Folia Microbiologica

, Volume 62, Issue 1, pp 73–87 | Cite as

Current views on HIV-1 latency, persistence, and cure

  • Zora MelkovaEmail author
  • Prakash Shankaran
  • Michaela Madlenakova
  • Josef Bodor


HIV-1 infection cannot be cured as it persists in latently infected cells that are targeted neither by the immune system nor by available therapeutic approaches. Consequently, a lifelong therapy suppressing only the actively replicating virus is necessary. The latent reservoir has been defined and characterized in various experimental models and in human patients, allowing research and development of approaches targeting individual steps critical for HIV-1 latency establishment, maintenance, and reactivation. However, additional mechanisms and processes driving the remaining low-level HIV-1 replication in the presence of the suppressive therapy still remain to be identified and targeted. Current approaches toward HIV-1 cure involve namely attempts to reactivate and purge HIV latently infected cells (so-called “shock and kill” strategy), as well as approaches involving gene therapy and/or gene editing and stem cell transplantation aiming at generation of cells resistant to HIV-1. This review summarizes current views and concepts underlying different approaches aiming at functional or sterilizing cure of HIV-1 infection.


Vorinostat Auranofin Ingenol Romidepsin Latent Reservoir 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We are grateful to Dr. Ivan Hirsch for helpful discussions and comments. The work of P.S. and M.M. was performed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for Ph.D. degree at the First Medical Faculty, Charles University. The work was supported by the Grant Agency of the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic – project No. NT/14135-3.


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Copyright information

© Institute of Microbiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, v.v.i. 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zora Melkova
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Prakash Shankaran
    • 1
  • Michaela Madlenakova
    • 1
    • 2
  • Josef Bodor
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Immunology and Microbiology, 1st Faculty of MedicineCharles UniversityPrague 2Czech Republic
  2. 2.BIOCEV, Biotechnology and Biomedicine Center of the Academy of Sciences and Charles University in VestecVestecCzech Republic

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