Study examines HIV resistance
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Sept. 1, 2008
A Baltimore woman's strong immune system apparently has thwarted the progress of an HIV infection to AIDS, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
"Our findings offer hope to vaccine researchers because they reveal that the immune system's primary offense, known as CD8 killer T-cells, can effectively halt disease progression by a pathogenic form of HIV," said Joel Blankson, MD, PhD, an assistant professor in Johns Hopkins' Division of Infectious Diseases.
He and his colleagues uncovered the evidence in blood and genetic studies of a monogamous Baltimore couple in which both husband and wife were infected with the same strain of HIV. The husband, an IV drug user, has been taking a potent drug cocktail to keep his disease in check, but his wife has not needed any treatment and, a decade after being infected, remains symptom-free with a low viral count.
The study is in the August Journal of Virology.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2008/09/01/hlbf0901.htm.