Tuesday, August 28, 2012

New disease with AIDS-like symptoms found

A new disease with AIDS-like symptoms has been discovered by the researchers at the National Institutes of Health. In spite of having AIDS-like symptoms, the new mystery disease is not related with HIV. So far, the disease has not been given any specific name. The unnamed disease has been found among Asians even if they are not infected with deadly HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). Fortunately, the newly discovered disease with AIDS-like symptoms is non-contagious. Just like AIDS, this disease too attacks and damages the patient’s immune systems.

New disease with AIDS-like symptoms found

As of now, the researchers are calling this anonymous disease as "adult-onset" immunodeficiency syndrome since this type of acquired immune deficiency is not at all hereditary and it has been found in adults over the age of 50. Almost all patients of this new disease are either Asians or Asian-born people who are living in other places. All those people who are suffering from this disease have become vulnerable to fungal infections, viruses, and parasites. Plus, the patients falling prey to the mystery disease, have an increased susceptibility to mycobacterial disease. These mycobacterial diseases are caused by micobacteria which is a group of germs that is very similar to tuberculosis that can cause severe lung damage.

The illness makes the patient lose his/her ability to fight off germs. Few of the patients have already died because of irresistible infections. Majority of the cases have been found in Taiwan and Thailand, since year 2004. The immune system of a person suffering from AIDS becomes weakened throughout the life. The HIV virus directly attacks T-cells, the main soldiers of the immune system that fight off the germs. On the other hand, the new disease does not damage those cells. Instead, it causes an unusual kind of damage to immune system.

A study was conducted on more than 200 people living in Taiwan and Thailand who were found to be the sufferers of the mystery disease. The study had revealed that most of the patients with the disease produce a substance called autoantibodies which blocks interferon-gamma. Interferon-gamma is a very essential chemical signal that assists the body in clearing out the infections. Antibiotics had not been proved helpful in all cases. Plus, doctors have tried a lot for other approaches like using a cancer drug that helps the body in curbing the production of antibodies.

Meanwhile, researchers are trying their level best to find out the answer that why and how the disease actually develops? On the basis of research which they have conducted till now, the researchers have come to a conclusion that genetic factors and something in the environment, for example, an infection are responsible for triggering mystery disease, although the disease itself is not contagious.


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