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Cat and Mouse: HIV Transcription in Latency, Immune Evasion and Cure/Remission Strategies

Département de Microbiologie et Infectiologie, Faculté de Médecine et des Sciences de la Santé and Centre de recherche du CHUS, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC J1E 4K8, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2019, 11(3), 269;
Received: 16 January 2019 / Revised: 4 March 2019 / Accepted: 13 March 2019 / Published: 18 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CSV2018: The 2nd symposium of the Canadian Society for Virology (CSV))
There is broad scientific and societal consensus that finding a cure for HIV infection must be pursued. The major barrier to achieving a cure for HIV/AIDS is the capacity of the HIV virus to avoid both immune surveillance and current antiretroviral therapy (ART) by rapidly establishing latently infected cell populations, termed latent reservoirs. Here, we provide an overview of the rapidly evolving field of HIV cure/remission research, highlighting recent progress and ongoing challenges in the understanding of HIV reservoirs, the role of HIV transcription in latency and immune evasion. We review the major approaches towards a cure that are currently being explored and further argue that small molecules that inhibit HIV transcription, and therefore uncouple HIV gene expression from signals sent by the host immune response, might be a particularly promising approach to attain a cure or remission. We emphasize that a better understanding of the game of “cat and mouse” between the host immune system and the HIV virus is a crucial knowledge gap to be filled in both cure and vaccine research. View Full-Text
Keywords: HIV; latency; transcription; cure; remission; immune evasion; immunotherapy HIV; latency; transcription; cure; remission; immune evasion; immunotherapy
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Delannoy, A.; Poirier, M.; Bell, B. Cat and Mouse: HIV Transcription in Latency, Immune Evasion and Cure/Remission Strategies. Viruses 2019, 11, 269.

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