Studies of HIV have led to major advances in our understanding of the immune system that are also relevant to other diseases. For example, IrsiCaixa researchers discovered Siglec-1 to be the receptor through which HIV is blocked, wrapped and spread to the body via the dendritic cells. IrsiCaixa is currently working on new drugs to block interaction between the virus and dendritic cells and is also exploring this molecular interaction in the context of other diseases, including ebola.

Understanding the immune response

Microbiome studies will help us understand the general principles by which bacteria modulate the immune response to HIV and other diseases, given that the microbiome constantly stimulates the immune system and helps it differentiate between external antigens. In addition, discoveries regarding cellular viral restriction factors, like SAMDH1, yield a better understanding of how the body wards off from infectious diseases. Progress achieved regarding inflammation and immunosenescence (ageing of the immune system) caused by HIV can be directly translated to ageing and to many other conditions characterized by chronic inflammation.


ageing, drugs, ebola, immune system, immunosenescence, infectious diseases, inflammation, microbiome, SAMDH1, Siglec-1

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Irsi Caixa

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'La Caixa' Foundation Generalitat de Catalunya - Departament de Salut


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