Antiretroviral treatment repairs immune system against HIV infection

Researchers recently used a combination treatment to repair the immune system of a nonhuman primate model with an HIV infection. The study, which evaluated the antiretroviral drug treatment called IL-21, showed promising results during the treatment and when it was finished. 

There are antiretroviral drugs that can help patients suppress their HIV infections for a number of years. Unfortunately, the inflammatory imbalance further progresses other health problems that afflict people with HIV infections. This new treatment could enhance these results by repairing the patient’s immune system. 

The researchers tested the new fusion protein, which is based on IL-21, an immune stimulator. When the protein is used alongside antiretroviral drugs, it could repair various kinds of cells in the intestinal immune system. These cells are believed to be crucial for the integrity of the mucosal system. 

Mirko Paiardini, assistant professor at Emory University School of Medicine and a faculty member in the IMP program, is the senior author.

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