HIV latency related research ideas
Latency shows the incubation period of a disease i.e. the development of an infection inside the body to the point at which the first signs of disease become apparent. HIV (human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS) has the ability to become latent in the body and there are several points of research in this area.
Some of the open questions in HIV research are as follows:
Why do all cells that are HIV infected not die as a consequence of productive HIV replication?
Why do latently HIV-infected cells that are induced to reactivate virus not die as a result of productive HIV replication?
Can therapeutic strategies be designed that will both reactivate HIV from latency and induce the death of cells that replicate HIV?
Why the HIV production does not always kill virus producing cells such as in case of viral reactivation from latency?
Researchers are still unaware of the relative contribution of the pathways of HIV latency in-vivo. These pathways may include the infection of the CD4+ T cells with the virus and then the conversion of the cells into resting memory T-cell phenotype or the direct infection of resting CD4+ T cells with virus. So, the mechanism behind the latency of the viruses can be worked-on.
Moreover, the contribution of the non-memory T-cell reservoirs in the latency of the viruses needs further research.
Badley AD, Sainski A, Wightman F, & Lewin SR (2013). Altering cell death pathways as an approach to cure HIV infection. Cell death & disease, 4 PMID: 23846220