Latent infection of CD4+ T cells provides a mechanism for lifelong persistence of HIV-1, even in patients on effective combination therapy

Diana Finzi, Joel Blankson, Janet D. Siliciano, Joseph B. Margolick, Karen Chadwick, Theodore Pierson, Kendall Smith, Julianna Lisziewicz, Franco Lori, Charles Flexner, Thomas C. Quinn, Richard E. Chaisson, Eric Rosenberg, Bruce Walker, Stephen Gange, Joel Gallant, Robert F. Siliciano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Combination therapy for HIV-1 infection can reduce plasma virus to undetectable levels, indicating that prolonged treatment might eradicate the infection. However, HIV-1 can persist in a latent form in resting CD4+ T cells. We measured the decay rate of this latent reservoir in 34 treated adults whose plasma virus levels were undetectable. The mean half-life of the latent reservoir was very long (43.9 months). If the latent reservoir consists of only 1 x 105 cells, eradication could take as long as 60 years. Thus, latent infection of resting CD4+ T cells provides a mechanism for lifelong persistence of HIV-1, even in patients on effective anti-retroviral therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)512-517
Number of pages6
JournalNature medicine
Volume5
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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