Viral, inflammatory, and reservoir characteristics of posttreatment controllers

James McMahon, Sharon R. Lewin, Thomas A. Rasmussen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose of reviewTo provide an overview of studies to date that have identified posttreatment controllers (PTCs) and to explore current evidence around clinical characteristics, immune effector function, and inflammatory and viral reservoir characteristics that may underlie the control mechanism.Recent findingsPTCs are broadly defined as individuals capable of maintaining control of HIV replication after cessation of antiretroviral therapy (ART). While starting ART early after HIV infection is associated with PTC, genetic disposition or CD8+ T-cell function do not appear to explain this phenomenon, but these features have not been exhaustively analyzed in PTCs. A lower frequency of latently infected cells prior to stopping ART has been associated with achieving PTC, including a lower level of intact HIV DNA, but more studies are needed to map the genetic location, epigenetic characteristics, and tissue distribution of the intact HIV reservoir in PTCs.SummaryCurrent studies are small and heterogeneous and there is a significant need to agree on a uniform definition of PTC. Many aspects of PTC are still unexplored including whether specific features of genetic disposition, immune effector functions, and/or viral reservoir characteristics play a role in PTC. A large multisite international cohort study could aide in providing the important insights needed to fully understand PTC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-256
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in HIV and AIDS
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV cure
  • HIV persistence
  • HIV remission
  • HIV reservoir
  • elite control
  • immune control
  • posttreatment control


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