Tag: immunodeficiency

No Virus to Blame for New AIDS-Like Disease—It’s an Autoimmune Response

By Sophie Bushwick | August 24, 2012 1:11 pm

Mycobacterium abscessus
Signs of infection with Mycobacterium abcessus, which
primarily attacks those with suppressed immune systems

In 2004, medical researchers began noticing cases where patients, primarily middle-aged Asians, sought treatment for frequent opportunistic infections. Developing these infections, which mainly affect people with compromised immune systems, is a key sign of AIDS, and yet these patients test negative for HIV, the AIDS virus.

According to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, an autoimmune response—when your immune system attacks your own body—triggers the immunodeficiency. But we still don’t know why the autoimmune response develops abruptly at around age 50.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine
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