The researchers identified the characteristics of immune disorders common to aging and chronic viral infections with HIV and hepatitis C. Studies at the Barker Institute and Stanford University have shown that chronic viral infection has a profound and lasting effect on the human immune system in a way similar to that in the aging process. The results are published in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Using system immunology and artificial intelligence, the researchers analyzed and compared the immune responses of a group of aging individuals, HIV infected people who have received antiretroviral therapy for a long time, and hepatitis C (HCV) infected people before and after receiving a drug with a cure rate of 97%. The common changes of immune system include memory expansion of T cells, up regulation of inflammatory intracellular signaling pathways, and decreased sensitivity of lymphocytes and bone marrow cells to cytokines.
The difference between acute and chronic viral infection
In acute viral infections, the body is usually able to clear pathogens, and the immune system (at best) produces antibodies to prevent similar infections, such as the common cold and seasonal flu. But some viruses, such as HIV and HCV, can continue to survive in the body, similar to the pattern of parasites. In some cases, it is difficult for people to recognize them. According to the geographic location, 70% to 90% of people are infected with cytomegalovirus. Cytomegalovirus is harmless to healthy people. Only pregnant women or people with impaired immune system will have problems, Forman said. Various herpesviruses (causing genital herpes, cold sores, varicella / herpes zoster and mononucleosis) can also cause chronic infections.
Studies have shown that the immune response has certain plasticity
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