CNS Persistence of HIV-1 in Children: the Untapped Reservoir

Ann Chahroudi, Thor A. Wagner, Deborah Persaud

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: The central nervous system (CNS) represents a potential HIV-1 reservoir that may need to be specifically targeted by remission strategies. Perinatally HIV-1-infected children and youth are exposed to HIV-1 at a critical period of brain development. This review summarizes the current literature regarding HIV-1 and the CNS in perinatal infection. Recent Findings: HIV-1-associated encephalopathy is prevalent with perinatal infection and neurocognitive impairment persists even following antiretroviral treatment (ART)-mediated suppression of viremia. Compartmentalization of HIV-1 between plasma and CSF of ART-naïve, perinatally infected children suggests the presence of a CNS reservoir; however, similar studies have not yet been conducted with ART suppression. CSF viral escape where CSF and plasma virus concentrations are discordant has been reported in this population, but larger studies with well-defined virologic and immunologic parameters are needed. Summary: A better understanding of HIV-1 persistence in the CNS with perinatal infection is essential for improving long-term neurocognitive outcomes and for designing strategies to induce HIV-1 remission in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-387
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent HIV/AIDS reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018


  • CNS
  • Central nervous system
  • HIV-1 in children
  • HIV-1 persistence
  • Perinatal infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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