HIV-1 latent reservoir: size matters

Future Virology | December, 2016

Flavia Hodel, Marion Patxot, Tiia Snäkä and Angela Ciuffi

Future Virology, December 2016 ,Vol. 11, No. 12, Pages 785-794
DOI: 10.2217/fvl-2016-0093

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Abstract:

More than 35 million people remain infected with HIV-1. Upon antiretroviral therapy cessation, HIV-1-positive individuals systematically fail to achieve sustained virological remission, revealing the presence of a reservoir. This reservoir takes into account anatomical sanctuaries where HIV-1 continues to replicate, and latently infected cells also known as the latent reservoir (LR). A better understanding of the nature and features of the LR and its quantification are crucial to evaluate the efficiency of therapeutic strategies aiming at purging HIV-1. Culture- and PCR-based assays have already been implemented to measure the LR, and new assays are continuously being developed. In this review, we will discuss these methods highlighting the difficulties to accurately measure the LR, one main obstacle in curing HIV-1.