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:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Many ... been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan to not only ... approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately achieving a pregnancy. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents ... the American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and ... highly effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Aliso Viejo, California (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... preset to fit their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film ... all fully customizable and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, ... and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained ... Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, ... at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health ... annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... appointment of Dr. Edward Futcher to ... Director, effective June 23, 2016.Dr. Futcher was also ... and Governance Committees.  As a non-executive member of ... expertise and strategic counsel to VolitionRx in connection ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... report to their offering. ... kidney failure, it replaces the function of kidneys by removing ... thus the treatment helps to keep the patient body,s electrolytes ... Increasing number of ESRD patients & substantial healthcare expenditure ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ITASCA, Ill. , June 23, 2016  In a startling ... states are failing their residents by lacking a comprehensive, proven plan ... , a definitive ranking of how states are tackling the ... rating to only four states – Kentucky , ... and Vermont . Of the 28 failing states, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: