Navigation Links
Fibers in Semen Help HIV Penetrate Cells
Date:12/13/2007

The chances of infection are boosted 50-fold to 100,000-fold, study finds

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- In a discovery that perplexes HIV experts, an international team reports that tiny fibers commonly found in semen drastically enhance the ability of the virus to do its damage.

According to a study in the Dec. 14 issue of Cell, the fibers capture the virus and then ferry it to target cells, increasing its ability to infect someone by more than 50 times in some cases and more than 100,000 times in others.

The findings could help scientists better understand how AIDS is transmitted. But Rowena Johnston, director of research with the Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), noted that the value of the research is limited, because it doesn't "necessarily reflect transmission in the 'real world.' "

"This is intriguing, and it's worth further investigation," said Johnston. "But there's nothing yet that makes me have a 'Eureka' moment."

While scientists have long known about the basics of AIDS transmission, it's not clear why the virus travels more easily through some routes than others.

For example, male-to-female sexual transmission is usually more common than the other way around but not always. And it's also not clear why the virus has become so prevalent even though it has a tiny presence in blood.

In the new study, led by a German team, scientists tried to figure out if components of human semen might affect transmission of the AIDS virus.

"We were not expecting to find an enhancer and were even more surprised about the strength," study author Dr. Frank Kirchhoff, of the University Clinic of Ulm, said in a statement. "Most enhancers have maybe a two- or threefold effect, but here, the effect was amazing, more than 50-fold, and, under certain conditions, more than 100,000-fold. At first, I didn't believe it, but we ran the experiment over and over, always with the same result."

Dr. Jeffrey Laurence, a professor of medicine and director of the Laboratory for AIDS Virus Research at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, said there could be something similar at play in cervical fluid that affects transmission. "In a lot of situations in the real world, women transmit HIV quite easily...," Laurence said.

He added that many other factors affect transmission of HIV, from bodily abrasions to menstrual cycles and use of oral contraceptives.

Could this latest finding bring scientists closer to an AIDS vaccine? Laurence, who thinks a vaccine is decades off, is doubtful. Prevention, however, might be another matter.

Laurence said it might be possible to develop an "antidote" for the virus-boosting powers of semen and put it in a microbicide that people could use before sex.

More information

Learn more about the basics of AIDS from aids.org.



SOURCES: Jeffrey Laurence, M.D., professor, medicine, and director, Laboratory for AIDS Virus Research, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York City; Rowena Johnston, Ph.D., director, research, Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), New York City; Dec. 14, 2007, Cell


'/>"/>
Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Texas Supreme Court Rules Against Medicare HMOs in Hospital Reimbursement Fight
2. Meth Project Advertisements Selected for National Prevention Campaign
3. Just Completed Studies Reveal Impact of New Medicare Reimbursement Regulations
4. WellPoint and M-Plan Enter Into Endorsement Agreement as M-Plan Announces Exit From the Commercial HMO Business in Indiana
5. Commercial Insurers Reimbursement Rate to New Yorks Community Health Centers Jeopardizes Care
6. Patients perceived cancer care unaffected by lower Medicare reimbursements
7. Spectranetics Receives Reimbursement Approval in Belgium for Lead Removal and Peripheral Atherectomy Products
8. Use of Technology to Document Comorbid Conditions May Improve Reimbursement, Increase Documentation Accuracy Study Confirms
9. Valley Health System Caregivers, Members of SEIU UHW, to Announce Endorsement of Measure G
10. Leading Oncologists from Across the Country Hold Emergency Meeting on New Government Reimbursement Policy for Medicare Patients with Cancer
11. Medicare Increases 2008 Hospital Reimbursement Rates for Cryoablation Treatments of Prostate Cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Fibers in Semen Help HIV Penetrate Cells
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... Student-doctors from Western University ... Match Program Tuesday, February 9, taking one of the final steps in their ... education positions across the country. Of the 103 student-doctors who comprise the College ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Nashville, TN (PRWEB) , ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... commercial cleaning business to a new market, and it’s the buildings of Nashville that ... much that when I needed to relocate to Nashville, there was no question that ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... Thermi™, a ... is pleased to announce the promotions of Allison Kelly to executive vice president ... to executive vice president of North American capital sales, and Wendy Oseas to ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... ?" motivational speaker, trainer and author Ray Clarke poses a question as a ... fulfillment . In his book, "Being in the Being" (published by Partridge Singapore), ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... updated its hallmark resource, Infusion Therapy Standards of Practice, to include vascular visualization ... illumination with an estimated 85% share of the market, facilitates adherence to this ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO , Feb. 11, 2016 Potrero ... system, is pleased to announce the appointment of George ... San Antonio, TX , WellMed is ... servicing over 200,000 patients and HMO members in ... founding WellMed in 1990 out of his own internal medicine ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... 2016  AfterPill.com is reporting that this week,s Centers ... all women who are at risk of unintended pregnancy ... and raises the risks of unprotected sex in particular.  ... According to the Guttmacher Institute, there are 43 million ... age, who have sex without the intention of becoming ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... 11, 2016  Proliant Biologicals is proud to announce ... (BSA) manufacturing facility.  The facility is located on the ... in Feilding. Boone , Iowa.  ... duplicate the systems in the U.S. facility, with critical ... U.S. installations.  --> Boone ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: