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  • How a House Finch Disease Reshaped What We Know About Epidemics

    One team of researchers was able to study a highly virulent disease in House Finches. Their recent paper in PLOS Biology sheds light on what makes some disease-causing microbes, or pathogens, more harmful than others.

    30 January 2014 | Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  • How HIV Destroys Immune Cells

    HIV leads to AIDS primarily because the virus destroys essential immune cells called CD4 T cells, but precisely how these cells are killed has not been clear. Two papers published simultaneously today (19 December) in Nature and Science reveal the molecular mechanisms that cause the death of most CD4 T cells in lymphoid tissues, the main reservoir for such cells, during infection.

    20 December 2013 | The Scientist
  • Aggressive HIV strain leads to faster AIDS development

    The new recombinant strain from West Africa speeds up the time taken from the infection stage to the development of AIDS, to around five years.

    28 November 2013 | UPI
  • Understanding a global epidemic: Why Africans with HIV are more susceptible to TB

    Yale researchers have identified a common genetic variant that makes people infected with HIV much more susceptible to tuberculosis (TB). The study is published in the online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    24 July 2013 | Yale University press release
  • GHANA: Mold Toxins Tied to AIDS Epidemic

    A new study has examined the impact of aflatoxins on the AIDS epidemic in Africa. Aflatoxins are poisons produced by aspergillus fungi that can be found on damp grains, nuts, and beans, usually in hot humid climates. They have also been found to be immunosuppressive, possibly causing increased immunosuppression in HIV-positive individuals.

    24 July 2013 | CDC National Prevention Information Network
  • The immune system, HIV, and aging

    The purpose of this brief report is to outline current scientific knowledge regarding the immunologic connections between HIV and aging, and provide an introduction to some of the unresolved questions that are being addressed—or need to be addressed—by research.

    07 June 2013 | TAG
  • Women with HIV shown to have elevated resting energy expenditure

    Studies have shown that about 10 per cent of men infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have an elevated resting energy expenditure (REE). Now a study has shown that REE is also higher in women with HIV, even when they are on HIV treatment.

    17 April 2013 | Science Daily
  • Innate immune system can kill HIV when a viral gene is deactivated

    Human cells have an intrinsic capacity to destroy HIV. However, the virus has evolved to contain a gene that blocks this ability. When this gene is removed from the virus, the innate human immune system destroys HIV by mutating it to the point where it can no longer survive.

    29 March 2013 | Medical Xpress
  • Groundbreaking Research Discovers Possible New Way To Fight HIV

    New research has disocvered how the HIV virus targets memory T-cells or "veterans" instead of naive "virgin" T-cells. This could potentially change how drugs are used to halt the virus. This research finds that HIV exploits the fact that memory T-cells are more mobile; it uses the cytoskeleton, the internal structure of the cell, as a "conveyor belt" to carry it deep within the cell and to the nucleus. The researchers are now looking at whether drugs that reduce cancer cell motility could reduce the "attractiveness" of T-memory cells to HIV.

    25 October 2012 | Medical News Today
  • Virus throws a wrench in the immune system

    The cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a member of the herpesvirus family. Although most people carry CMV for life, it hardly ever makes them sick. Researchers from the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research and from the USA have now unveiled long term consequences of the on-going presence of CMV: Later in life, more and more cells of the immune system concentrate on CMV, and as a result, the response against other viruses is weakened. These research results help to explain why the elderly are often more prone to infectious diseases than young people. The viral immunologist Professor Luka Cicin-Sain, head of the junior research group "Immune Aging and Chronic Infections" at the HZI in Braunschweig, Germany, and his colleagues have now published their discovery in the open access journal PLoS Pathogens. In the article, they describe that even months after infection with CMV, mice still show weaker responses against other viruses such as the flu virus.

    17 August 2012 | EurekAlert
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