Scientists for the First Time Have Completely Removed HIV from Infected Mice and Humans Are Next
HIV, one of the biggest nightmares of recent centuries may just be within range of becoming a disease that is now curable. Scientists are now optimistic at the latest research that has revealed a cure for HIV using a sequence involving two types of treatment successfully. The research used mice with HIV as subjects and showed great promise in eradicating HIV completely. This could well mean further development and phase two of the research that will involve human trials and if that is successful, then HIV will just be another disease instead of being the most terrifying condition that afflicts millions worldwide.
1The new method of fighting HIV
In a new study, published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, scientists explained how they first used a new therapeutic strategy called LASER ART (Long-Acting, Slow-Effective Release) to stop HIV cells from replicating, and then extracted HIV DNA from infective genomes.
2Dormant HIV replication halted and removed from genomes
Scientists ask if there is indeed a cure for HIV in sight. Well. Hopes are up as HIV in mice were completely eradicated by the dual treatment method, the first being a LASER type of antiretroviral therapy released slowly over time and the other involving the famous CRISPR –Cas9 method which is a gene editing tool and removes viral DNA from the infected cells. The new study used the new therapeutic strategy known as LASER ART or (Long Acting Slow Release) to halt the HIV from duplicating and replicating itself, a method by which it spreads in the human body. The LASER method extracts viral DNA from the infective genomes.
3A combination therapy involving gene editing
The cutting edge research published in the Nature Communications Journal described how the dual step method was approached in removing HIV from Mice. There were three groups of mice infected with HIV and lined up for the treatment. One group only received the LASER antiretroviral therapy, another group received only the CRISPR therapy and the third group received treatments, the LASER treatment and the CRISPR gene editing method. The results were then compared.
The mice who received only the LASER antiretroviral therapy or the gene editing but not both showed a viral rebound in 100% of the mice but those mice who received both treatments laser antiretroviral therapy and gene editing, the virus was eliminated from both cells and tissues in 1/3rd of the animals.
4What the authors say
According to DR Kamel Khalili Ph.D of the Lewis Katz School of Medicine (LKSOM) at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, and co-senior study author, “The big message of this work is that it takes both CRISPR-Cas9 and virus suppression through a method such as LASER [antiretroviral therapy], administered together, to produce a cure for HIV infection.”
Incidentally, Khalil is also a professor on LKSOM neuroscience department and the director of LKSOM Neurovirology Center and the director of the Comprehensive NeuroAIDS Center.