EPIICAL in The Lancet: a new strategy to estimate the viral reservoir in HIV-infected children
Paolo Palma and his colleagues recently published in The Lancet HIV the paper “The HIV-1 antibody response: a footprint of the viral reservoir in children vertically infected with HIV“, outlining the reliability of HIV-1-specific antibody concentrations to estimate viral replication and the latent reservoir in patients on long-term ART.
Application of previously developed diagnostic tests in children and in limited-resources settings is small, because of their cost, the large blood volumes required, and labour-intensive technologies.
The quantification and characterisation of HIV-1-specific antibodies could instead provide a cost-effective and highly reproducible tool to estimate viral replication and the latent reservoir in patients on long-term ART with viral suppression. Simple, inexpensive approaches that use small blood volumes to measure viral persistence in children on suppressive ART might be useful for screening children for enrollement into therapeutic vaccine trials and other protocols aimed at achieving HIV-1 remission.
A step closer towards an AIDS free generation!