HCV-coinfection is related to an increased HIV-1 reservoir size in cART-treated HIV patients: a cross-sectional study

Sci Rep. 2019 Apr 3;9(1):5606. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-41788-9.


In HIV-1/HCV-coinfected patients, chronic HCV infection leads to an increased T-lymphocyte immune activation compared to HIV-monoinfected patients, thereby likely contributing to increase HIV-1 reservoir that is the major barrier for its eradication. Our objective was to evaluate the influence of HCV coinfection in HIV-1 viral reservoir size in resting (r) CD4+ T-cells (CD25-CD69-HLADR-). Multicenter cross-sectional study of 97 cART-treated HIV-1 patients, including 36 patients with HIV and HCV-chronic co-infection without anti-HCV treatment, 32 HIV patients with HCV spontaneous clearance and 29 HIV-monoinfected patients. rCD4+ T-cells were isolated and total DNA was extracted. HIV viral reservoir was measured by Alu-LTR qPCR. Differences between groups were calculated with a generalized linear model. Overall, 63.9% were men, median age of 41 years and Caucasian. Median CD4+ and CD8+ T-lymphocytes were 725 and 858 cells/mm3, respectively. CD4+ T nadir cells was 305 cells/mm3. Proviral HIV-1 DNA size was significantly increased in chronic HIV/HCV-coinfected compared to HIV-monoinfected patients (206.21 ± 47.38 vs. 87.34 ± 22.46, respectively; P = 0.009), as well as in spontaneously clarified HCV co-infected patients when compared to HIV-monoinfected individuals (136.20 ± 33.20; P = 0.009). HIV-1/HCV co-infected patients showed a larger HIV-1 reservoir size in comparison to HIV-monoinfected individuals. This increase could lead to a greater complexity in the elimination of HIV-1 reservoir in HIV-1/HCV-coinfected individuals, which should be considered in the current strategies for the elimination of HIV-1 reservoir.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Coinfection / immunology*
  • Coinfection / virology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • HIV Seropositivity / immunology
  • HIV-1 / immunology*
  • Hepacivirus / immunology*
  • Hepatitis C / immunology*
  • Hepatitis C / virology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Viral Load / methods