Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), Montreal, QC, Canada
Division of Experimental Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada
Infectious Diseases, Immunology and Global Health Program, Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, QC, Canada
Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CRCHUM), Montreal, QC, Canada
Department of Microbiology Infectiology and Immunology, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada
Ph.D., Division of Clinical Immunology, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, QC, Canada
Untreated HIV infection usually leads to disease progression and development of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. A rare subset of people living with HIV control HIV without anti-retroviral therapy. These individuals, known as Elite Controllers (ECs), represent examples of a functional HIV cure. ECs differ from non-controllers is many aspects. Some are infected with defective virus, most have potent CD4 and CD8 virus-specific T cell responses and proviruses in these individuals tend to be inserted into regions with characteristics of deep latency. Natural Killer (NK) cells are innate immune cells that function at the intersection of innate and adaptive immunity. They have the capacity to recognize and respond to HIV-infected cells from the earliest stages in infection. NK cells can be activated through antibody independent and antibody dependent mechanisms to elicit functions that control HIV and kill infected cells. This manuscript will review the role of NK cells in HIV control.