Latently infected cell activation: a way to reduce the size of the HIV reservoir?


While antiretroviral drugs can drive HIV to undetectably low levels in the blood, eradication is hindered by the persistence of long-lived, latently infected memory CD4 T cells. Immune activation therapy aims to eliminate this latent reservoir by reactivating these memory cells, exposing them to removal by the immune system and the cytotoxic effects of active infection. In this paper, we develop a mathematical model that investigates the use of immune activation strategies while limiting virus and latent class rebound. Our model considers infection of two memory classes, central and transitional CD4 T cells and the role that general immune activation therapy has on their elimination. Further, we incorporate ways to control viral rebound by blocking activated cell proliferation through anti proliferation therapy. Using the model, we provide insight into the control of latent infection and subsequently into the long term control of HIV infection.

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