Two men having been infected with HIV, but, never having developed symptoms, might hold the answer to a possible cure to the disease. Also, one of the two was infected by the deadly virus 3 decades ago. The pathogens have indeed infiltrated into their immune systems but they have remained in an inactive state. Scientists suggested that this has been the case because of the modified genetic code of the virus. French researchers have worked on the cases and stated that they might have decoded the genetic strategy behind the “spontaneous cure”. This can now be exploited to develop a cure for AIDS.
The mechanism that has led to the alteration of the genetic code might open up new avenues for therapeutic drugs. A particular enzyme has been observed to be involved in it; additional research can thus be focused on it.
A small percentage of the human population are naturally endowed at being able to keep the virus from replicating inside their cells; uptil now, the reason for this occurrence remained obscure. While they have the virus in their system, it remains under the clinically detectable concentrations.
How do these people neutralise the virus? The scientists have mentioned the possibility of a process known as endogenisation, involving a spontaneous evolution between the human and the virus. This ability of neutralising the virus can also be inherited: therefore, this must be coded in their genetic code.
The authors wrote: “We propose that HIV cure may occur through HIV endogenisation in humans. These findings suggest that without therapeutic and prophylactic strategies, after several decades of HIV/host integrations and millions of deaths, it is likely that a few individuals might have endogenised and neutralised the virus and transmitted it to their progeny. We believe that the persistence of HIV DNA can lead to cure, and protection, from HIV.