Keyword: HIV/AIDS

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Immune response alteration

Can a parasite infection protect against HIV?

Parasitic worm infections can reduce the susceptibility of immune cells to HIV infection, according to new University of Liverpool research. Some species of parasitic worm, such as the water-borne Schistosoma mansoni, have developed strategies to evade, skew and dampen human immune responses. This includes being able to alter the response of a type of immune system cell called a CD4+ T cell,…

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Gene-editing

CRISPR baby mutation significantly increases mortality

A genetic mutation that a Chinese scientist attempted to create in twin babies born last year, ostensibly to help them fend off HIV infection, is also associated with a 21% increase in mortality in later life, according to an analysis by scientists from UC Berkeley. The researchers scanned more than 400,000 genomes and associated health records contained in a British database, UK Biobank, and…

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Dormant virus

Finding 'hidden' HIV in cells

Until now, researchers haven’t been able to accurately quantify a latent form of HIV that persists in patients’ immune cells. A new genetic technique is fast and 10 to 100 times more accurate than previous diagnostics. This hidden, inactive version of HIV embeds into cells’ genomes and can persist despite otherwise successful therapies – thwarting attempts to cure the infection. Using a…

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Controversial research

HIV and gene editing: beware of the butterfly effect, cautions expert

The claim of a chinese professor has caused quite a controversy: He Jiankui announced that he successfully modified human DNA to prevent two girls from contracting HIV. Upon the leak of this research, ethicists and scientists alike condemned Jiankui's gene editing in humans. West Virginia University Vice President and Executive Dean for Health Sciences Dr. Clay Marsh says that although “a lot…

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Therapy

Could these special antibodies lead to HIV vaccine?

Around one percent of people infected with HIV produce antibodies that block most strains of the virus. These broadly acting antibodies provide the key to developing an effective vaccine against HIV. Researchers from the University of Zurich and the University Hospital Zurich have now shown that the genome of the HI virus is a decisive factor in determining which antibodies are formed.

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Sexually-transmitted infections

Are Facebook and Twitter to blame for increasing STI rates?

While specific data remains limited on a possible connection between online forums and sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), this has become an area of increased focus. The subject was, for example, aired in April by one of the UK’s leading experts in the field, during the 28th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID), in Madrid. At the four-day event, Dr…

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Feline findings

Cats could help in development of anti-HIV drugs

Feline AIDS is caused by the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), which is very similar to the HIV-1 virus that affects millions of humans. While FIV does not infect humans, many groups research the virus to benefit cats, and perhaps more importantly, because of its many parallels with the AIDS virus. Despite the use of dedicated drugs, HIV-1 manages to thrive and multiply within the cell and…

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Is the "American Dream" slipping away?

Drugs, alcohol and suicides contributing to alarming drop in US life expectancy

Drugs, alcohol and suicides are contributing to an alarming drop in US life expectancy, particularly among middle-aged white Americans and those living in rural communities, warn experts in The BMJ. Steven Woolf at Virginia Commonwealth University and Laudan Aron at the Urban Institute in Washington DC, argue that the ideal of the “American Dream” is increasingly out of reach as social…

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Antiviral design

CAR-T gene therapy could provide long-term HIV protection

Through gene therapy, researchers engineered blood-forming stem cells (hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, or HSPCs) to carry chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) genes to make cells that can detect and destroy HIV-infected cells. These engineered cells not only destroyed the infected cells, they persisted for more than two years, suggesting the potential to create long-term immunity from the virus…

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In development

A more accurate tool to track new HIV infections

Researchers at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute have led an effort to develop a more accurate way to gauge the incidence of HIV infections in large populations, which will improve research and prevention strategies worldwide. The new method more correctly identifies new vs. long-standing infections – an important distinction for determining where to target public health measures and research,…

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Infectious disease

One in two people living with HIV in Europe is diagnosed late

The WHO European Region is the only region worldwide where the number of new HIV infections is rising. With more than 160 000 people newly diagnosed with HIV across the Region, including more than 29 000 new cases from the European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA), this trend continued in 2016. One reason for this worrying trend: over half (51%) of the reported HIV diagnoses happen in a…

HIV

Experts Launch New Healthcare Trends Report

The HIV: The Long View initiative launches today with the release of an evidence-based report that examines the potential implications of future healthcare trends on HIV care and management in Western Europe.

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Key factor identified

Why is the immune system unable to combat HIV?

An international research group with essential participation of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, has identified NLRX1, a cellular factor of the human cell that is indispensable to the replication of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV-1). This factor plays a key role in attenuating the innate immune system towards HIV-1. Until now, the significance of NLRX1 for the replication of HIV-1 and the…

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Infectiology

Immune factor allows viral infections to become chronic

Many viral diseases tend to become chronic – including infections with the HI virus. In persons affected, the immune response is not sufficient to eliminate the virus permanently. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now identified an immune factor which is partially responsible for this. Their results give rise to hopes for new therapeutic approaches. The work, which included researchers…

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Diagnostics with birefringence

Nothing could be simpler: a drop of blood is placed on a special carrier substance; after a wait of a few minutes, the slide is placed on a device that emits polarised light thanks to an inexpensive polarisation filter. It is covered with a lid containing a second polarisation filter, which blocks the light from all materials except crystalline or materials with directional properties.

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New funding for Ebola hides an ongoing decline

A new report gives the first ever picture of global investment in Ebola research and development (R&D), reporting that this investment might have come at the expense of efforts to develop drugs, vaccines and diagnostics for other neglected diseases, which collectively cause more than six million deaths every year in developing countries.

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Protein DART

New shock-and-kill strategy against HIV

A unique molecule developed at Duke Medicine, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and MacroGenics, Inc., is able to bind HIV-infected cells to the immune system’s killer T cells. It could become a key part of a shock-and-kill strategy being developed in the hope of one day clearing HIV infection.

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Research breakthrough in fight against muscle wasting diseases

It is estimated that half of all cancer patients suffer from a muscle wasting syndrome called cachexia. Cancer cachexia impairs quality of life and response to therapy, which increases morbidity and mortality of cancer patients. Currently, there is no approved treatment for muscle wasting but a new study from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and University…

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