According to a new study, researchers have discovered a way to block the virus from feeding on sugar in a person’s bloodstream, and it is killing it off.
Researchers from Northwestern and Vanderbilt University have developed a compound to block the immune cell’s pipeline of sugar and other nutrients and found that the virus was unable to reproduce under the less than sweet conditions. This treatment has not only held nutrition from harmful cells, but has left healthy cells alone.
This is a successful study which has resulted in a method to block the virus’s source of energy and nutrition or pantry.
Dr. Richard D’Aquila of Northwestern’s HIV Translational Research Center said, “This discovery opens new avenues for further research to solve today’s persisting problems in treating HIV infection: avoiding virus resistance to medicines, decreasing the inflammation that leads to premature aging, and maybe even one day being able to cure HIV infection.”
When the HIV enter the bloodstream of a person, it will first search for the CD$+T-cells, which are the headmasters of the immune system. Once it locates the cells, it steals their glucose supply and uses it to replicate.
Harry Taylor, assistant professor of Medicine-Infectious Diseases and co-author of the study said, “It’s a monster that invades the cell and says ‘feed me!, it usurps the entire production line.”
This discovery is a significant one, because the new method of treating HIV doesn’t depend on drugs the virus can learn to overcome.
Taylor said, “Perhaps this new approach, which slows the growth of the immune cells, could reduce the dangerous inflammation and thwart the life-long persistence of HIV.”
The findings of the study are published in PLOS Pathogens, an online research journal.