Scientists Discover That Sugar Molecule on HIV-infected Cells Plays Role in Evading Immune System; Wistar-Led Team Exploits This As Weakness to Make More Effective Natural Killer (NK) Cells Against HIV

A new study led by researchers at The Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, an international biomedical research leader in cancer, immunology, infectious disease, and vaccine development, shows how key features on the surface of HIV-infected cells help the disease evade detection by the immune system. The study also shows how these features can be disabled. The findings, published online on November 11, 2021 in PLOS Pathogens, are a first step toward a new class of treatment aimed at not just suppressing virus replication, but killing cells harboring persistent virus that prevent us from curing HIV infection. The article is titled “Siglec-9 Defines and Restrains a Natural Killer Subpopulation Highly Cytotoxic to HIV-infected Cells.”

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