An international team of researchers from Canadian Blood Services, Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), and Lund University in Sweden have discovered that certain types of blood are more predisposed to contracting HIV, while others are more effective at fending it off.
A carbohydrate-containing molecule termed the Pk blood group, which is distinct from the well-known ABO and Rh blood grouping systems, is present at variable levels on the surface of white and red blood cells. A study to be published in the leading journal Blood, shows that cells from rare individuals who produce excess of this blood group have dramatically reduced sensitivity to HIV infection.
Conversely, another slightly more common subgroup of people who do not produce any Pk at all was found to be much more susceptible to the virus. Interestingly, Pk levels also vary substantially in the general population.
“This study is not suggesting that your blood type alone determines if you will get HIV,” said principal author Dr. Don Branch of Canadian Blood Services. “However, it does suggest that individuals who are exposed to the virus, may be helped or hindered by their blood type in fighting the infection.”
Increasing the level of the Pk blood group in cells in the laboratory also resulted in heightened resistance to HIV, while lowering it increased susceptibility. The Pk molecule has been previously studied extensively by Sick Kids’ Dr. Cliff Lingwood, and Lund University’s Dr. Martin Olsson has identified underlying genetic reasons for Pk blood group variation.
”This discovery implicates the Pk level as a new risk factor for HIV infection and demonstrates the importance of blood-group-related science”, says Dr. Olsson.
“The conclusions of this study pave the way for novel therapeutic approaches to induce HIV resistance and promote further understanding of the pandemic as a whole,” says Dr. Lingwood.
Ingela Bjoerck | alfa
'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers
16.02.2018 | National University of Science and Technology MISIS
New process allows tailor-made malaria research
16.02.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).
Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
16.02.2018 | Information Technology
16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy