New insights into deadly HIV infection

Researchers have found that tiny toxic HIV fibres, called semen-derived enhancers of viral infection (SEVI), poison nerve cells, even when the virus is broken down.

HIV seeps into the infection-fighting proteins of the immune cells. Recent research has found that structures of proteins in semen called “amyloid fibrils” are also involved.

HIV requires a means of being either broken down entirely or preventive measures to stop the infection from occurring.

The researchers also tested the fibrils against another major type of body tissue, epithelial cells, and found they were not toxic to these cells.

These findings may assist in the development of new drugs to prevent other diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, in which the “amyloid fibrils” are present.

Originally published at The Conversation.

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About Alana Mitchelson

Alana Mitchelson is a journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Follow her on Twitter at @AlanaMitchelson.

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