Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 32580136
Link to DOI – S2352-3964(20)30205-X10.1016/j.ebiom.2020.102830
EBioMedicine 2020 Jul; 57(): 102830
Small viral reservoirs are found predominantly in HIV-1 controllers and individuals treated during acute/early HIV-1 infection. However, other HIV+ individuals could naturally also harbour low viral reservoirs.We screened 451 HIV-1-infected treated-individuals with suppressed plasma viremia for at least 3 years and stored cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Total HIV-DNA was analysed in PBMCs with ddPCR. Individuals with 50 HIV-DNA copies/106 PBMCs) to analyse total HIV-DNA, T-cell and NK-cell populations, HIV-1 specific antibodies, and plasma inflammation markers.We found that 9.3% of the individuals screened had <50 HIV-DNA copies/106 PBMCs. At least 66% initiated cART during the chronic phase of HIV-1 infection (cp-LoViReT). Cp-LoViReT harboured lower levels of HIV-DNA before cART and after treatment introduction the decays were greater compared to controls. They displayed a marked decline in quantity and avidity in HIV-specific antibodies after initiation of cART. Cp-LoViReT had fewer CD8+ TTM and TEMRA in the absence of cART, and higher CD8+ TN after 18 months on therapy.Treated chronically HIV-1-infected LoViReT represent a new phenotype of individuals characterized by an intrinsically reduced viral reservoir, less impaired CD8+ T-cell compartment before cART, and low circulating HIV-1 antigens despite being treated in the chronic phase of infection. The identification of this unique group of individuals is of great interest for the design of future eradication studies.MSD Spain.