A new use for compounds related in composition to the active ingredient in marijuana may be on the horizon: a new research report published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology shows that compounds that stimulate the cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptor in white blood cells, specifically macrophages, appear to weaken HIV-1 infection. The CB2 receptor is the molecular link through which the pharmaceutical properties of cannabis are manifested. Diminishing HIV-1 infection in this manner might make current anti-viral therapies more effective and provide some protection against certain HIV-1 complications.
A team of researchers from Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the University of Massachusetts Medical School describe the first case of a so-called “functional cure” in an HIV-infected infant. The finding, the investigators say, may help pave the way to eliminating HIV infection in children.
A team of UCLA-led researchers has identified a protein with broad virus-fighting properties that potentially could be used as a weapon against deadly human pathogenic viruses such as HIV, Ebola, Rift Valley Fever, Nipah and others designated “priority pathogens” for national biosecurity purposes by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.
Scientists at King’s College London have demonstrated the ability to deliver a dried live vaccine to the skin without a traditional needle, and shown for the first time that this technique is powerful enough to enable specialised immune cells in the skin to kick-start the immunising properties of the vaccine.
Breakthrough drugs have made it possible for people to live with HIV longer than ever before, but more work must be done to actually cure the disease. One of the challenges researchers face involves fully eradicating the virus when it is latent in the body. A new report appearing in the December 2012 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biologysuggests that a cancer drug, called JQ1, may be useful in purging latent HIV infection by activating the virus in the presence of potent therapy ? essentially a dead end for the virus.
To support their research for a vaccine against the HI-Virus, Prof. Dr. Klaus Überla of the Faculty for Medicine at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum and his research team will receive $2.3 million in funding within the next three years from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The scientists are part of the Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery (CAVD), which seeks to speed up the development of an HIV-vaccine through a rigorous exchange of information, methods and reagents. “The project rests upon our observation that certain immunological reactions seem to increase the risk of HIV-infection,” Prof. Überla said. “We want to avoid these kinds of harmful immune system responses while still creating protective antibodies.”
New research showing how the HIV virus targets “veterans” or memory T-cells could change how drugs are used to stop the virus, according to new research by George Mason University.
The research will appear in the Journal of Biological Chemistry‘s October edition and currently is available online.
Oxford University scientists have discovered a compound that greatly boosts the effect of vaccines against viruses like flu, HIV and herpes in mice.
An ‘adjuvant’ is a substance added to a vaccine to enhance the immune response and offer better protection against infection.
Two men with longstanding HIV infections no longer have detectable HIV in their blood cells following bone marrow transplants. The virus was easily detected in blood lymphocytes of both men prior to their transplants but became undetectable by eight months post-transplant. The men, who were treated at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), have remained on anti-retroviral therapy. Their cases will be presented on July 26, 2012 at the International AIDS Conference by Timothy Henrich, MD and Daniel Kuritzkes, MD, physician-researchers in the Division of Infectious Diseases at BWH.
A new grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) will support the development of a topical microbicide gel for drug delivery. The innovative gel formulation will be a combination therapy against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infections in women.