progression, including viral rebound in those interrupting therapy. In multivariable analyses, HIV-1 DNA was more predictive of disease progression than plasma viral load and, at treatment interruption, predicted time to plasma virus rebound. HIV-1 DNA may help identify individuals who could safely interrupt ART in future HIV-1 eradication trials.
Human subjects: The SPARTAC trial was approved by the following authorities: Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (UK), Ministry of Health (Brazil), Irish Medicines Board (Ireland), Medicines Control Council (South Africa), and The Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (Uganda). It was also approved by the following ethics committees in the participating countries: Central London Research Ethics Committee (UK), Hospital Universitário Clementino Fraga Filho Ethics in Research Committee (Brazil), Clinical Research and Ethics Committee of Hospital Clinic in the province of Barcelona, Spain, The Adelaide and Meath Hospital Research Ethics Committee (Ireland), University of Witwatersrand Human Research Ethics Committee, University of Kwazulu-Natal Research Ethics Committee and University of Cape Town Research Ethics Committee (South Africa), Uganda Virus Research Institute Science and ethics committee (Uganda), The Prince Charles Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee and St Vincent's Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee (Australia), and the National Institute for Infectious Diseases Lazzaro Spallanzani, Institute Hospital and the Medical Research Ethics Committee, and the ethical committee Of the Central Foundation of San Raffaele, MonteTabor (Italy). All participants signed a written informed consent.
- Quarraisha Abdool Karim, University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
© 2014, Williams et al.
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HIV-1 DNA could be a biomarker for disease progression.