Just as HIV patients lose hope in finding the right cure for the disease, here is yet another groundbreaking discovery that sheds light to the ongoing problem. A team of researchers led by experts from London's University College has recently found that despite the presence of a protective protein, the team was able to identify how HIV is able to infect macrophages, which is known to be a type of white blood cell integral to the immune system. Because of this, experts consider the study to have brought the international scientific community one step closer toward finding a cure for HIV and AIDS.
Breakthrough Study On Macrophage Defense
According to reports revealed by Science Daily, as part of a natural process that was discovered by the UCL-led team, macrophages has been noted to have a good potential in creating an antiviral protein called SAMHD1, which is known to have the ability to prevent HIV from replicating in these cells, except for when the protein is switched off, the experts added. In one of her statements, senior author of the paper Professor Ravindra Gupta from UCL Infection & Immunity said that they are already aware that SAMHD1 is switched off when cells multiply. However, the team has highly emphasized that macrophages do not multiply so it seemed unlikely that SAMHD1 would be switched off in these cells. Furthermore, despite these findings, experts have claimed that there's a window of opportunity when SAMHD1 is disabled as part of a regularly-occurring process in macrophages.
The Cure For HIV?
Meanwhile, as per International Business Times, as the researchers began with in their study, it was found that the discovery could lead to researchers using inhibitors in healthy human bodies. In return, experts believe that the process will ultimately prevent white blood cells from turning off their antiviral proteins and effectively eradicating any chance for HIV to spread throughout the body. Ultimately, Gupta has also revealed that the team's findings could help explain why some people undergoing anti-retroviral therapy for HIV continue to have HIV replication in the brain, as the infected cells in the brain are typically macrophages.