Background: Identification of all possible HIV reservoirs is an important aspect in HIV eradication efforts. The urinary tract has however not been well studied as a potential HIV reservoir. In this pilot study we molecularly characterized HIV-1 viruses in urine and plasma samples to investigate HIV-1 replication, compartmentalization and persistence in the urinary tract. Methods: Prospectively collected urine and blood samples collected over 12-36 months from 20 HIV-1 infected individuals were analysed including sampling points from prior to and after ART initiation. HIV-1 pol gene RNA and DNA from urine supernatant and urine pellets respectively were analysed and compared to plasma RNA viruses from the same individual. Results: HIV-1 nucleic acid was detected in urine samples from at least one time point in 8/20 (40%) treatment-naïve subjects compared to 1/13 (7.7%) individuals on antiretroviral treatment (ART) during periods of plasma viral suppression and 1/7 (14.3%) individuals with virological failure. HIV-1 RNA was undetectable in urine samples after ART initiation but HIV-1 DNA was detectable in one patient more than 6 months after treatment initiation. There was co-clustering of urine-derived pol sequences but some urine-derived sequences were interspersed among the plasma-derived sequences. Conclusions: Suppressive ART reduces HIV-1 replication in the urinary tract but HIV-1 DNA may persist in these cells despite treatment. A larger number of sequences would be required to confirm HIV compartmentalization in the urinary tract.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials|
|State||Published - Sep 24 2019|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases