In response to pressure exerted by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I-mediated CD8 + T cell control, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) escape mutations often arise in immunodominant epitopes recognized by MHC class I alleles. While the current standard of care for HIV-infected patients is treatment with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), suppression of viral replication in these patients is not absolute and latently infected cells persist as lifelong reservoirs. To determine whether HIV escape from MHC class I-restricted CD8 + T cell control develops during HAART treatment and then enters latent reservoirs in the periphery and central nervous system (CNS), with the potential to emerge as replication-competent virus, we tracked the longitudinal development of the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) Gag escape mutation K165R in HAART-treated SIV-infected pigtailed macaques. Key findings of these studies included: (i) SIV Gag K165R escape mutations emerged in both plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) during the decaying phase of viremia after HAART initiation before suppression of viral replication, (ii) SIV K165R Gag escape mutations were archived in latent proviral DNA reservoirs, including the brain in animals receiving HAART that suppressed viral replication, and (iii) replication-competent SIV Gag K165R escape mutations were present in the resting CD4 + T cell reservoir in HAART-treated SIV-infected macaques. Despite early administration of aggressive antiretroviral treatment, HIV immune escape from CD8 + T cell control can still develop during the decaying phases of viremia and then persist in latent reservoirs, including the brain, with the potential to emerge if HAART therapy is interrupted.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science