Saturday January 18, 2020

People infected with the hepatitis C may also suffer from heart trouble

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New York: People infected with the hepatitis C virus are already known to be at risk for liver damage, and results of a new study now shows that the infection may also spell heart trouble.

Hepatitis C Blood Virus [HCV]. Photo Credit: michelsonmedical.org
Hepatitis C Blood Virus [HCV]. Photo Credit: michelsonmedical.org
“People infected with hepatitis C are already followed regularly for signs of liver disease, but our findings suggest clinicians who care for them should also assess their overall cardiac risk profile regularly,” said study author Wendy Post, professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, US.

Although HIV and hepatitis C infections often occur together and people infected with HIV are already known to have an elevated risk for heart disease, the new study offers strong evidence that hepatitis C can spark cardiovascular damage independent of HIV.

“We have strong reason to believe that infection with hepatitis C fuels cardiovascular disease, independent of HIV and sets the stage for subsequent cardiovascular trouble,” study principal investigator Eric Seaberg, assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, noted.

“We believe our findings are relevant to anyone infected with hepatitis C regardless of HIV status,” Seaberg pointed out.

The study involved 994 men 40 to 70-years old without overt heart disease.

Of the 994,613 were infected with HIV, 70 were infected with both viruses and 17 were only infected with hepatitis C.

Those infected with hepatitis C, regardless of HIV status, had, on average, 30 percent more disease-fueling calcified plaque in their arteries, the main driver of heart attack and stroke risk.

People infected with either HIV or hepatitis C, on average, had 42 percent more non-calcified fatty buildup, a type of plaque believed to confer the greatest cardiac risk.

The study appeared in The Journal of Infectious Diseases.

(IANS)

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Here’s how HIV Patients Lose Immunity to Smallpox Despite of Vaccinations

HIV patients lose smallpox immunity despite vaccine says a new study by health experts

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HIV immune
The study found the immune systems of HIV-positive women who were on antiretroviral therapy had a limited response when their blood was exposed to the vaccina virus. Pixabay

HIV patients lose immunity to smallpox even though they were vaccinated against the disease as children and have had much of their immune system restored with anti-retroviral therapy, says a new study.

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the use of HIV medicines to treat HIV infection. It helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives and reduces the risk of HIV transmission.

The study, published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases on HIV-associated immune amnesia could explain why people living with HIV still tend to have shorter lives on average than their HIV-negative counterparts despite being on antiretroviral therapy.

The study follows other research recently published in the journals Science and Science Immunology that found the immune systems of children who contracted measles similarly ‘forgot’ their immunity against other illnesses such as influenza.

Immune system
Researchers have found that HIV patients lose immunity to smallpox even though they were vaccinated against the disease. Pixabay

For the study, lead researcher Mark K. Slifka from Oregon Health and Science University in US, and his colleagues compared the T-cell and antibody responses of a total of 100 HIV-positive and HIV-negative women who were vaccinated against smallpox in their youth.

The research team chose smallpox because its last known US case was in 1949, meaning study participants haven’t recently been exposed to its virus, which would have triggered new T-cell and antibody responses.

They found the immune systems of HIV-positive women who were on antiretroviral therapy had a limited response when their blood was exposed to the vaccina virus, which is used in the smallpox vaccine.

Normally, those vaccinated against smallpox have CD4 T cells that remember the virus and respond in large numbers when they’re exposed again.

Previous research has shown smallpox virus-specific CD4 T cells are maintained for up to 75 years after vaccination.

This finding happened despite the fact that antiretroviral therapy works by boosting CD4 T cell counts in HIV-positive patients.

This indicates that while antiretroviral therapy may boost total T cell counts overall, it can’t recover virus-specific T cells generated from prior childhood vaccinations.

Also Read- HPV Vaccinations may Reduce Cervical Cancer Rate in Kenya

The research team plans to evaluate whether the same phenomenon occurs in HIV-infected men, and if people living with HIV also lose immune memory to other diseases.

Researchers from SUNY Downstate, Georgetown University, Cornell University, University of Southern California and John Hopkins University, also contributed to this study. (IANS)