Using mouse models that have immune systems composed of human cells, researchers led by J. Victor Garcia, PhD, found that an antibody combined with a bacterial toxin can penetrate HIV-infected cells and kill them even though standard antiretroviral therapy, also known as ART, had no effect. Killing these persistent, HIV-infected cells is a major impediment to curing patients of HIV.
“Our work provides evidence that HIV-infected cells can be tracked down and destroyed throughout the body,” said Garcia, professor of medicine and senior author of the study published January 9 in the journal PloS Pathogens.
For people with HIV, ART is life-saving treatment that can reduce the amount of virus in the body to undetectable levels. But as soon as treatment is stopped, the virus begins to replicate again. This means that people with HIV must be on medications for life. For some people, therapies are not without serious side effects.
In patients on ART, the virus either remains dormant or it multiplies very slowly – it persists, hidden, even though a cocktail of drugs is aligned against it.
Read more at: MedicalXpress