Researchers eliminated HIV from the DNA of infected mice. It's the first step toward a cure for humans, they say
Authors: Scottie Andrew and Saeed Ahmed
Researchers have successfully eliminated HIV from the DNA of infected mice, a promising step toward a cure for the nearly 37 million people living with the virus.
In a study published Tuesday in Nature Communications, researchers from Temple University's Lewis Katz School of Medicine and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) coupled genome editing technology with a slow-release virus suppression drug to eliminate HIV cells entirely from some infected mice.
Current HIV treatment cannot eliminate the virus entirely but does suppress its replication. Antiretroviral therapy, or ART, requires lifelong use to stall the virus' spread and, as a May study found, can potentially end the transmission of HIV between sexual partners.
Testing their methods on a group of infected "humanized mice," or rodents engineered to produce human T cells susceptible to HIV, researchers administered a treatment called LASER ART, or long-acting, slow-effective release ART, to suppress HIV cells from replicating.
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