Be the first to like this
Novel research aimed at finding a cure for AIDS requires animal models responding to human antiretroviral drugs. However, there have been few antiretrovirals cross-active against the simian viruses. In this study, we expanded the arsenal of drugs active against the simian retrovirus SIVmac251 and showed that this virus is inhibited by the protease inhibitor, darunavir, and the CCR5 blocker, maraviroc. Administration of these two drugs in combination with the reverse transcriptase inhibitors, tenofovir and emtricitabine, and the integrase inhibitor, raltegravir, resulted in prolonged plasma viral loads below assay detection limits, and, surprisingly, restricted the viral reservoir, a marker of which is viral DNA. We then decided to employ this multidrug regimen (termed “highly intensified ART”) in order to increase the potency of a previous strategy based on the gold drug auranofin, which recently proved able to restrict the viral reservoir in vivo. A short course of highly intensified ART following the previous treatment resulted, upon therapy suspension, in a remarkably spontaneous control of the infection, that may pave the way to a persistent suppression of viremia in the absence of ART. These results corroborate the robustness of the macaque AIDS model as a vanguard for potentially future treatments for HIV in humans.