PARIS – French scientists said Wednesday they had found a way to pinpoint elusive white blood cells that provide a hideout for the AIDS virus in people taking anti-HIV drugs.
Being able to spot, and one day neutralize, these “reservoir” cells has long been a holy grail in the quest to wipe out AIDS and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes it.
The discovery “paves the way to a better fundamental understanding of viral reservoirs,” said France’s CNRS research institute, which took part in the study, published in Nature.
“In the longer term, it should lead to therapeutic strategies aiming to eliminate the latent virus,” it added in a statement.
There is no cure for HIV, and infected people have to take virus-suppressing drugs for life.
This is because a small number of immune system cells, in a category of cell called CD4 T lymphocytes, provide a haven for the virus, enabling it to …