Immune reconstitution after highly active antiretroviral treatment of HIV infection
The introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) combining inhibitors of the HIV-1 reverse transcriptase and protease have dramatically modified the course of the HIV infection during the past four years. Despite some controversies about the extent to which the immune system can normalize, it is generally admitted nowadays that some immune reconstitution can be obtained in both asymptomatic HIV-infected individuals and AIDS patients and can confer host protection against opportunistic events (1-5). The best hallmark of such immune restoration is the massive decline in the mortality and morbidity related to AIDS that have been registered in all industrialized countries (6 7). Although these recent advances warrant optimism, the current HAART regimens are unable to eradicate the virus and to restore an HIV-specific immunity (8 9), except when introduced immediately after virus contamination (10). Nevertheless the immune reconstitution obtained with these antiretroviral drugs alone, even incomplete, has brought definitive evidences for the central role played by HIV itself in the massive immune alterations induced by such infection.
KeywordsImmune Reconstitution Cell Repertoire Immune Restoration Cell Reconstitution Viral Load Reduction
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