The implications of viral reservoirs on the elite control of HIV-1 infection

Robert W. Buckheit, Maria Salgado, Karen O. Martins, Joel N. Blankson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The mechanisms by which a small percentage of HIV-1 infected individuals known as elite suppressors or controllers are able to control viral replication are not fully understood. Early cases of viremic control were attributed to infection with defective virus, but subsequent work has demonstrated that infection with a defective virus is not the exclusive cause of control. Replication-competent virus has been isolated from patients who control viral replication, and studies have demonstrated that evolution occurs in plasma virus but not in virus isolates from the latent reservoir. Additionally, transmission pair studies have demonstrated that patients infected with similar viruses can have dramatically different outcomes of infection. An increased understanding of the viral factors associated with control is important to understand the interplay between viral replication and host control, and has implications for the design of an effective therapeutic vaccine that can lead to a functional cure of HIV-1 infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1009-1019
Number of pages11
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Elite suppression
  • Latency
  • Residual viremia
  • Viral escape
  • Viral factors of control
  • Viral fitness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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