HIV is a master of sneaking past our natural defenses. Typically, when the body encounters a harmful virus, immune cells recognize viral proteins and stimulate the production of antibodies. HIV, however, has evolved several ways to cloak vulnerable areas of viral proteins. A report released last month from NIAID scientists reveals new insights into one such tactic of immune invisibility.
Scientists have previously recognized that the HIV reservoir varies in size between individuals. Now, NIAID researchers and their collaborators have discovered that variations in an important viral gene may play a role in the size of one’s HIV reservoir. Their findings, reported online last week, expand scientists’ understanding of how specific attributes of the virus a person acquires can affect the course and nature of their HIV infection.
New research by NIH investigators demonstrates for the first time that a bone marrow-derived cell, the mast cell, can cause disease in a solid organ through the transmission of small sacs of molecules through the bloodstream. The study adds to a growing body of evidence that these extracellular sacs can enable one type of cell to influence the behavior of an entirely different cell type.
A durable end to the HIV/AIDS pandemic will require the development and widespread implementation of new and improved HIV prevention tools, according to NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. Yesterday, Dr. Fauci delivered a plenary lecture at the opening session of the HIV Research for Prevention (HIV R4P) conference, which is taking place this week in Madrid.
Some people treated with antiretroviral therapy after HIV has already significantly damaged the immune system may develop a serious condition called HIV-associated immune reconstitution syndrome, or IRIS. Now, researchers from NIAID and the NIH Clinical Center are working together to visualize and predict this common complication of HIV in a new way—with positron emission tomography, or PET.
A new NIAID-supported study lays the foundation for understanding the causes of and ultimately developing treatments for nasal polyps—small growths that develop on inflamed mucous membranes lining the nose and sinuses. The work opens the horizon for further research, as well as efforts to better understand other diseases characterized by inflamed barrier tissues, such as asthma and eczema.
People with a rare disease called mastocytosis must do their cardio with caution. In a new NIAID study, blood-serum levels of two inflammatory chemicals in people with mastocytosis rose significantly after physical exercise, and this increase was associated with a worsening of mastocytosis-related symptoms.
New research from NIAID-funded scientists reveals that most individuals in a sample of West African Ebola survivors produced a unique subset of T cells called CD8+ T cells—also known as killer T cells.
The gut microbiome—the community of bacteria and other microbes naturally present in the gastrointestinal tract—plays a critical role in human health. NIAID Now spoke with senior investigator Jason Brenchley, Ph.D., about the link between the gut microbiome and HIV infection, and his lab’s recent research findings.
Why do we lack a cure for HIV infection, and what research is underway to help achieve that goal? A new video from NIAID provides answers.
A clinical trial comparing three chemotherapy regimens in combination with antiretroviral treatment for treatment of advanced AIDS-Kaposi’s sarcoma patients in Africa and South America has ended early.
A new video from NIAID explores a possible new way to fight bacteria as they become increasingly resistant to antibiotics.
Through visits to the NIH Clinical Center, Isaac Barchus became one of the first people diagnosed with a rare immunological condition now known as CANDLE/PRAAS syndrome, and in 2011, he was the first patient enrolled in a compassionate use program at the NIH of an experimental therapy to address his symptoms.
Earlier this month, scientists from NIAID and Knopp Biosciences reported that dexpramipexole, a drug initially developed to treat neurological diseases, benefited a subset of patients with hypereosinophilic syndromes. Their findings, published online in the journal Blood, help lay the groundwork for a larger clinical trial to further evaluate this potential new treatment for these rare, chronic disorders.
NIAID is conducting and supporting research, including two clinical trials, on the potentially deadly disease Valley fever, or coccidioidomycosis. People can get Valley fever by inhaling a soil-residing fungus endemic to parts of the southwestern United States.
HIV-related heart disease is a leading cause of death among people living with HIV—even when they are on consistent, effective HIV treatment. Researchers are learning that this complication is likely brought on by chronic inflammation from the virus itself and other factors. What is less understood is why HIV seems to take a greater toll on the hearts of women.
As the nation’s largest hospital devoted solely to medical research, the NIH Clinical Center sees many patients arrive with a mysterious constellation of symptoms and no diagnosis. NIAID scientists at the NIH Clinical Center treated one such patient and used innovative genetic techniques to discover his severe gastroenterology symptoms were caused by a rare presentation of Crohn’s disease, according to a report released last month.
Most people living with HIV have a single genetic strain of the virus, but in certain cases, a person can acquire a second strain of HIV—a condition known as HIV superinfection. In a new study published online today in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, NIAID researchers and scientists at the Uganda Virus Research Institute describe a case of HIV superinfection they were able to identify with unique precision.
Our coverage from the 2018 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Boston wrapped up yesterday with two interviews with Federal HIV leaders who shared perspectives about the science coming out of the conference and its implications for HIV prevention, care, and treatment.
Scientists are learning that white fat—the fat tissue that acts as a scaffold under our skin, muscles and organs—may serve vital roles beyond cushioning our rears and middle sections. New research from NIAID scientists published last month in Immunity reports that white fat is also an immune organ, storing immune cells called memory T cells that fight against infectious agents.
Two recent studies conducted by NIAID scientists shed light on previously unknown functions of a category of immune cells called innate lymphoid cells (ILCs). ILCs respond quickly to infection and cannot recognize pathogens, but they have some similar functions as helper T cells. The new research sheds light on how similarly ILCs and adaptive T cells function in the body, and whether ILCs function in a tissue-resident manner or circulate among sites.
A new study suggests that influenza infection may enhance some white blood cells’ ability to defend against secondary bacterial infections.
A new study offers insights into the immune cell defects that occur in Chediak-Higashi syndrome, a rare genetic disease. Their findings also suggest a potential strategy to develop treatments for this complex syndrome, which is characterized by immune deficiency, predisposition to bleeding, recurring infections and neurological disorders.
We should all be thankful to have some histamine in our bodies. This chemical messenger helps our brains stay alert, lets our stomachs dissolve food and powers our immune systems to root out and kill infectious parasites.
Haunted houses, ghastly ghouls, spooky spirits and… frightening food allergies? Halloween can be a stressful time for families managing food allergies. Many popular candies contain peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs and other potentially allergenic foods. Reading food labels carefully can help ensure a safe and happy Halloween for everyone.
“There is real value in experimental odysseys,” says Thomas A. Waldmann, M.D., of the National Cancer Institute.
The NIH Distinguished Investigator celebrated a new leg of one such journey this summer. In June, colleague Michael J. Lenardo, M.D., an investigator at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, published his finding of a genetic cause and potential treatment for a subset of the gastrointestinal disease Waldmann had discovered in 1961. Dr. Lenardo, who Dr. Waldmann recruited to the NIH more than two decades ago, will join Dr. Waldmann to give a Clinical Center Grand Rounds lecture on their discoveries in Masur Auditorium in Building 10 on November 15, 2017.
The fever, fatigue, muscle and headache caused by influenza (flu) can make even the healthiest person feel miserable for days. For more vulnerable people, such as the very young or the elderly, flu can be fatal. Although vaccination is recommended and can help protect against flu infection, there is a need for effective therapies to combat illness caused by the flu virus.
Today marks the 10th National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day. This annual observance brings attention to the unique social and health-related challenges of older people living with and at risk for HIV. NIAID supports and collaborates on research that aims to both understand and mitigate long-term complications of HIV for men and women aging with HIV.
In a new study, researchers describe immune profiles measured prior to vaccination that may predict a person’s antibody response to the seasonal flu vaccine. Their findings also indicate that immune states that predict good vaccine responses in young adults may be associated with poorer responses in older people.
NIAID researchers have developed a new method for visualizing in great detail the distribution of cell types in complex tissues, like tumors. The method, called Clearing-enhanced 3D microscopy, or Ce3D, may help researchers evaluate how well immunotherapies target hard-to-treat cancers without many of the limitations associated with related, earlier methods that are currently in use. The findings were described online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Have you ever heard about a research finding and thought, “What does that mean?” New observations and discoveries continually contribute to the ever-expanding body of scientific knowledge that ultimately guides medical practice. NIAID Video SNiPs are quick summaries for science lovers and scientists that explain how an incremental advance can provide fresh insights, affect disease outcomes, and improve public health.
Like many branches of medicine, immunology can seem to have a complex language of its own describing how the body protects against and fights off infection. Now, you can sort through the dense terminology of the immune system by boning up on some basics in NIAID’s new, illustrated immunology glossary.
NIAID Study Clarifies Role of Enzyme Previously Linked to Allergic Lung Disease. Acidic mammalian chitinase, or AMCase, an enzyme present in humans and other mammals, plays a key role in initiating protective immune responses against certain parasitic gut infections, a new NIAID study shows. The findings in mice suggest that AMCase, which had previously been implicated in allergic lung disease, is critical for defense against gastrointestinal infections with parasitic worms called helminths. The scientists report their results online in Nature Immunology on April 4, 2016.