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Research Alert: Study Casts Doubt on "Shock and Kill" Cure Strategy

Medical News

Study Examines Interaction Between HIV, Antibody That Helps Fight Infections

July 17, 2008

HIV gradually depletes the number of functioning B cells, an antibody that fights infections, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine that reveals another method used by HIV to affect the immune system, IANS/Thaindian News reports.

According to researchers from NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, B cells initially coat HIV particles to prevent them from infecting other cells, but the B cells tend to become exhausted and unable to fight off the infection. The study found that although HIV-positive people with high viral loads started with high levels of B cells, the cells failed to replicate normally or to produce high-quality antibodies needed to fight HIV. The researchers found that when B cells are overworked or fatigued, they tend to produce a protein called FCRL4, which inhibits the cells' ability to respond to infection (IANS/Thaindian News, 7/15). It is unknown how HIV triggers the production of FCRL4, the researchers noted (ANI/Thaindian News, 7/15).

According to an NIAID release, the institute's HIV vaccine research program aims to increase the understanding of B cells to help develop an effective vaccine. The researchers said that the design of a therapeutic vaccine aimed at slowing HIV progression will need to overcome or circumvent the challenges created by the failure of certain B cells to make high-quality antibodies (NIAID release, 7/14).

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An abstract of the study is available online.

Back to other news for July 2008


Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2008 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.




This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
 

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