The effect of combination anti-retroviral therapy regimens on HIV-1 proviral DNA levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells was examined in 12 HIV-1-positive patients, using endpoint dilution polymerase chain reaction and serial cloning, and sequencing of the gag region of HIV-1. The major clone was defined as the most numerous of 10 analysed clones, and observation periods ranged from 8 months to 32 months (mean 19.7 ± 10.2 months). In five patients (one with primary-stage HIV-1 infection) receiving three anti-retroviral drugs, HIV-1 RNA reduced to undetectable levels (i.e. ≤ 100 copies/ml). HIV-1 proviral DNA and the number of major clones reduced in four of these patients. HIV-1 RNA levels reduced, but remained detectable, in five other patients. In the two remaining patients (both receiving two rather than three anti-retroviral drugs), HIV-1 RNA levels increased. These results suggest that the population of major clones may be affected when HIV-1 RNA levels reduce following combination regimens of anti-retroviral therapy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology
- Biochemistry, medical