Scientists have recently discovered a molecular invisibility cloak that enables HIV, the virus causing AIDS, to hide inside cells of the body without triggering the body’s natural defence systems.
The new study demonstrates how ‘uncloaking’ the virus using an experimental drug triggers an immune response that stops the virus from replicating in cells grown in the laboratory.
The findings could help to improve existing therapies for HIV infection and find new ways of virus treatment.
The innate immune system is the body’s first line of defence against infection and incorporates an alarm system present in all cells of the body that detects the presence of ‘foreign’ material from invading bacteria and viruses.
When the alarm is tripped, the infected cell begins an anti-viral programme and sends out warning signals to alert other cells that a virus is around.
Source: Daily Trust