Journal Article

Short-Course Raltegravir Intensification Does Not Reduce Persistent Low-Level Viremia in Patients with HIV-1 Suppression during Receipt of Combination Antiretroviral Therapy

D. McMahon, J. Jones, A. Wiegand, S. J. Gange, M. Kearney, S. Palmer, S. McNulty, J. A. Metcalf, E. Acosta, C. Rehm, J. M. Coffin, J. W. Mellors and F. Maldarelli

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 50, issue 6, pages 912-919
Published in print March 2010 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online March 2010 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/650749
Short-Course Raltegravir Intensification Does Not Reduce Persistent Low-Level Viremia in Patients with HIV-1 Suppression during Receipt of Combination Antiretroviral Therapy

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Background. Combination antiretroviral therapy suppresses but does not eradicate human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in infected persons, and low-level viremia can be detected despite years of suppressive antiretroviral therapy. Short-course (28-day) intensification of standard antiretroviral combination therapy is a useful approach to determine whether complete rounds of HIV-1 replication in rapidly cycling cells contribute to persistent viremia. We investigated whether intensification with the integrase inhibitor raltegravir decreases plasma HIV-1 RNA levels in patients receiving suppressive antiretroviral therapy.

Methods. Subjects (n=10) with long-term HIV-1 suppression receiving combination antiretroviral regimens had their regimens intensified for 4 weeks with raltegravir. Plasma HIV-1 RNA level was determined before, during, and after the 4-week intensification period, using a sensitive assay (limit of detection, 0.2 copies of HIV-1 RNA/mL of plasma). A 4-week intensification course was chosen to investigate potential HIV-1 replication in cells with relatively short ( im;1–14-day) half-lives.

Results. There was no evidence in any subject of a decline in HIV-1 RNA level during the period of raltegravir intensification or of rebound after discontinuation. Median levels of HIV-1 RNA before (0.17 log10 copies/mL), during (0.04 log10 copies/mL), and after (0.04 log10 copies/mL) raltegravir intensification were not significantly different (Pµ.1 for all comparisons in parametric analyses). High-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectroscopy experiments confirmed that therapeutic levels of raltegravir were achieved in plasma during intensification.

Conclusions. Intensification of antiretroviral therapy with a potent HIV-1 integrase inhibitor did not decrease persistent viremia in subjects receiving suppressive regimens, indicating that rapidly cycling cells infected with HIV-1 were not present. Eradication of HIV-1 from infected persons will require new therapeutic approaches.

Trial registration. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00618371.

Journal Article.  4594 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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