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Current approaches to assess HIV-1 persistence

Banga, Riddhima; Procopio, Francesco A.; Perreau, Matthieu

Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS: July 2016 - Volume 11 - Issue 4 - p 424–431
doi: 10.1097/COH.0000000000000282
STRATEGIES FOR TARGETING RESIDUAL HIV INFECTION: Edited by Matthieu Perreau and Nicolas Chomont
Editor's Choice

Purpose of review The persistence of HIV within long-lived HIV-infected CD4+ T cells is the primary obstacle towards HIV eradication and numerous strategies are currently being evaluated to target and kill HIV-infected cells to ultimately find a cure. HIV reservoirs are classically quantified by standard methods such as integrated HIV DNA (Alu PCR) and/or quantitative viral outgrowth assay; however, recent technical advances may offer new opportunities to comprehensively assess the impact of clinical interventions.

Recent findings Digital droplet PCR, tat/rev-induced limiting dilution analysis, enhanced quantitative viral outgrowth assay, and whole genome sequencing technologies offer increased precision and/or higher sensitivity to quantify and characterize HIV reservoirs in antiretroviral therapy-treated HIV-infected patients.

Summary The objective of this review is to highlight the characteristics and limits of recent technical advances that may help to monitor the impact of clinical interventions in antiretroviral therapy-treated patients.

Division of Immunology and Allergy, Lausanne University Hospital, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland

Correspondence to Matthieu Perreau, PhD, Division of Immunology and Allergy, Lausanne University Hospital, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland. Tel: +41213141073; e-mail:

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