艾滋研究阴霾之后,重现阳光:两名男性自愈
2014/11/05
就在艾滋治疗遭遇“密西西比女婴”滑铁卢之后,近日,两名男性HIV病毒携者“功能性自愈”,这让艾滋病研究者们重新振奋起来。事实上,这两名艾滋患者并非独有的案例,约有1%的HIV感染者,其体内的HIV病毒自然保持在一种无法检测到水平。


就在艾滋治疗遭遇“密西西比女婴”滑铁卢之后,近日,两名男性HIV病毒携者“功能性自愈”,这让艾滋病研究者们重新振奋起来。数月前,被人们亲切称为“密西西比女童”的艾滋女婴,在停止抗逆转录病毒药物治疗后,体内重新检测出艾滋病病毒。艾滋病研究重新出现一片阴霾。然而,研究者发现这两名艾滋病患者是通过自身特殊的遗传机制而功能性自愈。

来自法国卫生与医学研究所的研究人员称,事实上,这两名艾滋患者并非独有的案例,早在数年前第一位艾滋病患者——法国人布朗功能性自愈,也同其自身独特的遗传变异有关,这两位艾滋病患者也携带有该独特的遗传变异。

这两名HIV病毒携带者年龄分别为57岁和31岁,二人在自愈的时候,仅仅是HIV病毒的携带者,当时并未发展至艾滋病阶段。研究者称,二人体内的HIV病毒发生了变异,从而可能激活了体内的抗艾滋病蛋白质(APOBEC)清除HIV病毒的机制。

二人的“自愈”并非体内的HIV病毒就彻底清除,此前发表在journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection的一项研究称,约有1%的HIV感染者,其体内的HIV病毒自然保持在一种无法检测到水平。尽管HIV病毒无法清除,但是研究者希望通过对这类人群进行研究能够发现遏制HIV病毒的机制,从而达到治愈的目的。

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  • HIV infection en route to endogenization: two cases

    The long-term spontaneous evolution between humans and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is not well characterized; many species, including humans, exhibit remnants of other retroviruses in their genomes that question such possible endogenization of HIV. We investigated two HIV-infected patients with no HIV-related disease and no detection with routine tests of plasma HIV RNA or cell-associated HIV DNA. We used Sanger and deep sequencing to retrieve HIV DNA sequences integrated in the human genome and tested the host humoral and cellular immune responses. We noticed that viruses from both patients were inactivated by the high prevalence of the transformation of tryptophan codons into stop codons (25% overall (3-100% per gene) and 24% overall (0-50% per gene)). In contrast, the humoral and/or cellular responses were strong for one patient and moderate for the other, indicating that a productive infection occurred at one stage of the infection. We speculate that the stimulation of APOBEC, the enzyme group that exchanges G for A in viral nucleic acids and is usually inhibited by the HIV protein Vif, has been amplified and made effective from the initial stage of the infection. Furthermore, we propose that HIV cure may occur through HIV endogenization in humans, as observed for many other retroviruses in mammals, rather than clearance of all traces of HIV from human cells which defines viral eradication.

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