Friday, January 22, 2016

FIV Sheds Light On Human Aids

Feral Tabby Cat
© judwick -
FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) is often incorrectly referred to as Feline AIDS. But while FIV cats don't have AIDS and, most likely, will never get it, FIV and human AIDS do have some things in common.

Both rely on a protein called integrase that inserts the virus' DNA into an infected cell's DNA, according to a press release from the American Technion Society. Studying FIV positive cats, researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have pinpointed a single amino acid change that seems to be critical in highlighting how the protein assembles itself from simpler building blocks.

Discovering this weak point could help scientists working on anti-HIV drugs for humans target that hot spot in the future, the press release says.

Meanwhile, it's important to remember that FIV cats do not have AIDS. It can take years for AIDS symptoms to develop in an FIV cat, and in most cats they never do.

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