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A UGR method allows to determine if a person infected with AIDS contracted the disease in the last six months

10.11.2006
AIDS is still one of the top priority points of the international scientific agenda. In this sense, the group Virus transmission by blood of the University of Granada (Universidad de Granada fits into the AIDS Research Network, in a project coordinated from Barcelona and made up of 32 national centres. It is focused on the development of an algorithm to predict if the virus carrier became infected before or after six months.

At present, there is not any similar methodology and, therefore, this network will allow to carry out a systematization of the new infections and, this way, assessing the epidemiological pattern and the transmission ways of the persons who become infected nowadays in our country. In this sense, the University of Granada applies techniques to check “the antibodies’s avidity for interacting with the antigens of the HIV(human immunodeficiency virus which causes the AIDS disease)”, points out doctor Carmen Bernal Zamora, promoter of these research works in the UGR [http://www.ugr.es].

The antibodies generated in the first months after the infection present an affinity with the virus different to the later ones. Normally, a very low avidity rate is a sign that the antibodies have raised as a consequence of a recent infection. The results obtained with these trials have been presented in the International Conference of Internal Medicine recently held in the University of Granada.

A reliable diagnostic in less time

Other works carried out by doctor Bernal are related to the decrease of the wait time to obtain a reliable diagnostic. Nowadays, a person who wants to know if he is infected with the VIH, is advised to wait 2 months after the last risk contact: a sexual relationship without protection, the use of a syringe which has been used before by another person...

However, new techniques are being implemented at present to reduce the necessary time to do a diagnostic between four and six weeks after the infection. According to Bernal, it has been possible thanks to the use of techniques which allow to detect at the same time the antibodies and the antigens created by the organism after the contact with the HIV.

Studies with anti-retroviral drugs

In the same way, doctor Federico García García is working, in the same network, on the resistance to the HIV treatment. The studies are aimed at checking if the virus´ sequence has suffered a mutation and if it conditions its resistance to certain drugs. This way, we can get to know if an increase of the viral charge is due to a therapeutic fail to change the treatment.

Such studies on anti-retrovirals are very important in a moment in which the international scientific community has admitted that society has generated false expectances on a vaccine will take a long time to appear as, among other questions, it is a virus characterized by a great ability to mutate.

Antonio Marín Ruiz | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ugr.es

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