The Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Analysis of HIV Type-1
Babalola Michael Oluyemi
IOSR Journal of Pharmacy (IOSRPHR)
I hereby bring into perspective, the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis of HIV Type -1 and the first proposal for the application of this innovative concept in the field of HIV research, to holistically devise strategies at undermining the prowess of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and overcoming its scourge. The strengths of HIV are the biological attributes that facilitate the pathogenicity, establishment of infection and spread of the virus. They include , the
... ossession of Reverse Transcriptase enzyme for reverse transcription of RNA genome to DNA, ability to maintain persistence by forming a provirus, ability to specifically target and replicate in the immune cells, antigenic mimicry and adoption of host derived glycan shield for immune evasion, HIV-1 strains harbor enhanced biological fitness upon recombination, HIV has exceptionally high rate of replication and disrupts the Blood-Brain Barrier. The weaknesses of HIV are the internal attributes and requirements for survival of the virus that invariably present as opportunities and targets for elimination. These include: the requirement for CCR5 and CXCR4 chemokine co-receptors for fusion prior to internalization, presence on HIV-1 envelope of conserved determinants that mediate CD4 binding, the Achilles heel of HIV is a tiny stretch of amino acids numbered 421 to 423 on gp 120, the capsid proteins reveal potential weakness at the inner core of the virus, HIV proteins retain virus internal carbohydrate, and the virus thrives on human proteins. The various host factors that were harnessed as opportunities for infection by HIV include, the ability to establish infection via multiple portals of entry, Sexually Transmitted Infections(STIs) increase the susceptibility to HIV-1 infection, STIs boost HIV shedding in the genital tract and amplifies infectiousness, presence of hidden HIV reservoirs that serve as foci of dissemination, the genital anatomical structure of the female genital tract aids biological susceptibility, the immune status of the host, and underlying illness or subsequent exposure to a bandwagon of opportunistic pathogens. The Threats to HIV are the external conditions that are inimical to the virus establishment and which may be harnessed for elimination of the pathogen. They include: limited host reservoir, the virus is susceptible to a Lectin isolated from ripened banana fruits as potent inhibitor of HIV replication, the development and application of Abzymes, development of agents that can selectively target only HIV infected cells, sustenance of global AIDS funding, and evolution of a potent HIV / AIDS Vaccine. I.