A team at the Pasteur Institute has identified a vulnerability in cells called "deposits" of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which causes AIDS, which opens the way to the elimination of the virus, specialist journals have reported today. According to medical sources, so far antiretrovirals block the virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and act against the virus and its multiplication, but can not eliminate the infected cells.
"Now, with our work, it's about characterizing the infected cells to be able to target the cells and eliminate them from the body infected with HIV," explained the study's head, Spaniard Asier Saez-Cirión.
According to the sources, the works constitute a step towards a possible recovery for the patients thanks to the elimination of the cells that act like depository, also called reservoirs or "latent virus". The discovery would imply knowledge of a formula that would eliminate the AIDS virus that until now could only slow its progress.
The discovery was made by French researchers coordinated by a Spanish scientist who has succeeded in blocking HIV activity with inhibitors, as well as finding out how to kill the virus-infected cells. But at the time the method will not yet be applied to patients, explained the study published in the journal Cell Metabolism.