This perception, also published by the Pasteur Foundation, could revolutionize HIV treatment, because, so far, patients have to take anti-anti-viral drugs that can not kill the reservoirs (viruses hidden) presented in the immune cells.
"Our job is to identify the cells that have been infected so that we can concentrate on them with the goal of eliminating the organism", said the study co-ordinator, Asier Sáez-Cirión Spanish, the Pasteur Foundation, in a statement broadcast on RTL radio.
The researchers team were able to identify the characteristics of CD4 Lymphocytes, the immune cells that HIV encourages and uses to produce copies of it.
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Existing treatments – antiretroviral – prevent HIV from doing this and multiply, but do not improve, that is, they do not terminate the virus, but leave it in a dormant state. .
Now, the researchers came to the conclusion that the virus is infectious cells infected with a strong metabolic activity – such as CD4 – where eating glucose plays a leading role. Understanding that mechanism will open a door to erase cells that have been infected, says experts.
What the researchers carried out prevent the infection thanks to metabolic activity inhibitors already examined against cancer in experiments carried out ex vivo, that is, performing in biological tissue or organism in an artificial environment.
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The researchers said that the discovery was a promising first step, although they explained that it was still necessary for this technique to be applied in patients.