Люди во время встречи первого восхода солнца Нового 2023 года в Сеуле  - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.04.2023
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Hope for a Cure: Scientists Successfully Remove HIV From Cells

CC0 / / HIV
HIV - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.03.2024
A 2020 Nobel Prize-winning gene-editing method promises to advance the cure of HIV, halting the need for long-term antiviral medication. However, challenges remain around the complexity of eradicating HIV from all infected cells.
Researchers have successfully removed HIV from infected cells using a novel technique, raising hopes of a cure.
The team was also able to pick out “hidden” HIV storage cells, focusing on distinct proteins lodged on these cell surfaces.
Scientists from the University of Amsterdam employed the Nobel Prize winning gene-editing tool CRISPR/Cas9.
The gene editor is used to change animal, plant, and microorganism DNAs with extremely high precision. This technology has revolutionized molecular life sciences, opened new plant-breeding opportunities, and contributed to the development of new cancer therapies.
The tool functions like a cookie cutter, targeting HIV DNA at a microscopic level and cutting out all viral imprints at specific points in infected cells. This enables the elimination of unwanted genes or the introduction of new genetic materials into cells.
Drafting their pre-conference abstract for the forthcoming 34th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID 2024), the researchers disclosed that their work is a “proof of concept.”
“these findings represent a pivotal advancement towards designing a cure strategy,” they said.
Molecular virologist and the study’s lead author, Dr Elena Herrera Carrillo from Amsterdam University Medical Center, said that they aim to offer a therapy that can tackle multiple HIV strains effectively.
Health workers participate in a demonstration to mark World AIDs Day, in Karachi, Pakistan, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.12.2022
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The research findings stand out from several advances in the field. In 2023, the method was successfully applied to monkeys, paving the way for initial human trials.
Other scientific endeavors have explored using CRISPR/Cas9 against HIV. In one of such undertaking, Excision BioTherapies disclosed that after 48 weeks, three HIV-positive participants showed no concerning side effects.
However, a virus expert, Dr. Jonathan Stoye, at the Francis Crick Institute, London, told the press that eliminating HIV from all the infected cells in the body was “extremely challenging.”
He stressed that “It therefore seems likely that many years will elapse before any such Crispr-based therapy becomes routine — even assuming that it can be shown to be effective."
HIV infects immune system cells, hijacking their genetic replication system to make copies of itself. Despite effective treatment, some cells enter a form of hibernation, harboring HIV DNA without actively producing a new virus.
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