Identification of drug combinations that reverse HIV-1 latency

March 30, 2015, Journal of Clinical Investigation
HIV, the AIDS virus (yellow), infecting a human immune cell. Credit: Seth Pincus, Elizabeth Fischer and Austin Athman, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health.

There are almost 40 million people throughout the world living with HIV-1/AIDs. While current antiretroviral therapies are able to reduce the amount of virus in the blood, HIV remains present in a latent state within T cells. Reactivation of latent HIV-1 in combination with potent antiviral drugs has potential as a strategy to eradicate the virus from infected individuals.

A new study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation reports on the development of a multifaceted approach for identifying drug combinations that reverse HIV-1 latency. Robert Siliciano and colleagues collected T cells from HIV-infected individuals and assayed these cells for the presence of HIV-1 within cells and the production and section of intact virus, which is indicative of reactivation.

A comparison of various 2-drug combinations revealed that several were able to reverse latency. Importantly, several combinations were able to reactivate HIV-1 without the development of an inflammatory response.

The authors also developed a model to correlate changes in HIV-1 RNA in a patient's blood with the amount of virus secreted from isolated T . The techniques developed in this study have potential to inform future clinical trials for strategies to eliminate HIV-1 reservoirs in infected individuals.

Explore further: Cancer drug shows promise in eradicating latent HIV infection

More information: Identifying effective HIV-1 latency-reversing drug combinations through ex vivo analysis J Clin Invest. DOI: 10.1172/JCI80142

Related Stories

Cancer drug shows promise in eradicating latent HIV infection

November 29, 2012
Breakthrough drugs have made it possible for people to live with HIV longer than ever before, but more work must be done to actually cure the disease. One of the challenges researchers face involves fully eradicating the ...

HIV latency is not an accident: It is a survival tactic employed by the virus

February 26, 2015
New research from the Gladstone Institutes for the first time provides strong evidence that HIV latency is controlled not by infected host cells, but by the virus itself. This fundamentally changes how scientists perceive ...

HIV antibodies block infection by reservoir-derived virus in laboratory study

August 26, 2014
A laboratory study led by scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), lends further weight to the potential effectiveness of passive immunotherapy ...

Drugs fail to reawaken dormant HIV infection

March 23, 2014
Scientists at Johns Hopkins report that compounds they hoped would "wake up" dormant reservoirs of HIV inside immune system T cells—a strategy designed to reverse latency and make the cells vulnerable to destruction—have ...

Cell-associated HIV mucosal transmission: The neglected pathway

December 18, 2014
Dr. Deborah Anderson from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and her colleagues are challenging dogma about the transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Most research has focused on infection ...

Vaccination strategy may hold key to ridding HIV infection from immune system

March 8, 2012
Using human immune system cells in the lab, AIDS experts at Johns Hopkins have figured out a way to kill off latent forms of HIV that hide in infected T cells long after antiretroviral therapy has successfully stalled viral ...

Recommended for you

Researchers find new way to defeat HIV latency

March 8, 2018
HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, has a secret life. Though anti-retroviral therapy can reduce its numbers, the virus can hide and avoid both treatments and the body's immune response.

Broadly neutralizing antibody treatment may target viral reservoir in monkeys

March 5, 2018
After receiving a course of antiretroviral therapy for their HIV-like infection, approximately half of a group of monkeys infused with a broadly neutralizing antibody to HIV combined with an immune stimulatory compound suppressed ...

HIV begins to yield secrets of how it hides in cells

March 2, 2018
UC San Francisco scientists have uncovered new mechanisms by which HIV hides in infected cells, resting in a latent state that evades the body's immune system and prevents antiviral drugs from flushing it out.

HIV exports viral protein in cellular packages

February 15, 2018
HIV may be able to affect cells it can't directly infect by packaging a key protein within the host's cellular mail and sending it out into the body, according to a new study out of a University of North Carolina Lineberger ...

Can gene therapy be harnessed to fight the AIDS virus?

February 13, 2018
For more than a decade, the strongest AIDS drugs could not fully control Matt Chappell's HIV infection. Now his body controls it by itself, and researchers are trying to perfect the gene editing that made this possible.

Big data methods applied to the fitness landscape of the HIV envelope protein

February 7, 2018
Despite significant advances in medicine, there is still no effective vaccine for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), although recent hope has emerged through the discovery of antibodies capable of neutralizing diverse ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.