Thanks to medication, infected people hardly ever get AIDS. A few can even do without pills altogether. How is that possible?
The diagnosis of being HIV-positive has lost much of its terror in recent years. Thanks to highly effective drugs, infected people have a good chance of a normal life expectancy with a good quality of life. It is often enough to take just one tablet a day to increase the number of HI-Viren to stop in the body. In the meantime, medicine is also focusing on therapies in which several drugs are used at the same time. Research is making rapid progress in this area – and nourishing the hopes of around 38.4 million people worldwide who have to live with the HI virus.
It’s been around for about 20 years scientists known that there are also people who seem to be immune to the virus or, despite infection, without it medication not get AIDS. Researchers at Harvard University have found out why this is so USA now examined more closely. They concentrated on the immune system of these so-called HIV controllers and the highly efficient ones CD8+ T cells. These work like a kind of immune police, searching for infected cells, attaching themselves to them and rendering them harmless. Doctors also say that they send them to “cell death”.
As the scientists found out, some people have particularly efficient T-cells and therefore do not need the support of drugs. To substantiate their findings, the researchers examined the lymph nodes of 40 donors, including HIV controllers, infected people taking medication and people who are not infected.
The HI virus is extremely capable of mutating
The researchers found the study of lymph nodes interesting because CD8+ T cells are not usually as effective at fighting pathogens there as they are in other parts of the body. They were amazed when they found out that HIV-Controller also have extremely effective T cells in their lymph nodes. This finding becomes even more interesting when you consider that the HI virus has a much higher ability to mutate than that Sars-COV2-Virus. Comparing SarsCov-2 and HIV is like comparing a snail with a Porsche, says physician Norbert Brockmeyer, who specializes in HIV research. The extreme adaptability of the virus has therefore prevented the development of a vaccine against HIV.
The scientists’ hope now lies in activating the CD8+ T cells and getting them to migrate to the lymph nodes. She is also interested in the difference between people who are controllers from birth and those who have developed into controllers through the administration of medication. They hope someday to find out how CD8+ T cells work trained can be that they independently fight HI viruses. (took)
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