26 July 2018

Immunoglobulins against HIV infection

"Forgotten" antibodies effectively protect against HIV

Sergey Kolenov, Hi-tech+

Researchers from The Texas Institute of Biomedical Research has found that IgM class antibodies, or M immunoglobulins, can provide effective protection against HIV-1. In the experiment, IgM successfully prevented the virus from penetrating through the mucous membranes. The discovery may become the basis for new AIDS prevention tools.

Scientists call IgM "forgotten" antibodies. Until now, most experts have ignored these molecules because they considered their protective effect too short to counteract HIV, Science Daily notes. However, a new study shows that immunoglobulins M should not be written off.

The discovery was made by scientists from the USA who conducted experiments on rhesus monkeys. They treated the animals with a human variant of IgM, and then infected them with the immunodeficiency virus through the mucous membranes.

Within 82 days, only two of the six experimental monkeys developed the disease. The organism of the other four was protected from virus penetration.

The analysis showed that immunoglobulin M prevents the virus from crossing the mucous membranes. IgM antibodies have a high affinity for HIV-1 and firmly keep the virus from spreading. Their effectiveness is five times higher than that of standard IgG antibodies.

Given that 90% of new HIV infections occur through the mucous membranes of the rectum and vagina, passive IgM immunization can help in the fight against the global AIDS epidemic. 

Meanwhile, the HIV vaccine gives the first positive results. The drug, created on the basis of several strains of the virus, proved its effectiveness in trials involving 393 healthy patients. In addition to a good immune response, she showed no side effects.

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