HIV Link to Deadly Salmonella

Recent research has discovered a deadly link between HIV and salmonella, providing a new perspective on vaccine development.

Salmonella bacteria often causes fatal infections in the bloodstream in people with HIV. Although this risk has been known for over 25 years, it is only now that scientists discover the scientific reason: It is the excess of antibodies, not the deficiency in the immune system, that causes the problem.

"It is quite a surprise and it suggests that what we are dealing with her is more of a consequence of an immune disregulation as opposed to an immune deficiency per se," said lead researcher Cal MacLennan of the University of Birmingham in England.

Human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is known to stop the immune system from working because it kills the CD4 cells that orchestrate the body’s response to foreign organisms. In the case of salmonella, however, researchers have found that blood from HIV-infected adults contained high levels of antibodies to salmonella. The problem is that these antibodies were stuck to the wrong part of the bacteria.

Researchers have concluded that HIV-infected patients have a very different immunity response and it is not about being less immune. This discovery is important not only for doctors who treat people with HIV, but also for the developers of vaccines intended to protect HIV-positive patients from other infectious diseases.

Source:  Reuters

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