Skip to content
CSDE News & Events

HIV Treatment is the Focus of New Article by John-Stewart and Co-authors

Posted: 10/12/2023 (CSDE Research)

New research on HIV treatment is published by CSDE Affiliate Grace John-Stewart (Global Health, Epidemiology, Medicine, and Pediatrics) and co-authors. The article “Higher HIV-1 Env gp120-Specific Antibody-Dependent Cellular Cytotoxicity (ADCC) Activity Is Associated with Lower Levels of Defective HIV-1 Provirus” is published in the Viruses. A cure for HIV-1 (HIV) remains unrealized due to a reservoir of latently infected cells that persist during antiretroviral therapy (ART), with reservoir size associated with adverse health outcomes and inversely with time to viral rebound upon ART cessation. Once established during ART, the HIV reservoir decays minimally over time; thus, understanding factors that impact the size of the HIV reservoir near its establishment is key to improving the health of people living with HIV and for the development of novel cure strategies. Yet, to date, few correlates of HIV reservoir size have been identified, particularly in pediatric populations. Here, we employed a cross-subtype intact proviral DNA assay (CS-IPDA) to quantify HIV provirus between one- and two-years post-ART initiation in a cohort of Kenyan children (n = 72), which had a median of 99 intact (range: 0–2469), 1340 defective (range: 172–3.84 × 104), and 1729 total (range: 178–5.11 × 104) HIV proviral copies per one million T cells. Additionally, pre-ART plasma was tested for HIV Env-specific antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) activity. We found that pre-ART gp120-specific ADCC activity inversely correlated with defective provirus levels (n = 68, r = −0.285, p = 0.0214) but not the intact reservoir (n = 68, r = −0.0321, p-value = 0.800). Pre-ART gp41-specific ADCC did not significantly correlate with either proviral population (n = 68; intact: r = −0.0512, p-value = 0.686; defective: r = −0.109, p-value = 0.389). This suggests specific host immune factors prior to ART initiation can impact proviruses that persist during ART.

Read Full Article