Virology, Nebraska Center for


Date of this Version



2018 Author(s)


Antiviral Res. 2018 August ; 156: 85–91. doi:10.1016/j.antiviral.2018.06.005.


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients are often diagnosed in the chronic stage of HIV/AIDS. Combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) has improved quality of life for HIV-infected patients. Present study describes a novel long-acting parenteral formulation of combination antiretroviral (cARV) loaded nano-drugs for treating chronic HIV-1 (cHIV) in a humanized-BLT (hu-BLT) mice model. The cARV (elvitegravir + tenofovir alafenamide + emtricitabine; EVG + TAF + FTC) drugs (mimicking marketed Genvoy® one-pill for HIV-treatment) were encapsulated in poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles (NPs). To establish cHIV, hu-BLT mice were intravaginally challenged with HIV-1 and maintained for 15 weeks. Plasma viral load (pVL) was monitored by RT-PCR to confirm cHIV. Baseline pVL (week 15) was comparable between treated (n = 10) and control (n = 5) mice groups. Subsequently, treatment hu-BLT mice received 3 subcutaneous doses of cARV NPs (417 mg/kg per dose; n = 10), biweekly, and a fourth/terminal dose a week later. Prior to each treatment and on sacrifice (week 24), pVL was determined. Within three subcutaneous doses of cARV NPs, a non-detectable pVL was established (week 19) and continued until week 22. After the establishment of a non-detectable pVL (week 19–22), 4 treated-mice were sacrificed for tissue drug concentration determination by LC-MS/MS analysis. A considerable amount of cARV was detected at the HIV-infection target and reservoir organs. Subsequently, pVL rebounded comparable to control group by week 24, (7 weeks post-terminal dosage). The present study demonstrated cARV NPs augments sustained ARV efficacy in the cHIV humanized-mouse model. Therefore, cARV NPs could be a novel delivery system to treat cHIV patients, by overcoming drawbacks of conventional cART.