A new player for HIV treatment
In the early stages of viral infection, proteins called type 1 interferons (IFN) serve as the body’s first line of defense. However, because such proteins can trigger harmful inflammation, type 1 IFN is generally not included in the drugs used to treat HIV. Research by Prof. Gideon Schreiber has demonstrated that, in the early stages of HIV infection, type 1 IFN activity serves a critical protective role. His findings, achieved in an animal model of the disease, shows that removing the “harmful” IFN functions, even for just a short period at the onset of HIV infection, can have devastating and permanent consequences in shaping the course of the disease.