Elite Control and Post-treatment control of HIV in children and adults
To define mechanisms by which functional cure of HIV can be achieved, Vinicius Vieira in the group is building up a cohort of elite controllers (EC), whom maintain <50 HIV RNA c/ml without treatment, as a potential model for post-treatment control. Like adult EC, paediatric EC has a strong female bias, but unlike adult EC who achieve aviraemia within weeks of infection, paediatric EC take 6-7yrs to achieve aviraemia. Other clues to the immune responses required to achieve functional cure in children come from studies of post-treatment controllers in adults. To this end we are studying the mothers in the Babycure study who seroconvert during pregnancy and initiate ART 4-12weeks after infection, similar to the well-characterised VISCONTI cohort of post-treatment controllers.