The study was published on Thursday via the Metabolism Cell. Currently, patients with HIV must take antiretroviral drugs that fail to take advantage of the reservoirs of this disease in immune cells.
"Our job is to identify infected cells so that we can better focus on them with the goal of eliminating them from the body," explains Spanish researcher Asier Saez-Cirion, study coordinator.
The researchers were able to identify the characteristics of CD4 T lymphocytes, immune cells that HIV activates and uses to make copies. This study found that the virus infects cells with strong metabolic activity – such as CD4-, in which glucose consumption plays an extremely important role.
"Understanding this mechanism will open the door to eliminate infected cells. This finding is a promising first step, although it is still necessary for this technique to be applied in patients," explained the experts.