Navigation Links
Special Immune Cells May Be Key to HIV Resistance
Date:12/5/2008

Some people infected with the AIDS-causing virus don't get sick

FRIDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- New research is helping to unravel the mystery of how a small number of HIV-infected people manage to keep the AIDS-causing virus at bay without needing to take medicine.

The key seems to be an unusual feature of the immune systems of these fortunate patients, and researchers hope it might lead to better drug therapies or even vaccines.

So-called "non-progressors" -- people who get infected with HIV but don't get sick -- appear to have super-powered immune cells, according to a study published in the Dec. 4 issue of Immunity. Essentially, these cells gain more killing power through extra ammunition, explained study co-author Dr. Mark Connors, a researcher at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

"It was not just a numbers thing," Connors said. Instead, the killer cells were actually better equipped to kill off the virus in the AIDS-infected patients who didn't get sick.

Researchers have long been fascinated by these patients, some of whom have avoided becoming sick for 20 years or more. The AIDS virus is definitely in their bodies: They are diagnosed by AIDS tests and other tests show the germs are there.

"These people do have HIV in their system, and their immune system is fighting the virus," said Rowena Johnston, vice president of research for the Foundation for AIDS Research.

But the virus remains at extremely low levels in their body, sometimes even lower than in ordinary AIDS patients who successfully take powerful medications.

Experts estimate that 1 percent or less of AIDS patients are non-progressors. Still, the idea that anyone could get infected with the virus and keep it under control is amazing to scientists.

For the new study, Connors and his colleagues looked at immune cells from normal AIDS patients and non-progressors to see how they reacted to the AIDS virus. The researchers are trying to understand how the immune systems in non-progressors hold the virus in check over a long period of time.

To illustrate a similar point, Connors explained that the immune systems of people who have ever had chicken pox continue to stand guard against genetic material left in their bodies by the virus. But some people can develop the disease known as shingles if their immune system fails to keep pace, he said.

The researchers behind the new study found that immune cells known as CD8+ T cells are better armed in the non-progressors and do a better job of killing HIV, he said.

The research may help scientists develop an AIDS vaccine because it gives them a better idea of what people should look like when they've got good control of the virus, Connors said.

That makes senses to Johnston, who said the new findings are "compelling" and provide "fundamental groundwork" that's key to developing a vaccine.

More information

To learn more about AIDS, visit AIDS.gov.



SOURCES: Mark Connors, M.D., chief, HIV-Specific Immunity Section, U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, Md.; Rowena Johnston, Ph.D., vice president, research, Foundation for AIDS Research, New York City; Dec. 4, 2008, Immunity


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Jefferson specialists studying innovative surgery for effectively treating sleep apnea
2. Manor Care, Inc. Announces Record Date for Special Stockholder Meeting
3. Physician Skin Care Specialist Says Proposed New Rules for Sunscreen Products Will Better Protect the Public
4. Symmetry Medical Completes Acquisition Of Specialty Surgical Instruments
5. MedHelp to Add Top Stanford Surgeons and Specialized Forums to Online Health Community
6. Mercedes-Benz Special Edition C350 Sport Sedan to Raise $1 Million for Saks Fifth Avenues KEY TO THE CURE
7. Kyphon Announces Special Meeting Date to Vote on Proposed Medtronic Merger
8. Uninsured community health center patients often have difficulty accessing specialty services
9. Especially Yours and Paula Young Team up with Diahann Carroll and Jaclyn Smith in the Fight Against Breast Cancer
10. Hologic Sets Special Meeting of Stockholders to Vote on Proposed Merger with Cytyc Corporation
11. Inspiring Authors Tell Inspirational Stories: Special Writers Find Accepting Home at Lulu.com
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/27/2016)... New Hampshire (PRWEB) , ... May 27, 2016 , ... ... skin care products, announced today that it has been recognized as one of the ... entering parenthood. Badger was named as one of nine small businesses providing progressive benefits ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... An educational campaign aimed at everyone ... courtesy of awareness-driven celebrities and thought leaders. It also provides insight to the ... leaders such as Bioness. , As patients feel increasingly concerned about the ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... ... Aimed at nurses and employees in the health care world, this installment ... nursing and health care industry. It also provides insight to the developing trends and ... As the nursing industry is coming out of one of the biggest recessions in ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... ... There are many ways to cook a hot dog, but new research commissioned ... dogs straight off the grill. Of the 90 percent of Americans who say they ... hot dog, far outpacing other cooking methods such as steaming (12 percent), microwaving (9 ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Georgia State University College of ... programs. , Answering to the increasing demand for curricular specializations, the Certificate in ... environmental and land use law. ,  , “The demand for lawyers with specific ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... YORK , May 25, 2016  According to ... reached $381 billion in 2015.  Though these are ... plenty of opportunity for success for companies that ... in search of new growth prospects medical device ... on research and development (R&D) than do companies ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... , May 25, 2016 As ... Expo earlier this month, the numbers and momentum of ... to climb into the billions, more research and development ... 4th Edition State of Legal Marijuana Markets Report  from ... data-analysis firm, much of the increase in sector is ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... 2016 Digital Health Dialog, LLC dba ... the US Patent and Trademark Office of U.S. ... processes for electronic opt-­in and processing of discount ... HIPAA compliance and otherwise. Logo - ... "Our technology allows for individuals to opt­-in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: