A San Antonio research team under the leadership of Dr. Ruth Ruprecht has uncovered a potential new defense against HIV
Dr. Ruprecht directs the Texas Biomed AIDS Research Program. She and her team discovered that IgM, an antibody which is present in humans, was effective in preventing HIV transmission through mucous membranes.
90 percent of new HIV infections occur during exposure to the mucous membranes like those in the lining of the penis, vagina, rectum and mouth.
When used to combat the virus, IgM binds to HIV creating a particle that is too large to pass through mucous membranes and thereby wards off infection.
Ruprecht’s findings were outlined in a study published last month in the journal AIDS. The discovery could lead the way for the future development of a new vaccine.
This article originally was published in the Out In SA.