The development of surrogate markers capable of detecting residual ongoing human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication in patients receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy is an important step in understanding viral dynamics and in developing new treatment strategies. In this study, we evaluated the utility of circular forms of the viral genome for the detection of recent infection of cells by HIV-1. We measured the fate of both one-long terminal repeat (1-LTR) and 2-LTR circles following in vitro infection of logarithmically growing CD4+ T cells under conditions in which cell death was not a significant contributing factor. Circular forms of the viral genome were found to be highly stable and to decrease in concentration only as a function of dilution resulting from cell division. We conclude that these DNA circles are not intrinsically unstable in all cell types and suggest that the utility of 2-LTR circle assays in measuring recent HIV-1 infection of susceptible cells in vivo needs to be reevaluated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science