Scientific reports 2016 12 066() 38313 doi 10.1038/srep38313
A latent viral reservoir that resides in resting CD4(+) T cells represents a major barrier for eradication of HIV infection. We test here the impact of HIV protease inhibitor (PI) based combination anti-retroviral therapy (cART) over nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI)-based cART on HIV-1 reactivation and integration in resting CD4(+) T cells. This is a prospective cohort study of patients with chronic HIV-1 infection treated with conventional cART with an undetectable viremia. We performed a seven-year study of 47 patients with chronic HIV-infection treated with cART regimens and with undetectable plasma HIV-1 RNA levels for at least 1 year. Of these 47 patients treated with cART, 24 were treated with a PI-based regimen and 23 with a NNRTI-based regimen as their most recent treatment for more than one year. We evaluated the HIV-1 reservoir using reactivation assay and integrated HIV-1 DNA, respectively, in resting CD4(+) T cells. Resting CD4(+) T cells isolated from PI-treated patients compared to NNRTI-treated patients showed a limited HIV-1 reactivation upon T-cell stimulation (p = 0·024) and a lower level of HIV-1 integration (p = 0·024). Our study indicates that PI-based cART could be more efficient than NNRTI-based cART for limiting HIV-1 reactivation in aviremic chronically infected patients.