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Measuring replication competent HIV-1: advances and challenges in defining the latent reservoir.

Measuring replication competent HIV-1: advances and challenges in defining the latent reservoir.
Author Information (click to view)

Wang Z, Simonetti FR, Siliciano RF, Laird GM,


Wang Z, Simonetti FR, Siliciano RF, Laird GM, (click to view)

Wang Z, Simonetti FR, Siliciano RF, Laird GM,

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Retrovirology 2018 02 1315(1) 21 doi 10.1186/s12977-018-0404-7

Abstract

Antiretroviral therapy cannot cure HIV-1 infection due to the persistence of a small number of latently infected cells harboring replication-competent proviruses. Measuring persistent HIV-1 is challenging, as it consists of a mosaic population of defective and intact proviruses that can shift from a state of latency to active HIV-1 transcription. Due to this complexity, most of the current assays detect multiple categories of persistent HIV-1, leading to an overestimate of the true size of the latent reservoir. Here, we review the development of the viral outgrowth assay, the gold-standard quantification of replication-competent proviruses, and discuss the insights provided by full-length HIV-1 genome sequencing methods, which allowed us to unravel the composition of the proviral landscape. In this review, we provide a dissection of what defines HIV-1 persistence and we examine the unmet needs to measure the efficacy of interventions aimed at eliminating the HIV-1 reservoir.

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