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J Clin Virol. 2008 Aug;42(4):399-404. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2008.03.013. Epub 2008 May 2.

HIV-1 DNA for the measurement of the HIV reservoir is predictive of disease progression in seroconverters whatever the mode of result expression is.

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AP-HP, CHU Necker-Enfants Malades, Laboratoire de Virologie, Paris, France.



HIV-1 DNA levels, reported as copies/10(6) peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), are very predictive of disease progression in seroconverters, independently of CD4(+)T cell count and HIV-RNA. Previously, HIV-DNA levels have sometimes been reported by other means: copies/10(6) CD4(+)T cells, reflecting the proportion of infected cells; or copies/mL whole blood, reflecting the global blood reservoir size.


We investigated if the predictive value over the natural course of the disease depends on how the results are reported.


Results reported as HIV-DNA copies/10(6) PBMC were converted to copies/10(6) CD4(+)T cells or to copies/mL whole blood for 422 seroconverters included in the French SEROCO cohort (ANRS).


The three methods for reporting HIV-DNA levels yielded different ranges, but these values were highly correlated. The level of HIV-DNA during the seroconversion period was strongly associated with disease progression in all three reporting methods.


This reinforces the value of HIV-DNA quantification in physiopathological and therapeutical studies, particularly in an era of research aimed at diminishing the HIV reservoir. Even if blood represents a small part of this reservoir, HIV-DNA in blood is a simple marker that provides an informative picture of the global reservoir and is strongly predictive of disease progression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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