Navigation Links
AIDS-like Illness Found in African Chimps
Date:7/22/2009

Finding could shed light on how the disease affects humans

WEDNESDAY, July 22 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists have discovered that a species of African chimp can develop the equivalent of AIDS when infected with an HIV-like virus, a finding that could shed light on how the disease wreaks havoc in people.

The researchers already knew that apes could develop an HIV-like virus, but it generally didn't appear to actually cause illness. But they found that chimpanzees did, in fact, get sick.

The finding allows an examination of AIDS "from a different angle," said study co-author Dr. Beatrice Hahn, "and that usually has an advantage."

According to the researchers, primates in Africa harbor more than 40 types of viruses that target their immune systems like HIV does in humans. In fact, a couple of the viruses jumped to humans and created the two existing forms of HIV.

In their study, the researchers followed chimps in Tanzania's Gombe National Park for nine years, watching what happened to those infected with a simian equivalent of HIV.

Their findings appear in the July 23 issue of Nature.

The infected chimps were 10 to 16 times more likely than other chimps to die during a given year, said Hahn, a professor of medicine and microbiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Infected females were also less likely to give birth, and their infants were more likely to die, the study found.

One female chimp died within three years of becoming infected with symptoms that the researchers said were consistent with the end stages of AIDS in humans.

Chimps appear to transmit the simian equivalent of HIV just like humans, Hahn said: They spread it through sex.

Hierarchy in groups of chimps can determine who gets to try to breed with females, she said, but the creatures are anything but monogamous.

"When the females are cycling, capable of becoming pregnant, they mate with anyone who wants to mate with them," Hahn explained.

The next step is to figure out what to do with the new information about chimps and AIDS. The findings "won't have any immediate benefits" for people, Hahn said. "If you're looking for the new drug or the new vaccine in the next year, this will not be it."

Still, the research should be helpful because chimps are 98 percent identical to humans genetically, she said.

Scientists will be interested in understanding why some chimps sicken quickly and others don't as that will help them gain insight into how AIDS affects humans. "There are some people who crash and burn, and others who live without treatment forever," she said.

Dr. Philip R. Johnson, chief scientific officer at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said the study findings suggest that the HIV-like infections in the chimps are somewhere between the viruses in monkeys (chimps are apes) that cause no disease and those in Asian monkeys and humans that do.

"Understanding the relative differences will likely help us pick out new targets for drug and vaccine development," said Johnson, who studies AIDS.

The research could also tell us how AIDS landed in humans. "The origins of HIV in humans might go like this: monkey to chimp to human," he said.

More information

The World Health Organization has details on efforts to develop an AIDS vaccine.



SOURCES: Beatrice Hahn, M.D., professor, departments of medicine and microbiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham; Philip R. Johnson, M.D., chief scientific officer, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and professor, pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia; July 23, 2009, Nature


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Norwalk virus: Cruise ship illness challenging and costly to hospitals, too
2. Patient Advocate Foundation Launches Program to Help Uninsured Virginians with Chronic, Debilitating and Life-Threatening Illness Access Quality Healthcare
3. Gov. Blagojevich Signs Bill Improving Illinois Mental Illness Treatment Law
4. Critical Illness Insurance: What You Need to Know
5. For Some, Diabetes Care Worse Than Illness Itself
6. VivoMetrics LifeShirt Going to South Pole to Uncover Clues to High-Altitude Illness
7. Chronic Illness Often a Taboo Subject: Survey
8. Clubhouse of Suffolk to Host 15th Annual Mental Illness Awareness Day
9. Most Asthmatics Dont Have Illness Under Control
10. Hylands Inc. Reports More Consumers Turn to Homeopathic Medicines to Fight Illness at Home
11. ManHunt2 Video Game: Blasted for Linking Mental Illness to Violence; Retailers Asked Not to Sell Based on Public Health Concern
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
AIDS-like Illness Found in African Chimps
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... July 19, 2017 , ... Dr. Jig Patel is ... Schaumburg, IL, with or without a referral. Understanding the difficulties that face people who ... when they choose this permanent alternative to removable dentures and bridges. Not only does ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... ... Med Tech Solutions (MTS), a leading health care cloud computing company, recently ... a move that will help the company better serve its clients and promote continued ... expected to help MTS expand its presence in the Midwest and deepen ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Adolfson & Peterson Construction (AP) continues to ... a leader in healthcare construction, AP has successfully built several well-known medical facilities ... with Josh now on board. , Josh brings over nine years of ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... July 19, 2017 , ... A ... sometimes lead to, or worsen, varicose veins in some patients, according to medical ... avoiding certain not-so-good practices, like excessive sitting or standing, or regularly nicking yourself ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... ... and Her Adventures”: a collection of heartwarming children’s stories. “Lucky the Buffalo and Her ... born in Toledo, Ohio. He attended Woodward High School. He earned an associate ... brilliant woman with a caring heart named Tiina, who is a hospice nurse. He ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/14/2017)... , July 13, 2017 It should come ... States is in the midst of a crippling ... , since 1999, the number of overdose deaths from opiate-based ... in over half a million dead from 2001 to 2015". ... oxycodone, and hydrocodone has similarly quadrupled, drawing a compelling link ...
(Date:7/12/2017)... CarpalAID is a revolutionary new product that relieves painful ... Carpal tunnel syndrome affects more than 8 million people a year. ... men. The common methods of treating CTS are painful surgery, the ... or gloves. ... CarpalAID is a clear patch worn on the palm of ...
(Date:7/11/2017)...  The global market for liquid biopsy diagnostic and ... in 2016.  Although in early stages, the global market ... as a result of the gradual shift towards personalized ... of a significant number of new liquid biopsy tests ... biomarkers to guide treatment decisions. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: