Sperk et al. Distinct lipid profile, low-level inflammation, and increased antioxidant defense signature in HIV-1 elite control status, iScience, Volume 24, Issue 2, (February 19, 2021)
HIV-1 elite controllers (EC) are a rare but heterogeneous group of HIV-1-infected individuals who can suppress viral replication in the absence of antiretroviral therapy. The mechanisms of how EC achieve undetectable viral loads remain unclear. This study aimed to investigate host plasma metabolomics and targeted plasma proteomics in a Swedish HIV-1 cohort including EC and treatment-naı¨ve viremic progressors (VP) as well as HIV-negative individuals (HC) to get insights into EC phenotype. Metabolites belonging to antioxidant defense had higher levels in EC relative to VP, whereas inflammation markers were increased in VP compared with EC. Only four plasma proteins (CCL4, CCL7, CCL20, and NOS3) were increased in EC compared with HC, and CCL20/CCR6 axis can play an essential role in EC status. Our study suggests that low-level inflammation and oxidative stress at physiological levels could be important factors contributing to elite control phenotype.