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PURPOSE OF REVIEW:To analyze the possible role that the 'unconventional' T-cell populations mucosal-associated invariant T cell (MAIT) and iNKT cells play during HIV infection and following antiretroviral therapy (ART) treatment. RECENT FINDINGS:A substantial body of evidence now demonstrates that both MAIT and iNKT cells are depleted in blood during HIV infection. The depletion and dysfunction of MAIT and iNKT cells are only partially restored by suppressive ART, potentially contributing to HIV-related comorbidities. SUMMARY:The deficiency and dysfunction of MAIT and iNKT T-cell subsets likely impact on immunity to important coinfections including Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This underscores the importance of research on restoring these unconventional T cells during HIV infection. Future studies in this field should address the challenge of studying tissue-resident cells, particularly in the gut, and better defining the determinants of MAIT/iNKT cell dysfunction. Such studies could have a significant impact on improving the immune function of HIV-infected individuals.

Original publication




Journal article


Current opinion in HIV and AIDS

Publication Date





77 - 84


Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The University of Melbourne, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.