Supernatural Immunity? Scientists Identify Second HIV Patient Who Got Rid of Virus on Their Own
11:37 GMT 17.11.2021 (Updated: 13:32 GMT 06.08.2022)
According to the scientists, if they are able to understand the mechanism of immune responses in these two rare cases of HIV, then they may be able to develop treatments of other HIV patients that mimic these responses and recede the disease.
Scientists have identified the world's second HIV patient whose body defeated the deadly virus without the use of antiretroviral drugs or treatment.
According to the scientists, the untreated patient, also known as Esperanza Patient, who had been living with HIV for the last eight years, had not received any regular treatment for the virus.
The team of scientists led by Xu Yu, a member of the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard (a premiere institute that involves scientists and engineers from Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the Massachusetts General Hospital), found that the patient has no "intact HIV genomes found in more than 1.19 billion blood cells and 500 million tissue cells sequenced".
The team published its findings
in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine
Last year, Yu's team had found the world's first HIV patient
, also known as San Francisco Patient, whose body had cleared the virus in a similar way.
Yu has maintained that these findings cannot be generalised for all HIV patients.
She said that these two patients belong to a rare group of "elite controllers" and their immunity systems are capable of suppressing HIV without any medication.
Yu has been studying these HIV reservoirs of "elite controllers" for quite some time now.
“These findings, especially with the identification of a second case, indicate there may be an actionable path to a sterilising cure for people who are not able to do this on their own,” Yu, who is also a physician investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital said.
She also said that these findings also reveal that a specific killer T cell response common to both the Esperanza and San Francisco patients is responsible for this response, and there is also a possibility that other people with HIV can also help in achieving a cure.