The fight against the human immunodeficiency virus has been going on for many years with the help of many teams of scientists from different countries. This retrovirus, which causes HIV infection, has infected more than 60 million people in the history of human existence. More than two-thirds of this number lives in Africa south of the Sahara desert. But the virus is spreading most rapidly in the countries of Central Asia and Eastern Europe. That is why the researchers do not abandon attempts to find a way to defeat this dangerous disease. And American biologists, like no one else, have come close to solving this problem.
Employees of the University of Pennsylvania managed to modify the DNA of immune cells in such a way that they began to identify cells infected with HIV, until the virus managed to destroy the body’s immunity. Tests with the participation of laboratory mice confirmed the success of the new method of fighting the virus. At the moment, scientists are extremely optimistic, because a new way to fight the virus can be used to protect humanity from it.
“For the first time, we proved that transgenic T-cells are able to protect the living organism from the return of infection after the antiretroviral drugs were stopped. Our next step is to transfer the HIV control method from the laboratory to clinical practice, “said one of the study’s leaders, James Riley.
A scientist from the University of Pennsylvania managed to reprogram the immune cells in such a way that they produce antibodies that attach to HIV particles, making them visible to the immune system of the body. Previously, this therapy was used to combat cancer. That is why the researchers decided to test it in the case of fighting HIV. The original version of the cells was not actively fighting HIV, which is why scientists had to modify them in such a way that the efficiency increased 50 times. After that, HIV inside the body was finally defeated. The results of the research were published in the journal PLoS Pathogens.