HIV Cure: Antibody That Kills HIV Found
Since the AIDS virus was discovered in 1981, the epidemic has taken the lives of more than 25 million individuals and up to the present is one of the most major global health concerns.
Scientists from around the globe, armed with massive funding from wealthy donors have sought to find a cure all these years. Recently, there have been some progress done with using patients who have shown resistance to the virus ( See our article on ?Homo Superior ?Controllers? Hold Secret to HIV Cure ?
There is still however no cure found as the disease continues to claim lives to this day.
Recent news reports however have given hope to those who are afflicted.
A group of scientists from South Africa has been able to map out the transformation of an ?antibody? that has managed to kill various strains of HIV.
This discovery is vital to the development of an HIV / AIDS cure as this antibody will be the basis of a vaccine that will finally have the capability of eradicating the disease.
The female patient has reportedly produced ? broadly neutralizing antibodies? that was able to damage the outer protective layer of the HIV virus and kill it. In previous studies, it has been noted that most antibodies produced by patients do not affect the HIV virus at all.
Penny Moore, one of the scientists, said that ? The outer covering of HIV has a coating of sugars that prevents antibodies from reaching the surface to neutralize the virus. In this patient, we found that her antibodies had ‘long arms’, which enabled them to reach through the sugar coat that protects HIV?.
The head of the virology unit of the NICD, Ms. Lynn Morris, also shared that these scientists and researchers have been able to succeed in cloning the antibodies and are currently testing if it has the ability to immunize an individual who has not yet contracted the HIV virus.
The testing needed to eventually create an HIV vaccine is currently limited to primates and human testing is still estimated to be conducted 2 years from now. She added that ? We are going to test them first on monkeys and if it works on monkeys we will go on to humans?.
Other developments on the search for an HIV cure was also reported from Munich.
The German Research Centre for Environmental Health has discovered that geranium plants were able to produce substances that can prevent the HIV 1 virus from infecting individuals (Note: HIV has two variants: HIV 1 and HIV 2).
The plant, Pelargonium sidoides (interestingly, it comes from South Africa), produces extracts that protects the immune cells and blood from being infected by the HIV virus. This is achieved by preventing the virus from attaching itself to the cells of humans and replicating.
The scientists who discovered this are hoping that the extract will not only prevent the virus from replicating itself but will also stop it from invading the cells as well.
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