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Characterization of Proviral HIV Latency in Different T Cell Subsets of Patients Undergoing HAART


In an HIV infected person, each body compartment harbors a distinct resident HIV. There is an increasing awareness that each T cell subset harbors a genetically distinct lineage of the virus.

Materials and methods

Peripheral blood was obtained from 5 HIV patients receiving HAART for 2–12 years. Three patients had 400<HIV RNA copies/ml with between 529 and 1,588 CD4 T cells/μl. Other two had 915 and 453,000 RNA copies/ml with 235 and 266 CD4 T cells/μl. Each T cell subset was sorted by FACSAria, washed and DNA was isolated. Proviral HIV env C2-V3 genes were PCR amplified, cloned and sequenced, and were phylogenetically analyzed by using MEGA (v.2.1).


In each individual, different T cell subsets harbored genetically distinct lines of HIV. In most patients, CD45RO (memory) subset of CD4 T cells were positive for HIV proviral DNA. Only one patient was positive for proviral HIV in naïve CD4 T cells. Both naïve CD4 and CD8 T cells showed highly divergent proviral HIV sequences.


In patients receiving a long-term HAART, proviral HIV DNA in each T cell subset represented a distinct lineage of the virus. Even in patients with less than detectable levels of HIV in the plasma, proviral DNA showed the evidence of drug resistance to antiretrovirals.

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Correspondence to Suman Chaudhary.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Chaudhary, S., Lopez, P., Rodriguez, N. et al. Characterization of Proviral HIV Latency in Different T Cell Subsets of Patients Undergoing HAART. Retrovirology 2 (Suppl 1), P151 (2005).

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