Possibility of killing off HIV virus and AIDS
RESEACHERS in Israel have identified a protein they claim can reduce the HIV virus in infected patients by 97% in just eight days, according to the Times of Israel.
The findings raise hopes for sufferers of a disease that killed more than a million people globally in 2015.
The HIV virus attacks a type of white blood cell known as a CD4, which is used by the body to fight off illnesses like flu.
The virus uses the internal machinery of these cells to effectively take it over and make more and more copies of itself, destroying CD4s in the process.
Once a sufferer’s CD4 cells fall below 200 per cubic millimetre of blood, they are considered to have progressed to AIDS.
Scientists at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University inserted the new drug into test tubes containing the blood of 10 AIDS patients. The active ingredient, called Gammora, caused several copies of the virus’ DNA to enter an infected CD4 cell, instead of the usual one or two.
This caused the damaged white blood cell to go into overdrive and
self-destruct, leaving it unable to spread the virus any further.
Tests will continue amid hopes that Gammora will soon be able to kill all the infected HIV cells.
Abraham Loyter, who helped develop the drug, said: “With our approach we are destroying the cells, so there is no chance that the virus will awaken one day.
“Because there are no cells, there will be no cells that contain the virus.” – The Independent