About this Research Topic
Despite the remarkable advancements of antiretroviral therapy, which is able to keep the virus in check even for a lifetime in some cases, HIV infection remains incurable to date. Clinical complications such as drug resistance, toxicity, and interactions, as well as social stigma, still make HIV eradication a warranted goal. The main limitation of HIV eradication is the constitution of an HIV reservoir inside the host cells. These infected latent cells are invisible to the immune system and not affected by antiretroviral therapy. In addition, these cells have usually a long persistence nature, constituting a lifelong threat of viral rebound the moment antiretroviral therapy is interrupted. In recent times, several scientific advancements have been achieved towards HIV cure, and different strategies are under testing. One of the research lines drawing more attention is the development of approaches to enhance the immune function since there is no question in the importance of a strong immune response to achieve viral clearance. These kinds of strategies are usually thought to be most suitable in combination with other compounds that reactivate, reduce or even lock the HIV latent reservoirs. In fact, recent results demonstrate that the combination of different approaches will be necessary to achieve the final aim of HIV eradication.
In this Research Topic, we seek Original Research articles, Reviews, Mini-Reviews, Perspectives and Brief Research Reports (accepted for Clinical Microbiology), that discuss the latest developments in immune enhancement strategies aimed to the recognition and clearance of HIV infected cells, focusing in the context of persistent infection. More specifically, topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
- Therapeutic vaccines to enhance HIV specific immune response
- Checkpoint inhibitors to reverse immune exhaustion
- Monoclonal, either broadly neutralizing or non-neutralizing and bispecific antibodies to target antigen-expressing cells
- Genetic engineering to protect cells from infection, ie. deleting CCR5, and/or generate more cytotoxic effectors, ie. CAR-T cells.
- Cell therapy with ex vivo stimulated effector cells
- Stem Cell transplantation (Autologous or Allogeneic)
- Impact of HIV eradication strategies on the immune system
- Animal models to test immune-based approaches to eradicate HIV infection in vivo
Keywords: HIV, Immunotherapy, HIV Eradication, HIV Cure, Antibodies, Cell Therapy
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.