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Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Another Retrovirus 

HIV gets the lots of attention, both here and elsewhere, but that means that many people forget (or don't know) that there are plenty of other very deadly (and not deadly, but they're less interesting) retroviruses out there.

In an intriguing new study, UK and US scientists have found that certain NK cell immunoglobulin-like receptor alleles seem to be more able to clear the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) than others, granting a sort of immunity to carriers. This effect is likely overwhelmed by high-dose infection, but I wonder if an initial, low-dose infection acts as a vaccine?
This finding likely has implications for other diseases as well, so expect some follow-up in this area.

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