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Researchers link HIV susceptibility to little-understood immune cell class

High levels of diversity among immune cells called natural killer cells may strongly predispose people to infection by HIV, and may be driven by prior viral exposures, according to a new study.

High diversity among certain cells that help fight viruses and tumors is strongly associated with the likelihood of subsequent infection by HIV, Stanford University School of Medicine researchers have found.

 

Natural killer cells, or NK cells, are lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. NK cells’ increased diversity, the scientists learned, may stem from prior exposures to viruses.

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