Prognostic value of peripheral blood mononuclear cell-associated HIV-1 DNA for virological outcome in asymptomatic HIV-1 chronic infection

J Clin Virol. 2010 Jul;48(3):168-72. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2010.03.020. Epub 2010 Apr 18.


Background: Studies in primary HIV-1 infection and advanced HIV-1 disease have demonstrated that HIV-1 DNA associated with peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC HIV-1 DNA) has predictive value for disease progression.

Objectives: To analyse in asymptomatic HIV-1 chronic infection the predictive value of PBMC HIV-1 DNA for virological failure.

Study design: In 115 individuals who had previously participated in study STIR-2102, we retrospectively analysed the PBMC HIV-1 DNA by quantitative real-time PCR. Antiretroviral naïve patients (baseline pre-ART) received 6 weeks of ART prior to randomisation (baseline post-ART). The predictive value of PBMC HIV-1 DNA, HIV-1 RNA in plasma and CD4+ T cells, at baselines pre-ART and post-ART, was determined by Kaplan-Meier and Proportional Hazards Regression analyses.

Results: At baseline post-ART, 82% of patients showed suppression of HIV-1 RNA, however they maintained significant amounts of HIV-1 DNA (geometric mean: 690 copies/10(6) PBMC). Pre-ART and post-ART levels of HIV-1 DNA and pre-ART levels of HIV-1 RNA showed predictive value (Log-Rank test: p<0.001, p<0.001, p=0.003, respectively). In a multivariate model post-ART PBMC HIV-1 DNA was the stronger predictive variable (adjusted HR, 2.51 [95% CI, 1.33-4.73, p=0.004]) independently of HIV-1 RNA (HR 1.74 [95% CI, 1.16-2.61, p=0.007]).

Conclusions: PBMC HIV-1 DNA is an effective prognostic marker for virological outcome in individuals with asymptomatic HIV-1 chronic infection.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood / virology*
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • DNA, Viral / isolation & purification*
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections / virology*
  • HIV-1 / genetics
  • HIV-1 / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / virology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • RNA, Viral / blood
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Virology / methods*


  • DNA, Viral
  • RNA, Viral