Super-paramagnetic CD44 MicroBeads (Miltenyi) designed for the isolation of infectious HIV-1 from dilute or difficult biological samples dramatically enhance the infectivity of bound HIV virions, even if the original viral suspension is merely incubated with beads. Infection of the CEM T cell line with the NL4-3 virus clone or primary human CD4 T cells with X4- and R5-tropic clones and a clade C primary virus isolate all showed accelerated p24 production and larger fractions of infected target cells. Effects could be detected very early; incubation of virus with the CD44 MicroBeads promoted higher levels of viral integration within the first infection cycle. In summary, CD44 MicroBeads provide the means not only to concentrate dilute viral samples, but also to directly facilitate within days rather than weeks the in vitro expansion of patient isolates independent of coreceptor usage and the performance of HIV replication assays that require a large fraction of infected primary T cells.
Terry, V. H., Johnston, I. C. D., & Spina, C. A. (2009). CD44 MicroBeads accelerate HIV-1 infection in T cells. Virology, 388(2), 294–304. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2009.03.022