Objective: We examined the effect of an HIV-1-specific immune-based therapy on cell-associated HIV-1 DNA and RNA.
Design: Five HIV-1-infected subjects receiving HIV-1 immunogen plus HAART were compared with three HIV-1-infected subjects who received incomplete Freund‚s adjuvant (IFA) plus HAART.
Methods: Cell-associated HIV-1 RNA or DNA in lymphocytes and monocytes was determined using a dual immunophenotyping/in situ hybridization assay with or without in situ PCR amplification.
Results: Cell-associated HIV-1 RNA in CD4 cells correlated with plasma RNA overall. CD4, HIV-1 gag-pol messenger (m)RNA+ cells decreased in the immunogen plus HAART group compared with the IFA plus HAART group. Decreases in HIV-1 DNA+ CD4 cells were observed in the immunogen plus HAART compared with the IFA plus HAART group. Decreases in HIV-1 gag-pol mRNA+ monocytes were observed in the immunogen plus HAART group compared with the IFA plus HAART group. Consistent with the findings in CD4 cells, decreases in HIV-1 DNA+ monocytes were observed in the immunogen plus HAART group compared with the IFA plus HAART group.
Conclusions: These preliminary observations support the rationale for examining the combination of immune-based therapies and antiretroviral drugs for effective HIV-1 control.
From the aNorthwestern University Medical School, Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology and Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Chicago, Illinois, the bImmune Response Corporation, Carlsbad, California, the cNorth Shore University Hospital and the dNorth Shore/LIJ Health System, Manhasset, New York, USA.
Correspondence to Dr. Bruce Patterson, Northwestern University, Dept. OB GYN, 333 E. Superior, Room 410, Chicago, IL 60611, USA. Tel: +1 (312) 926-0033; fax: +1 (312) 926-0367; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received: 9 March 1999; revised: 24 May 1999; accepted: 1 June 1999.