Stem cells: home of HIV?

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can infect bone marrow cells -- including, possibly, hematopoietic stem cells, according to a study published online today (March 7) in Nature Medicine. Human Immunodeficiency VirusImage: Wikimedia commons, NIAIDThe findings suggest the virus can hide in an inactive state for long periods of time, evading treatment, even in individuals without detectable viral loads. "It's a little bit surprising to see that [HIV infects] progenitor cells, and [possibly] ste

Jef Akst
Jef Akst

Jef Akst is managing editor of The Scientist, where she started as an intern in 2009 after receiving a master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses.

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Mar 6, 2010
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can infect bone marrow cells -- including, possibly, hematopoietic stem cells, according to a study published online today (March 7) in Nature Medicine.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus
Image: Wikimedia commons,
NIAID
The findings suggest the virus can hide in an inactive state for long periods of time, evading treatment, even in individuals without detectable viral loads. "It's a little bit surprising to see that [HIV infects] progenitor cells, and [possibly] stem cells as well," said virologist linkurl:Michael Bukrinsky;http://www.gwumc.edu/microbiology/faculty/bukrinsky.htm of The George Washington University in Washington, DC, who was not involved in the research. It's a "novel and important" discovery that "will have big implications for pathogenesis of the disease and potential treatment of these patients." Even patients who respond to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) can harbor undetectably low viral loads, which can be reactivated later in life to cause a resurgence of the disease. Resting...
Correction: The original version of this story stated that the new study was published in when in fact it was published in . regrets the error.




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