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Recovery of Replication-Competent HIV Despite Prolonged Suppression of Plasma Viremia

Science  14 Nov 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5341, pp. 1291-1295
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5341.1291

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Abstract

In evaluating current combination drug regimens for treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease, it is important to determine the existence of viral reservoirs. After depletion of CD8 cells from the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of both patients and normal donors, activation of patient CD4 lymphocytes with immobilized antibodies to CD3 and CD28 enabled the isolation of virus from PBMCs of six patients despite the suppression of their plasma HIV RNA to fewer than 50 copies per milliliter for up to 2 years. Partial sequencing of HIV pol revealed no new drug resistance mutations or discernible evolution, providing evidence for viral latency rather than drug failure.

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