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BACKGROUND: The stability of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) reservoir and the contribution of cellular proliferation to the maintenance of the reservoir during treatment are uncertain. Therefore, we conducted a longitudinal analysis of HIV-1 in T-cell subsets in different tissue compartments from subjects receiving effective antiretroviral therapy (ART). METHODS: Using single-proviral sequencing, we isolated intracellular HIV-1 genomes derived from defined subsets of CD4(+) T cells from peripheral blood, gut-associated lymphoid tissue and lymph node tissue specimens from 8 subjects with virologic suppression during long-term ART at 2 time points (time points 1 and 2) separated by 7-9 months. RESULTS: DNA integrant frequencies were stable over time (<4-fold difference) and highest in memory T cells. Phylogenetic analyses showed that subjects treated during chronic infection contained viral populations with up to 73% identical sequence expansions, only 3 of which were observed in specimens obtained before therapy. At time points 1 and 2, such clonally expanded populations were found predominantly in effector memory T cells from peripheral blood and lymph node tissue specimens. CONCLUSIONS: Memory T cells maintained a relatively constant HIV-1 DNA integrant pool that was genetically stable during long-term effective ART. These integrants appear to be maintained by cellular proliferation and longevity of infected cells, rather than by ongoing viral replication.

Original publication

DOI

10.1093/infdis/jiv092

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Infect Dis

Publication Date

15/08/2015

Volume

212

Pages

596 - 607

Keywords

HIV-1 persistence, HIV-1 reservoir, memory T cells, Anti-HIV Agents, Cell Proliferation, DNA, Viral, HIV Infections, HIV-1, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Lymph Nodes, Phylogeny, T-Lymphocyte Subsets