Antiretroviral treatments cannot eradicate HIV from the body. The virus persists in reservoir cells that cause viral rebound if treatment is interrupted, requiring lifelong treatment. However, the ANRS “VISCONTI” study demonstrated that some people, post-treatment controllers (PTC), are able to stably control viremia after treatment interruption, achieving a status of durable HIV remission. We are studying the parameters associated with post-treatment control in 30 PTC from the VISCONTI study and in animals from the p(rimate)-VISCONTI study, which aims to explore, in a macaque model of SIV infection, the influence of early ART initiation in post-treatment control. Our results show that initiation of antiretroviral treatment during primary infection, promotes the durable maintenance of viral control after the interruption of treatment. We have found that early treatment may favor the maturation of the memory response against the virus, allowing a more efficient secondary response after treatment interruption. In addition, we have identified genetic fingerprints and NK cell signatures that suggest an important role of NK cells in post-treatment control. A better understanding of the mechanisms of post-treatment control may lead to the development of new immunotherapies to achieve HIV remission.
Silent vs active post-treatment control: two paths to achieve HIV remission?Asier Saez Cirion (Institut Pasteur, Paris)
Invited by Stéphane Emiliani.