Friday April 3, 2020

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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Any Level of Alcohol Consumption Can Weaken Bones of HIV Patients

Even little drinking can weaken bones of people with HIV

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Alcohol HIV
Any level of alcohol consumption for people living with HIV can raise the risk of developing osteoporosis. Pixabay

Any level of alcohol consumption for people living with HIV can weaken bones, raising the risk of osteoporosis, a new study has said. This is the latest health news.

The researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) and School of Medicine (BUSM) did not find an amount of alcohol consumption that appeared ‘safe’ for bone metabolism in people living with HIV.

“As you get older, your ability to maintain adequate bone formation declines. These findings suggest that for people with HIV, alcohol may make this more difficult,” said Dr Theresa W. Kim, assistant professor at BUSM in a paper published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Low bone density is common among people living with HIV, even those who have successfully suppressed their viral loads with antiretroviral therapy.

The finding highlights an under-recognized circumstance in which people with HIV infection often find themselves.

Alcohol HIV
Low bone density is common among people living with HIV, even those who have successfully suppressed their viral loads with antiretroviral therapy. Pixabay

“Their viral load can be well controlled by efficacious medications while other health conditions and risks that commonly co-occur — like substance use and other medical conditions — are less well-addressed,” said Dr Richard Saitz, professor of community health sciences at BUSPH.

The researchers used data from 198 participants in the Boston ARCH cohort that included people living with HIV and current or past alcohol or drug use disorder.

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For the current study, the researchers analyzed participants’ blood samples, looking at biomarkers associated with bone metabolism (a life-long process of absorbing old bone tissue and creating new bone tissue) and a biomarker associated with recent alcohol consumption.

“If I were counseling a patient who was concerned about their bone health, besides checking vitamin D and recommending exercise, I would caution them about alcohol use,” said Kim. (IANS)