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Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-based combination antiretroviral therapy is associated with lower cell-associated hiv rna and dna levels as compared with therapy based on protease inhibitors

Pasternak, AO; Vroom, J; Kootstra, NA; Wit, FWNM; De Bruin, M; De Francesco, D; Bakker, M; ... Berkhout, B; + view all (2021) Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-based combination antiretroviral therapy is associated with lower cell-associated hiv rna and dna levels as compared with therapy based on protease inhibitors. eLife , 10 , Article e68174. 10.7554/eLife.68174. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: It remains unclear whether combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimens differ in their ability to fully suppress HIV replication. Here, we report the results of two crosssectional studies that compared levels of cell-associated (CA) HIV markers between individuals receiving suppressive ART containing either a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) or a protease inhibitor (PI). METHODS: CA HIV unspliced RNA and total HIV DNA were quantified in two cohorts (n=100, n=124) of individuals treated with triple ART regimens consisting of two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) plus either a NNRTI or a PI. To compare CA HIV RNA and DNA levels between the regimens, we built multivariable models adjusting for age, gender, current and nadir CD4+ count, plasma viral load zenith, duration of virological suppression, NRTI backbone composition, low-level plasma HIV RNA detectability, and electronically-measured adherence to ART. RESULTS: In both cohorts, levels of CA HIV RNA and DNA strongly correlated (rho=0.70 and rho=0.54) and both markers were lower in NNRTI-treated than in PI-treated individuals. In the multivariable analysis, CA RNA in both cohorts remained significantly reduced in NNRTI-treated individuals (padj=0.02 in both cohorts), with a similar but weaker association between the ART regimen and total HIV DNA (padj=0.048 and padj=0.10). No differences in CA HIV RNA or DNA levels were observed between individual NNRTIs or individual PIs, but CA HIV RNA was lower in individuals treated with either nevirapine or efavirenz, compared to PI-treated individuals CONCLUSIONS: All current classes of antiretroviral drugs only prevent infection of new cells but do not inhibit HIV RNA transcription in long-lived reservoir cells. Therefore, these differences in CA HIV RNA and DNA levels by treatment regimen suggest that NNRTIs are more potent in suppressing HIV residual replication than PIs, which may result in a smaller viral reservoir size.

Type: Article
Title: Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-based combination antiretroviral therapy is associated with lower cell-associated hiv rna and dna levels as compared with therapy based on protease inhibitors
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.7554/eLife.68174
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.68174
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10134367
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