Shock and Kill?

We’ve discussed several papers about the “shock and kill” strategy to treat HIV-1 infection. The goal of this therapy was to stimulate transcription of the latent HIV-1 provirus with HDAC inhibitors. Theoretically this reactivation of the virus would kill the infected cell. The patient would still be on anti-retroviral therapy to prevent infection of new cells. Unfortunately this strategy has not yet been successful for patients.

This new study suggests that treating HIV-1 patients with HDAC inhibitors could prove more dangerous than anticipated. There are several caveats to this study and its application to human patients. However, it’s an interesting concept.

Press release

Lucio Gama, Celina M. Abreu, Erin N. Shirk, Sarah L. Price, Ming Li, Greg M. Laird, Kelly A. Metcalf Pate, Stephen W. Wietgrefe, Shelby L. O’Connor, Luiz Pianowski, Ashley T. Haase, Carine Van Lint, Robert F. Siliciano, Janice E. Clements. Reactivation of simian immunodeficiency virus reservoirs in the brain of virally suppressed macaques. AIDS, 2017; 31 (1): 5