Persistence by proliferation?

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Science  11 Jul 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6193, pp. 143-144
DOI: 10.1126/science.1257426


The persistence of HIV-1 infected cells in individuals on antiretroviral therapy (ART) presents an obstacle for cure of infection. ART is the best available remedy for millions of infected people, but treatment must be life-long because HIV establishes latent infection that is unaffected by antiretrovirals and is invisible to immune surveillance. Because decades of treatment may be unsustainable, there is intense interest in reversing latency. If quiescent HIV in CD4+ T cells can be identified and activated without enhancing new infection, HIV-targeted immune response might be able to control or even clear infection. On page 179 in this issue and in this week's Science Express, Maldarelli et al. (1) and Wagner et al. (2), respectively, raise a new challenge for these efforts suggesting that proliferation of latently infected cells may be a key factor in sustaining this durable viral reservoir.