Koala retrovirus leads scientists to discover ‘second immune system’

ABC Science, 12/10/2019

The retrovirus spreading through the koala population is bad news. But studies of the koala infection have led scientists to a surprising discovery: a “second immune system” in the species, according to research published on Saturday in the journal Cell.

This system, which the researchers think exists in all mammals, has a role fighting off viruses that are in the same class as deadly human diseases such as HIV. This “second immune system” may illuminate new ways to treat HIV, said Damian Purcell, who heads up virology research at the Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.

HIV-Related Virus Has Existed in Primates for Millions of Years

LiveScience, August 27, 2015 03:05pm ET

Viruses related to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have infected Old World monkeys as far back as 16 million years ago, according to a new study. The research provides insight into how monkeys evolved and adapted to the simian version of HIV, and why some viruses can jump from one species to another.

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  • Access study in PLOS Pathogens here

‘Elite controllers’ may provide clues for HIV cure (NHS Analysis)

NHS Choices, Wednesday November 5 2014
“Scientists have uncovered the genetic mechanism which appeared to have led two HIV-infected men to experience a ‘spontaneous cure’,” the Mail Online reports.
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