The amplitudes of viral blips in HIV-1 infected patients treated with antiretroviral therapy are power-law distributed

Jerrome K. Percus, Ora E. Percus, Michele Di Mascio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We previously reported that in patients treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) who achieve viral load (VL) suppression, low fluctuations of viral load over the threshold of detection (viral blips) more than 4 weeks apart occur at random, with a frequency that does not change with longer times of observation. The etiology of viral blips is currently unknown, but viral blip frequency inversely correlates with the decay of the latent reservoir, whose stability has been proposed as the major hurdle to HIV eradication. We show here that the distribution of viral blip amplitudes observed in a group of 272 patients successfully treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy appears to be power-law distributed. Such a distribution can be theoretically generated by randomly sampling the arrival of asynchronous and overlapping elementary pulses of viremia, with asymptotic exponential decay of kinetics, thus suggesting that the low fluctuations of viremia observed in patients during HAART treatment is, in part, a discrete phenomenon consistent with random activation of latently infected cells or release of virus and infected cells into the blood compartment from unknown sites of active viral replication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)454-459
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Volume257
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 7 2009

Keywords

  • HAART
  • Kinetics
  • Poisson
  • Reservoirs
  • Viral load

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics

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