Infectious Diseases

HIV in Liver Cells Found to Be Inactive, Narrowing Potential Treatment Targets

 In a proof-of-principle study, researchers at Johns Hopkins revealed that certain immune system cells found in the human liver, called liver macrophages, contain only inert HIV and aren’t likely to reproduce infection on their own in HIV-infected people on long-term antiretroviral therapy (ART). ART is a regimen containing combinations of HIV-targeting drugs that prevents the growth of the virus but does not eradicate it. The report on the findings, published
Infectious Diseases

Patients with Rare Natural Ability to Suppress HIV Shed Light on Potential Functional Cure

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have identified two patients with HIV whose immune cells behave differently than others with the virus and actually appear to help control viral load even years after infection. Moreover, both patients carry large amounts of virus in infected cells, but show no viral load in blood tests. While based on small numbers, the data suggest that long-term viral remission might be possible for more people. A
Biotechnology

Researchers Uncover Potential New Drug Targets in the Fight Against HIV

Johns Hopkins scientists report they have identified two potential new drug targets for the treatment of HIV. The finding is from results of a small, preliminary study of 19 people infected with both HIV—the virus that causes AIDS—and the hepatitis C virus. The study revealed that two genes—CMPK2 and BCLG, are selectively activated in the presence of type 1 interferon, a drug once used as the first line of treatment
Cardiology

Individuals with HIV at Higher Risk for Heart Disease

A review of more than 80 studies reveals that changes in the immune cells of people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection may increase their risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The review is published in the journal Physiology. Combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) consists of a “cocktail” of several drugs that work together to reduce the amount of detectable virus (viral load) in the bloodstream. Since the development of this combination treatment approach more
Biotechnology

Researchers take an important step toward an HIV vaccine

Vaccines are an essential tool for preventing and treating serious infectious diseases such as polio, chicken pox and measles. But so far it has not been possible to develop vaccines capable of contributing to the treatment and prevention of chronic infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C. This new research paves the way for vaccines that, as opposed to conventional methods, boosting the parts of the immune system attacking
Pharmaceuticals Prescriptions

A New Way to Nip AIDS in the Bud

When new AIDS virus particles bud from an infected cell, an enzyme named protease activates to help the viruses mature and infect more cells. That’s why modern AIDS drugs control the disease by inhibiting protease. Now, University of Utah researchers found a way to turn protease into a double-edged sword: They showed that if they delay the budding of new HIV particles, protease itself will destroy the virus instead of
Vaccines

Temple Scientists Eliminate HIV-1 From Genome of Human T-Cells

a team of researchers in the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University became the first to successfully eliminate the HIV-1 virus from cultured human cells. Fewer than two years later, the team has made further strides in its research by eliminating the virus from the genome of human T-cells using the specialized gene editing system they designed. In a new study published in Scientific Reports, the researchers show