Friday 26th August, 2016   |   Welcome, guest. Please, login or register  
Monday November  8, 10:01

The molecule that protects against AIDS identified

The AIDS virus, in green, produced by a cell infected
The AIDS virus, in green, produced by a cell infected

They are called "controllers of AIDS." These patients are able to control HIV naturally human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and therefore do not develop any symptoms of the disease. The mechanism behind this surprising natural immunity, which protects less than 0.4% of infected people, has long puzzled doctors. An extensive global study, pre-published online by Science magazine, has collected data on nearly 1000 patients and 2650 controllers. Scientists were able to isolate certain genetic variations to explain the mysterious phenomenon.

"Of the 3 billion nucleotides of human genome, only a handful explains the difference between people who are infected remain healthy and those who develop the disease if not treated," says Bruce Walker, one of principal authors of the study, which brings together hundreds of researchers. The 300 genetic differences are all on the same chromosome, and most interesting on the single gene encoding the synthesis of a protein involved in the functioning of our immune system and called HLA-B.

This is a key element of the system of recognition and identification of human cells called HLA. Thanks to it (and sometimes because of it in the case of transplants) that our body recognizes foreign objects and fights. But when a virus enters our body, it "hides" in a cell which will modify the mechanism. This is where the HLA-B. Its role is to bring pieces of proteins synthesized by the virus within the cell to the surface. The immune system can distinguish between infected cells, it will destroy, and it will not touch healthy cells.

In the case of HIV, the immune system does not perform properly its mission to destroy infected cells. The mechanisms involved are not fully deciphered, but it seems now that it is this stage of presentation of the virus to the immune system that does not unfold properly. Except for controllers whose HLA-B proteins, slightly different from others, would work properly.

This scenario, if confirmed, is a key element in understanding the disease. "There is still a long way to go before we can turn this discovery to cure or preventive vaccine, but it is an important step," says Bruce Walker concludes.

Nucleotides are small constituent molecules of DNA: adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G), cytosine (C). The sequence of these "letters" establishes a code that provides the genetic message.


Recommended articles:


Body at War

The breakthroughs offer hope for a host of diseases, from allergies to multiple sclerosis, as researchers develop treatments that act on the immune system.
Scientists have finally solved the mystery of how the body creates both antibodies and immune cells, the two agents of the immune response that together are capable of recognizing every toxin, bacterium and virus that exist in nature.

AIDS: The green monkey, the object of attention

African green monkeys are natural hosts of SIV. But when infected, these animals do not end up suffering from the disease, despite high viral load
African green monkeys are natural hosts of SIV. Unlike humans, when infected, these animals do not end up suffering from the disease, despite high viral load. A team of researchers found the existence of a rapid control of immune activation in the African green monkeys with SIV.

Vitamin D: A key role in immunity

Vitamin D, contained in fish oil, a product both ancient and revolutionary
The grandmothers who regularly gave the cod liver oil to their offspring were right. Like those who now recommend eating several times a week of salmon and other fatty fish and liver of chicken: these foods are rich in vitamin D and the latter is indispensable in our body.

Most recent in the category AIDS:


Last comments


No comments. Be the first to comment the article!

Please, login or post your comment anonymously.

Your comment:


Home | Social Health | AIDS | Cancer | Diseases | Diet | Human body | Most read | Top rated

RSS | Feedback | Headlines for your website | Terms of Service/Privacy policy

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved.