Three HIV-1-infected individuals, on virally-suppressive highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART), were treated in vivo with anti-retroviral inhibitor intensification and cell stimulatory therapies in attempting to eradicate latent viral reservoirs. Afterwards, the patients ceased all anti-retroviral drugs. Sequences of the V3 region of HIV-1 envelope protein (ENV) from patient peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) proviral DNA, patient blood plasma viral RNA and virion-associated RNA from viruses amplified by patient cell co-culture, were obtained before, during, and certain times after the clinical regimen. As anticipated, the V3 loop sequencing results indicate diversity in viral strain complexity among the individual patients. However, the detection of unique V3 ENV signature sequences or V3 signatures of low frequency, relative to those observed prior to therapy, indicate that the expression of specific viruses, or viruses of low abundance, can be induced through stimulation in vivo. Furthermore, this stimulation or general immune activation therapy (IAT) approach, consisting of administration of the anti-T-cell receptor antibody, OKT3, and IL-2 in vivo, appeared to have subsequently altered the genotype of the persistent viral reservoir in peripheral blood cells for two of the three patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases