HIV reservoir

The persistent immune activation seen in people living with HIV is probably established within the first few weeks of HIV infection as viral reservoirs in central memory compartments are developed within days after systemic infection. Even very early onset combination antiretroviral therapy fails to eliminate these reservoirs. Due to persisting latent HIV reservoir, lifelong treatment is necessary. Furthermore, it currently prohibits eradicative as well as functional cure form HIV infection.

Within the 2000HIV project we aim to study the size and composition of the HIV reservoir, with the ability to distinguish between replication competent versus defective HIV.

Both HIV-1 DNA and RNA will be measured in isolated CD4+ T cells from 2000HIV participants by means of digital PCR (dPCR). Extracted DNA and RNA will be quantified in triplicate by dPCR using different primer/probe sets. HIV-1 DNA and RNA will be normalized and expressed per million CD4+ T cells. In HIV elite controllers FLIP-Seq (Full-Length Individual PRoviral Sequencing) the proviral landscape will be analyzed at single genome resolution.