Evidence for link between 'leaky gut' and autoantibody production in HIV-positive patients
Human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, attacks the immune system, making affected individuals more susceptible to infections. When patients with HIV are treated with antiretroviral therapy (ART), their immune system can recover, but some of them produce self-destructive proteins, or autoantibodies.
Instead of attacking foreign invaders such as bacteria or viruses, some autoantibodies attack the body's own cells. This is known as autoimmunity. We all produce low levels of autoantibodies. However, when they are produced persistently at high levels, autoimmunity may occur.
In an article in Microbiome, Wei Jiang, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), and her team report that HIV-positive, ART-treated patients with high levels of autoantibodies also have increased levels of bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus) products in their blood.
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