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Hide-and-seek: Altered HIV can't evade immune system
Date:9/28/2011

o-called adaptive immune responsesthe responses that help the body remember specific pathogens long-term so the body develops immunity and counters future infections. To do this, they put normal HIV or cholesterol-diminished HIV into blood samples, which contain all the different cells needed for an adaptive immune response.

More specifically, they tested blood samples from people with previous exposure to HIV in order to see if their blood could mount an adaptive immune response. Blood samples were used from 10 HIV positive people and from 10 people repeatedly exposed to HIV who weren't infected. The researchers didn't expect the HIV-positive blood to respond to either version of HIV because of the severely damaged immune systems of HIV patients. However, when cholesterol-diminished HIV was introduced to the non-infected HIV blood in a tube, the cells of the adaptive immune response reacted against the virus. By altering the virus, explains Graham, the researchers were able to reawaken the immune system's response against HIV and negate HIV's immunosuppressive properties.

"In addition to vaccine applications, this study opens the door to developing drugs that attack the HIV viral coat as an adjunct therapy to promote immune system detection of the virus," says Graham.


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Contact: Vanessa McMains
vmcmain1@jhmi.edu
410-502-9410
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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