Clue to how virus avoids immune system activity may lead to new treatment strategy
Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers may have provided another clue to the mystery of how HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, evades the defenses of the immune system. In the May issue of the Journal of Virology, a team from the Partners AIDS Research Center at MGH describes finding how a key protein that helps the virus enter its target T helper cells may also keep away the T killer cells that should destroy HIV-infected cells.
“One of the big questions in understanding HIV is why we can see immune responses that are effective in the test tube but do not eradicate the virus in the infected patient,” says Mark Poznansky, MD, PhD, of the Partners AIDS Research Center (PARC) and the MGH Infectious Disease Unit, the paper’s senior author. “We have identified a potential new mechanism by which pathogens can repel immune cells and thereby evade the immune system.”
Sue McGreevey | MGH
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