The CARMA team in the EPIICAL consortium have just published the article Early ART initiation during infancy preserves natural killer cells in young European adolescents living with HIV (CARMA cohort) in the Journal of International AIDS Society.
HIV infection causes pathological changes in the natural killer cell compartment, a type of white blood cell with enzymes that kill cells infected with a virus. Through antiretroviral therapy (ART), this compartment can be partially restored. The CARMA team looked into the characteristics and function of natural killer cells in children born with HIV and long-term viral control (five years) due to effective ART and whether the age at which ART was started had an impact on the viral reservoir.
Through this investigation, the team revealed that starting ART early in life, specifically during infancy, leads to the preservation of the NK compartment and is associated with a lower HIV-1 reservoir. This can continue on through adolescence if ART is adhered to as it leads to long-term viral control.
Read the full article here