Searching for hidden HIV
Attempts to cure HIV have been thwarted by a particular type of immune-system cell that can hide the virus. These long-lived infected T cells can evade detection by the body for years, and are hard to find, study and kill. Reliably identifying these covert reservoirs is top of the wish-list for HIV researchers, but they’ve had limited success.
That may soon change with the identification of a protein called CD32a. It sits on the surface of T cells that are infected, but lie dormant. Researchers reported their findings on 15 March in Nature. Like a police sketch of a criminal, the protein provides a way to distinguish these sleeper T cells from other immune-system cells. And it provides hope that scientists could target these silent, infected cells and destroy them…
Read more at Nature.com