New insight into selective binding properties of infectious HIV

Dec 15, 2009

Free infectious HIV-1 is widely thought to be the major form of the virus in the blood of infected persons. U.S. Military HIV Research Program (MHRP) researchers, however, have demonstrated that essentially all of the infectious virus particles can bind to the surface of red blood cells isolated from each of 30 normal (non-infected) human donors. The results were published today in PLoS ONE, and can be accessed here.

The lead investigators, Dr. Zoltan Beck and Dr. Carl Alving, researchers with MHRP in the Division of Retrovirology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), explain that the data show that although infectious HIV-1 particles that bind to comprise only a small amount, perhaps as little as a mean of 2.3% of a typical HIV-1 preparation, erythrocyte-bound HIV-1 is then approximately 100-fold more infectious than free (non-cell-bound) HIV-1 for infection of target cells.

The study concludes that infectious virions constitute only a small fraction of a typical HIV-1 preparation and that, in a laboratory setting, all of the infectious virions can bind to red blood cells and other non-permissive cells (i.e., cells that cannot be infected). If this is true in HIV-infected humans it could mean that red blood cell-bound HIV-1 might be more important than free virus for transmission of infectious HIV-1 to target cells that can be infected.

Dr. Alving says, "If the same behavior of binding of infectious HIV-1 to red blood cells occurs in humans, it might be possible that red blood cell-bound infectious virions are protected from degradation or ."

Dr. Beck adds, "This study suggests that erythrocytes might serve as an important, and perhaps hidden, reservoir for infectious HIV-1 virions."

Explore further: HIV+ women respond well to HPV vaccine

Provided by Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Exhausted B cells fail to fight HIV

Jul 14, 2008

HIV tires out the cells that produce virus-fighting proteins known as antibodies, according to a human study that will be published online July 14 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Exhausted B cells hamper immune response to HIV

Jul 14, 2008

Recent studies have shown that HIV causes a vigorous and prolonged immune response that eventually leads to the exhaustion of key immune system cells--CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells--that target HIV. These tired cells become less ...

Neural progenitor cells as reservoirs for HIV in the brain

Mar 04, 2008

Impaired brain function is a prominent and still unsolved problem in AIDS . Shortly after an individual becomes infected with HIV, the virus can invade the brain and persist in this organ for life. Many HIV-infected individuals ...

How STDs increase the risk of becoming infected with HIV

Sep 05, 2008

Individuals who have a sexually transmitted disease (e.g., genital herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia) and women with yeast and bacterial vaginal infections have an increased risk of becoming infected with HIV if ...

HIV persists in the gut despite long-term HIV therapy

Feb 13, 2008

Even with effective anti-HIV therapies, doctors still have not been able to eradicate the virus from infected individuals who are receiving such treatments, largely because of the persistence of HIV in hideouts known as viral ...

Recommended for you

HIV+ women respond well to HPV vaccine

14 hours ago

HIV-positive women respond well to a vaccine against the human papillomavirus (HPV), even when their immune system is struggling, according to newly published results of an international clinical trial. The study's findings ...

HIV battle must focus on hard-hit streets, paper argues

Apr 10, 2014

In U.S. cities, it's not just what you do, but also your address that can determine whether you will get HIV and whether you will survive. A new paper in the American Journal of Public Health illustrates the ef ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

New clinical trial launched for advance lung cancer

Cancer Research UK is partnering with pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and Pfizer to create a pioneering clinical trial for patients with advanced lung cancer – marking a new era of research into personalised medicines ...

More vets turn to prosthetics to help legless pets

A 9-month-old boxer pup named Duncan barreled down a beach in Oregon, running full tilt on soft sand into YouTube history and showing more than 4 million viewers that he can revel in a good romp despite lacking ...