Integrated HIV-1 DNA persists despite antiretroviral therapy and can fuel viral rebound following treatment interruption. Hence, methods to specifically measure the integrated HIV-1 DNA portion only are important to monitor the reservoir in eradication trials. Here, we provide an up-to-date overview of the literature on the different approaches used to measure integrated HIV-1 DNA. Further, we propose an implemented standard-curve free assay to quantify integrated HIV-1 DNA, so-called Alu-5LTR PCR, which utilises novel primer combinations. We tested the Alu-5LTR PCR in 20 individuals on suppressive ART for a median of nine years; the results were compared to those produced with the standard-free Alu-gag assay. The numbers of median integrated HIV-1 DNA copies were 5 (range: 1-12) and 14 (5-26) with the Alu-gag and Alu-5LTR, respectively. The ratios between Alu-gag vs Alu-5LTR results were distributed within the cohort as follows: most patients (12/20, 60%) provided ratios between 2-5, with 3/20 (15%) and 5/20 (25%) being below or above this range, respectively. Alu-5LTR assay sensitivity was also determined using an "integrated standard"; the data confirmed the increased sensitivity of the assay, i.e., equal to 0.25 proviruses in 10,000 genomes. This work represents an improvement in the field of measuring proviral HIV-1 DNA that could be employed in future HIV-1 persistence and eradication studies.

Measuring proviral HIV-1 DNA: hurdles and improvements to an assay monitoring integration events utilising human Alu repeat sequences

Ruggiero, Alessandra
2021

Abstract

Integrated HIV-1 DNA persists despite antiretroviral therapy and can fuel viral rebound following treatment interruption. Hence, methods to specifically measure the integrated HIV-1 DNA portion only are important to monitor the reservoir in eradication trials. Here, we provide an up-to-date overview of the literature on the different approaches used to measure integrated HIV-1 DNA. Further, we propose an implemented standard-curve free assay to quantify integrated HIV-1 DNA, so-called Alu-5LTR PCR, which utilises novel primer combinations. We tested the Alu-5LTR PCR in 20 individuals on suppressive ART for a median of nine years; the results were compared to those produced with the standard-free Alu-gag assay. The numbers of median integrated HIV-1 DNA copies were 5 (range: 1-12) and 14 (5-26) with the Alu-gag and Alu-5LTR, respectively. The ratios between Alu-gag vs Alu-5LTR results were distributed within the cohort as follows: most patients (12/20, 60%) provided ratios between 2-5, with 3/20 (15%) and 5/20 (25%) being below or above this range, respectively. Alu-5LTR assay sensitivity was also determined using an "integrated standard"; the data confirmed the increased sensitivity of the assay, i.e., equal to 0.25 proviruses in 10,000 genomes. This work represents an improvement in the field of measuring proviral HIV-1 DNA that could be employed in future HIV-1 persistence and eradication studies.
Alu-5LTR
Alu-gag
integrated HIV-1
quantification
reservoir
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1054425
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