Revista Digital Universitaria
Revista Digital Universitaria ISSN: 1607 - 6079 | Publicación mensual | 1 de abril de 2017 Vol.18, Núm.4


A new path to HIV elimination

Carlos Gutiérrez Cirlos-Madrid

A group of French researchers have identified a marker that makes possible to differentiate "inactive" HIV-infected cells from healthy cells. This discovery will allow the isolation and analysis of reservoir cells. A reservoir refers to CD4 lymphocytes or other resting cells (located in blood or other tissues), infected with HIV but not actively producing HIV. They are established during the earliest stage of infection and, although antiretroviral therapy can reduce HIV concentration in the blood to an undetectable level, latent (resting) virus reservoirs survive treatment. When a cell with latent infection is reactivated (for example, upon discontinuation of treatment), the reservoirs begin to produce the virus again. For that reason, antiretroviral treatment can not cure HIV infection.

The reservoirs quietly host the virus and are responsible for its continued infection even among patients receiving antiretroviral therapy. The discovery of the CD32a marker of these reservoirs in CD4+ lymphocytes offers new therapeutic strategies for targeting the treatment to infected cells. This research is part of the Réservoirs du VIH strategic program of the Agence Nationale de Recherche sur le Sida (ANRS) and is the result of a collaboration between the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), the University of Montpellier, Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (INSERM), Institut Pasteur, Henri Hospital -Mondor AP-HP of Créteil, Gui de Chauliac Hospital (CHU de Montpellier) and Vaccine Research Institute (VRI), and published in the journal Nature on March 15, 2017 (doi: 10.1038 / nature21710).

Keywords: HIV, AIDS, CD4+ lymphocytes, reservoirs.