Friday May 25, 2018

Novel antibody that efficiently attacks HIV virus

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New York: The researchers from California Institute of Technology have discovered a new antibody that can make it easier to detect and neutralise HIV virus in an infected patient.

Proteins called broadly neutralising antibodies (bNAbs) are a promising key to prevent infection by HIV — the virus that causes AIDS.

photo credit: www.independent.co.uk
photo credit: www.independent.co.uk

The process of HIV infection begins when the virus comes in contact with human immune cells called T cells that carry a particular protein called CD4 on their surface. Broadly neutralising antibodies have been found in blood samples from some HIV patients whose immune systems can naturally control the infection.

The newly-discovered antibodies may protect a patient’s healthy cells by recognising this protein present on the surface of all HIV strains and inhibiting, or neutralising, the effects of the virus.

“It is actually an advantage if the antibody can recognise different forms,” said Louise Scharf, a postdoctoral scholar.

A potential medical application of this antibody is in combination therapies in which a patient is given a cocktail of several antibodies that work in different ways to fight off the virus as it rapidly changes and evolves.

The work was published in the journal Cell.

(IANS)

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Newly Developed Tool to Battle HIV in Women

This novel tool may soon help women to combat HIV transmission

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HIV Aids is a deadly disease.
HIV AIDS

Scientists have developed a new tool that can potentially help protect women from being infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

The tool — a vaginal implant — decreases the number of cells that the HIV virus can target in a woman’s genital tract.

Unlike conventional methods of HIV prevention such as condoms or anti-HIV drugs, the novel implant takes advantage of some people’s natural immunity to the virus.

The deadly disease of HIV is now preventable.
HIV is now preventable.

HIV infects the body by corrupting T-cells that are mobilised by the immune system when the virus enters a person’s body.

“We know that some drugs taken orally never make it to the vaginal tract, so this implant could provide a more reliable way to encourage T-cells not to respond to infection and therefore more reliably and cheaply prevent transmission,” said Emmanuel Ho, professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

When the T-cells stay resting and do not attempt to fight the virus they are not infected and the HIV virus is not transmitted between people.

When the T-cells stay resting, it is referred to as being immune quiescent.

However, “what we don’t know yet is if this can be a stand-alone option for preventing HIV transmission or if it might be best used in conjunction with other prevention strategies”, Ho added, in a paper appearing in the Journal of Controlled Release.

Also Read: Severe Symptoms Of Menopause Might Soar The Risk Of Heart Diseases In Women

The implant is composed of a hollow tube and two pliable arms to hold it in place.

It contains hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) which is disseminated slowly through the porous material of the tube and absorbed by the walls of the vaginal tract.

The implants were tested in an animal model and a significant reduction in T-cell activation was observed, meaning that the vaginal tract was demonstrating an immune quiescent state, the researchers said.  IANS

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