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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-40533

Yukl, S A; Gianella, S; Sinclair, E; Epling, L; Li, Q; Duan, L; Choi, A L M; Girling, V; Ho, T; Li, P; Fujimoto, K; Lampiris, H; Hare, C B; Pandori, M; Haase, A T; Günthard, H F; Fischer, M; Shergill, A K; McQuaid, K; Havlir, D V; Wong, J K (2010). Differences in HIV burden and immune activation within the gut of HIV-positive patients receiving suppressive antiretroviral therapy. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 202(10):1553-1561.

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BACKGROUND: The gut is a major reservoir for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in patients receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART). We hypothesized that distinct immune environments within the gut may support varying levels of HIV.

METHODS: In 8 HIV-1-positive adults who were receiving ART and had CD4(+) T cell counts of >200 cells/μL and plasma viral loads of <40 copies/mL, levels of HIV and T cell activation were measured in blood samples and endoscopic biopsy specimens from the duodenum, ileum, ascending colon, and rectum.

RESULTS: HIV DNA and RNA levels per CD4(+) T cell were higher in all 4 gut sites compared with those in the blood. HIV DNA levels increased from the duodenum to the rectum, whereas the median HIV RNA level peaked in the ileum. HIV DNA levels correlated positively with T cell activation markers in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) but negatively with T cell activation markers in the gut. Multiply spliced RNA was infrequently detected in gut, and ratios of unspliced RNA to DNA were lower in the colon and rectum than in PBMCs, which reflects paradoxically low HIV transcription, given the higher level of T cell activation in the gut.

CONCLUSIONS: HIV DNA and RNA are both concentrated in the gut, but the inverse relationship between HIV DNA levels and T cell activation in the gut and the paradoxically low levels of HIV expression in the large bowel suggest that different processes drive HIV persistence in the blood and gut.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00884793 (PLUS1).


130 citations in Web of Science®
131 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Infectious Diseases
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Deposited On:16 Jan 2011 12:39
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:29
Publisher:University of Chicago Press
Additional Information:© 2010 by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved
Publisher DOI:10.1086/656722
PubMed ID:20939732

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