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Congratulations to both Chomont and Routy labs on their publication in Nature Communications!

Clonal expansions occur in the persistent HIV reservoir as shown by the duplication of proviral integration sites. However, the source of the proliferation of HIV-infected cells remains unclear. Here, we analyze the TCR repertoire of single HIV-infected cells harboring translation-competent proviruses in longitudinal samples from eight individuals on anti-retroviral therapy (ART). When compared to uninfected cells, the TCR repertoire of reservoir cells is heavily biased: expanded clonotypes are present in all individuals, account for the majority of reservoir cells and are often maintained over time on ART. Infected T cell clones are detected at low frequencies in the long-lived central memory compartment and over- represented in the most differentiated memory subsets. Our results indicate that clonal expansions highly contribute to the persistence of the HIV reservoir and suggest that reservoir cells displaying a differentiated phenotype are the progeny of infected central memory cells undergoing antigen-driven clonal expansion during ART.

See the article here