A single injection to treat HIV? This new treatment raises great hope

A new study by Israeli and American researchers raises great hope in the fight against HIV. The new treatment will make it possible to permanently get rid of the virus … in a single injection.

This is a new and potentially crucial advance in the fight against HIV. In a study published in the journal temper nature On June 9, 2022 a team from Tel Aviv University announced that it had paved the way for One time treatment For patients with the virus thanks to a new technology consisting of genetically modified immune cells directly into the body.

Thus, scientists succeeded in industry He lives B lymphocyte typeproduction of immunoglobulins (proteins whose role is to destroy molecules recognized as foreign to the body, such as viruses, bacteria and other parasites), so that infected people can develop antibodies against HIV.

Researchers were able to ‘disable’ HIV

B lymphocytes are white blood cells that are made in the heart of the bone marrow and, once mature, circulate in the blood and lymphatic system to participate in the body’s natural defenses.

And if previous work showed the possibility of transplanting white blood cells modified to specifically neutralize HIV, this new treatment would be able to create these B lymphocytes directly into the heart of the recipient’s body without worrying about a potential compatibility issue, thanks to CRISPR-Cas9 gene technology.

Developed in 2012 by researchers Emmanuel Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna, 2020 Nobel Prize Winners in ChemistryIn short, this technology makes it possible to “cut” DNA at specific sites, in any cell, and render it inoperable. In this particular case, Cas9, a protein of bacterial origin with antiviral properties, is used to cut the DNA of the virus and thus “inactivate” it.

“Until now, only a few scientists have been able to engineer B cells outside the body, and in this study, we were the first to do so inside the body while these cells generate the required antibodies.”details Dr. Adi Barzel, co-lead author of the study, in a press release.

“Defeat the virus with one injection”

Tested on mice with a single intravenous injection per person, the treatment showed convincing results, with guinea pigs developing an excellent immune response and displaying large amounts of HIV antibodies in their blood. Success undoubtedly opens up a host of new possibilities for treating the virus.

We have developed an innovative treatment that can defeat the virus with a single injection, with the potential to significantly improve the condition of patients. When the modified B cells encounter the virus, the virus stimulates them and encourages them to divide, so we use the very cause of the disease to fight it.”, excited Dr. Uday Barzel.

even better: “If the virus changes, the B cells will also change accordingly in order to fight it, So we created the first drug that can develop in the body and eliminate viruses in the “arms race.”.

And this hack could find many uses other than fighting HIV, according to the researcher: “Based on this study, we can expect that in the coming years we will be able to produce a drug for AIDS, as well as for other infectious diseases and certain types of cancers caused by a virus, such as cervical and head and neck cancer.”

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