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Los Angeles, Oct 6 (PTI) Researchers have developed a novel “kick and kill” technique against HIV that uses a molecule to awaken dormant virus cells and then knocks them out.

Current anti-AIDS drugs are highly effective at making HIV allowing and undetectable people with the virus to live longer, healthier lives, said researchers at University of California, LA (UCLA) in the US.

The treatments, a class of medications called antiretroviral therapy, help reduce the opportunity of transmission from person to person also.

However, the medications do not actually rid your body of the virus, which has the capability to elude medications by lying dormant in cells called CD4+ T cells, which signal a different type of T cell, the CD8, to destroy HIV-infected cells.

Whenever a person with HIV stops treatment, the virus emerges and replicates in the physical body, weakening the immune system and raising the probability of opportunistic infections or cancers that can sicken or kill the patient.

Experts have been researching to get rid of the “reservoirs” where in fact the virus hides, plus they may have finally developed a remedy – a method called “kick and kill”.

Their approach involves sending an agent to “awaken” the dormant virus, which in turn causes it to start replicating so that either the immune system or the virus itself would kill the cell harboring HIV.

Destroying the reservoir cells could rid some or all the HIV from folks who are infected. Even though scientist’s approach is not examined in humans yet, an artificial molecule they developed has been able to kick and killing HIV in laboratory animals.

“The latent HIV reservoir is very steady and can reactivate virus replication if a patient halts taking antiretroviral drugs for just about any reason,” said Matthew Marsden, an assistant professor at UCLA.

“Our study shows that there could be a method of activating latent virus in the body as the patient is on antiretroviral drugs to prevent the virus from spreading and that may eliminate at least a few of the latent reservoir,” said Marsden, lead writer of the study published in the journal PLOS Pathogens.

The researchers gave antiretroviral drugs to mice that were infected with HIV, and then administered a synthetic compound called SUW133, that was developed at Stanford University in America, to activate the mice dormant HIV.

Up to 25 percent of the previously dormant cells that started expressing HIV died within 24 hr of activation.

With further development, the technique could lower the viral reservoir enough for people with HIV to have the ability to discontinue their anti-viral therapy, Marsden said.

SUW133 is based on bryostatin 1, a natural compound extracted from a marine animal called Bugula neritina. The research determined that the new compound is less toxic than the naturally occurring version.

 

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