Scientists’ New Technique Can Prevent HIV and Possibly Cure It [Video]By Ava Jones, UniversityHerald Reporter
In a new study, scientists figured out a way to make cells resistant to HIV by binding HIV-fighting antibodies and immune cells. The resistant cells have the capability to replace diseased cells, and even provide long-term protection stopping the spread of HIV. The human immunodeficiency virus attacks the individual's immune system and there is still no cure for this infection.
The study published in the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Science" claims that this new approach is not like the usual therapy since it can make antibodies grip onto the surface of the cells, IFL Science reported. Present antiretroviral drugs can only control HIV infection, but not really eliminate it. The new technique blocks the virus from penetrating crucial cell receptor and replicating.
The low-density concentration of antibodies only floats around in the individual's bloodstream in other ordinary therapies. The new technique makes the antibody stick to the cell through what is called a "neighbor effect." This can create a cell population that is resistant to HIV and can replace the diseased cell, which can potentially be the cure for the HIV disease, Daily Mail UK reported.
The researchers placed both resistant cells and diseased cells into one lab dish to compete on a "survival-of-the-fittest" competition. The cells that don't have antibodies died, while those that are tethered to antibodies multiplied and passed the protection to new cells. City of Hope's Center for Gene Therapy director John A. Zaia said the ultimate goal is to control HIV in patients suffering AIDS without getting medications.
The Scripps Research Institute's Richard Lerner, who is also the lead author of the study, said the new technique is a type of cellular vaccination. More work is needed before scientists can start clinical trials. There are still no exact confirmations on whether this treatment will be produced for the masses and when it will be released to the public.