Sofia Cerqueira, post-doc researcher of the Human Immunobiology and Pathogenesis Lab, was awarded with a research grant by ESCMID – European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, to understand the immunometabolism of HIV-1 follicular reservoir.
This new funding will allow Sofia Cerqueira and the rest of the team to study the signaling and metabolic pathways by which HIV-1 exploits certain lymphocytes to favor their expansion and survival while promoting viral replication and test several inhibitors to block them.
Latency and ongoing replication in infected cells resistant to antiretroviral therapy render the infection incurable. T lymphocytes have been identified as the major source of replication competent HIV-1 in patients treated with antiretroviral therapy. However, it is still not known how HIV manipulates these cells into viral factories, without inducing their deaths. By selectively inhibiting the pathways exploited by HIV-1 in these cells’ reservoir, the researchers look to suppress ongoing antiretroviral therapy-resistant viral production in lymphoid tissue.