Comparison of qPCR and dPCR methods to investigate the latent HIV reservoir in a paediatric population with long viral suppression on therapy

Authors: Judith Heaney, Eloise Busby, Kathleen Gärtner, Paul Grant, Moira J. Spyer, Denise M. O’Sullivan, Triantafylia Gkouleli, Anne Genevieve Marcelin, Deenan Pillay, Caroline Foster, Pablo Rojo, Paolo Palma, María Angeles Muñoz Fernández, Anita deRossi, Jim F. Huggett and Eleni Nastouli


This poster was presented by Pablo Rojo at the International Workshop on HIV Pediatrics 2019 on behalf of the EPIICAL Consortium.

Background: Despite effective antiretroviral therapy(ART), HIV persists as integrated provirus generating latent viral reservoirs even in the absence of detectable plasma viremia.

Latently infected cells, primarily CD4+ T cells, have the potential to release progeny virus and contribute to viral rebound after treatment interruption or HIV-1remission.

Robust assays are needed to monitor the viral reservoir, and remission, as emerging therapeutic approaches aimed at achieving ART-free HIV remission, or cure, are likely to target individuals with low levels of total HIV-1 DNA. The current gold standard for measuring specific DNA amounts in clinical diagnostics and research is quantitative PCR (qPCR), whereas digital PCR (dPCR) is a more recent technology that has become commercially available since 2011.