Cell-to-cell HIV-1 spread and its implications for immune evasion

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Purpose of reviewThe ability of HIV-1 to move between cells via direct cell–cell transmission is currently receiving a lot of attention. This review will discuss cell–cell spread of HIV-1 in terms of cellular and molecular mechanisms and will consider the evidence for immune and therapeutic evasion.Recent findingsRecent studies relating to the cell biology of HIV-1 cell–cell spread have sparked considerable renewed interest in the field. However, questions are being raised concerning both the mechanisms of viral spread between immune cells and the implications for immune evasion.SummaryThe re-emergence of HIV-1 cell–cell spread as a highly efficient mechanism for viral dissemination in vitro has raised the possibility that this finding may be central to viral spread in vivo and may strongly influence pathogenesis.

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