Experts from Northwestern University has invented a novel method used to track the HIV infection, permitting individual virions to be linked to infectivity. The latest invention could provide an understanding of the mechanisms of HIV’s life cycle also lead to the development of novel therapies for HIV prevention. It has turned out to be standard to imagine the development and movement of individual virions in cells, however, the pertinence of these perceptions was already vague.

A professor of cell and molecular biology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Mr. Thomas Hope said, “This approach and the ability to say ‘that virion infected that cell’ — will help bring clarity to the field”. Further, he said, “It allows us to understand what the virus really needs to do to infect a cell. It gives us new details, like where in the cell it happens and the timing of specific events. The more we know about the virus, the better our chances are to stop it”.

HIV fuses onto a target immune cell during the infection course and delivers its capsid into the cell’s cytoplasm. Afterward, the capsid takes down through a uncoating process which is crucial to the synthesis of viral DNA from its RNA genome. The uncoating have been disputable with two different thought. As one supposed that uncoating happens late at pores and other camp indicated that uncoating happens early and in the cytoplasm.

The experts can identify individual particles associated with infection using a novel live-cell fluorescent imaging system. The experts used the way to deal with screen how the HIV capsid uncoats in the cell at the individual molecule level, they showed the uncoating prompting disease happens in the cytoplasm after cell fusion for 30 minutes.

Hope said, “Being able to connect infectivity of individual particles and how they behave in the cell to infection is going to have a big impact on the field”. Further, he added, “The system can now be used to resolve other controversies in HIV biology and to determine which potential targets for drug development are most relevant”.The experts and his team plan to continue to leverage the method to study infection in later stages of the HIV life cycle in the future.