Several assays have been developed to measure and characterise the replication-competent HIV-1 reservoir, which constitutes the barrier to cure. To date, the application of these assays to studies in children and in limited-resource settings has been minimal, primarily because of their expense, the large required blood volumes, and labour-intensive technologies. For children vertically infected with HIV-1 who initiated suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimens in infancy, HIV-1-specific antibody concentrations are associated with viral persistence and could be used to estimate the size of the residual latent reservoir on ART. This strategy could be particularly useful for screening children on suppressive ART for enrolment into therapeutic vaccine trials and other protocols aimed at achieving HIV-1 remission.
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