HIV-1 DNA and RNA kinetics in primary HIV infection

F. Lillo, M. Grasso, S. Lodini, B. Capiluppi, A. Lazzarin, G. Tambussi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: HIV-1 reservoir is early established during PHI. It is reduced, but not extinguished by early therapy: DNA containing cells are still detectable after months of successful viremia suppression. To define the best method to measure low level viral replication, we determined the extent of HIV reservoir in 11 acutely infected patients and evaluated how it is renewed even during successful treatment. Methods: Eleven acutely infected HIV patients were included in the study. Three where not treated with antiretroviral drugs while 8 underwent early aggressive antiretroviral treatment (HAART) which, in 3 cases, was associated to cyclosporin A (CsA) administration. HIV viremia was monitored by commercially available methods while HIV-DNA and cellular RNA quantitation were obtained by in house PCR and RT-PCR respectively, in the gag region. Results: Significant CD4 recover and HIV viremia suppression were reached in a mean period of three to six months in all treated patients. The course of the HIV-DNA and of cellular HIV RNA reduction showed a similar trend. This variation was slower, if compared to plasma viremia and never reached undetectable levels, justifying the rebound of viremia observed at therapy interruption. Conclusions: These data suggest and confirm that complete abolition of viral replication is not achieved and viral reservoir may be re-expanded even after short term rebound of viremia. Scheduling of possible structured therapy interruption should be designed based on multiple virological parameters and on the individual characteristics of the patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-52
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • CsA
  • DNA kinetic
  • HIV
  • PHI
  • RNA kinetic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Immunology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology (medical)


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