Highlights of HIV research in December 2019

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), or AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) virus, is a virus that causes defects in the human immune system. HIV destroys the body’s T lymphocytes, thereby blocking the cellular and humoral immune processes, leading to paralysis of the immune system, which causes various diseases to spread in the human body, and eventually leads to AIDS. Due to the rapid mutation of HIV, it is difficult to produce specific vaccines. So far, there is no effective treatment, which poses a great threat to human health.

Since the 1980s, the AIDS epidemic has claimed more than 34 million lives. According to World Health Organization (WHO) statistics, it is estimated that 36.9 million people worldwide were infected with HIV in 2017, and only 59% of those infected with HIV received antiretroviral therapy (ART). There is an urgent need to find a cure for HIV infection. Here are the highlights of HIV research in December 2019.

1. Science Translational Medicine: Challenge the routine! Suppressing rather than eradicating HIV can lead to functional cure for AIDS

doi: 10.1126 / scitranslmed.aax4077

Finding a cure for AIDS has focused in part on finding ways to eradicate HIV-infected cells. In a study of some HIV-positive patients who could coexist with the HIV virus without treatment, they found that the lymphocytes of these patients, called elite controllers, could suppress the virus, but would not kill the virus infected cells. Figure 1 Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

Figure 1 Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

2. Nat Commun: New Discovery! Extracellular vesicle structure released by specific bacteria may reduce HIV spread

doi: 10.1038 / s41467-019-13468-9

In a recent study published in the international journal Nature Communications, scientists from the national institutes of health and other institutions found that certain bacteria living in the vagina may release nanoscale vesicles to protect the body from HIV infection.

3. PLoS Genet: Chimpanzees may evolve resistance to HIV precursors

doi: 10.1371 / journal.pgen.1008485

Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) is a virus that infects monkeys and apes. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) originates from SIV, which means that SIV is a precursor to the HIV virus. In a new study, researchers from University College London have found that SIV may affect the genetics of chimpanzees. They report that the virus is the main cause of the differences between different chimpanzee subspecies. Although chimpanzees are not severely affected by SIV infection, these findings suggest that some chimpanzee subspecies may have evolved a certain degree of tolerance to the virus.

4. PLoS ONE: New research proposes new structure of HIV-1 virus shell, potentially developing new HIV treatments

doi: 10.1371 / journal.pone.0224965

In a new study, researchers from the University of Alberta in Canada suggest that the shell of the HIV-1 virus may have a different shape than previously thought. This has important implications for understanding the function of this virus. This study showed that the HIV-1 virus is inside a spherical matrix shell. When it infects healthy cells, its shell fuses to the outside of the target cell, and then releases the virus’s genetic material into the cell where it attacks the cell.

Figure 2 Scanning electromicrograph of an HIV-infected H9 T cell

5. Cell Rep: New research shows crucial to suppress HIV from the start

doi: 10.1016 / j.celrep.2019.10.094

HIV laboratories around the world are trying to crack the “secret” of the HIV virus and discover its weaknesses to prevent or cure the virus infection. In a new study, éric A. Cohen, Tram NQ Pham and colleagues from the Clinical Institute of Montreal, Canada, identified a way to stop HIV infection at an early stage.

6. PNAS: Revealing the mechanism of Lactobacillus plantarum transplantation to repair intestinal damage caused by HIV infection, thereby laying the foundation for HIV cure

doi: 10.1073 / pnas.1908977116

In a new study, researchers from the university of California, Davis, found that in monkeys chronically infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), an HIV-like virus, damaged intestinal walls were quickly repaired within five hours of being transplanted with Lactobacillus plantarum.

7. Nat Commun: Promote mucosal wound healing or prevent AIDS in the early stages of HIV infection

doi: 10.1038 / s41467-019-12987-9

In a new study, researchers from research institutions such as the University of Washington, the University of Pittsburgh, and Uppsala University in Sweden have explored why certain primates can carry the SIV virus throughout their lives and still avoid disease progression. They sought to find successful antiviral strategies in natural hosts to help design better antiviral drugs to treat HIV infection. They found that in the early stages of SIV infection, biological events involved in wound healing in mucosal tissue create a favorable environment in the body to prevent the devastating consequences of SIV infection. Some aspects of this wound-healing immune response may be targeted for the development of new therapies to prevent HIV infection.

8. Mucosal Immunology: New study reveals where HIV hides during antiretroviral treatment

doi: 10.1038 / s41385-019-0221-x

In a new study, researchers from research institutions such as the University of Laval in Canada may have discovered where HIV is latent in the body during antiretroviral treatment. In animal models, they point out that the virus may be latent in lymph nodes in the spleen and intestines. They believe that these lymph nodes are the bastions of HIV’s readiness to rebound after treatment has stopped.

9. Immunity: New vaccine strategy successfully induces broad neutralizing antibodies against HIV

doi: 10.1016 / j.immuni.2019.10.008

In a new study, researchers from the Scripps institute and the international AIDS vaccine initiative (IAVI), a nonprofit vaccine research organization, report that an experimental HIV vaccine they developed has reached an important milestone. It can neutralize the production of antibodies(So-called broadly neutralizing antibody (bnAb)) to various HIV strains.

10. Science: Scientists successfully use the chain reaction of nine enzymes to make the HIV drug islatravir

doi: 10.1126 / science.aay8484; doi: 10.1126 / science.aaz7376

Recently, in a research report published in the international journal Science, researchers from Merck and Kerdecis successfully researched the use of a nine-enzyme chain reaction method to manufacture the HIV drug islatravir. In the article, researchers describe the inspiration for their work and the effect of the final product.

11. Science: Successfully induces the immune system to produce key antibodies to fight HIV infection

doi: 10.1126 / science.aay7199; doi: 10.1126 / science.aaz8647

In a study published in the international journal Science, scientists at duke university medical center cleared a major hurdle in the development of an HIV vaccine, which has also been shown to work in animal models to induce the proliferation of short-lived antibodies that act as an effective bulwark against HIV.

12. Science Translational Medicine: Babies with HIV at birth should start treatment as soon as possible

doi: 10.1126 / scitranslmed.aax7350

Figure 3 Scanning electron micrograph of HIV-1 (in green) budding from cultured lymphocyte

In a new study, researchers from the United States and Botswana report that when babies are born with HIV, it is better to start treatment within hours to days of birth than to wait weeks to months after birth, as is customary in many countries. They found that early treatment limits the way HIV can gain a foothold in newborns and shrinks the latent HIV pool, but if these children stop taking the drug, the virus will rebound.