Indexed on: 10 May '13Published on: 10 May '13Published in: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface / the Royal Society
A model of reservoir activation and viral replication is introduced accounting for the production of 2-LTR HIV-1 DNA circles following antiviral intensification with the HIV integrase inhibitor raltegravir, considering contributions of de novo infection events and exogenous sources of infected cells, including quiescent infected cell activation. The model shows that a monotonic increase in measured 2-LTR concentration post intensification is consistent with limited de novo infection primarily maintained by sources of infected cells unaffected by raltegravir, such as quiescent cell activation, while a transient increase in measured 2-LTR concentration is consistent with significant levels of efficient (R0 > 1) de novo infection. The model is validated against patient data from the INTEGRAL study and is shown to have a statistically significant fit relative to the null hypothesis of random measurement variation about a mean. We obtain estimates and confidence intervals for the model parameters, including 2-LTR half-life. Seven of the 13 patients with detectable 2-LTR concentrations from the INTEGRAL study have measured 2-LTR dynamics consistent with significant levels of efficient replication of the virus prior to treatment intensification.