A glimmer of hope: researchers to remove HIV from living mice

U.S. researchers have the Aids virus HIV from the genome of live animals removed. With a combination of modern medicines and the Genschere CRISPR/Cas9, had succeeded, they report in the journal “Nature Communications”. In 5 of 13 treated mice, the Virus was not, therefore, up to 5 weeks after the treatment is undetectable. With the help of therapy, therefore, those viruses has been found to be inactive in the genome of the cells of the body to rest – the human resources used to the create.

Long a HIV-infection was considered a death sentence. Meanwhile, the Aids can be agents with anti-retroviral drugs well in check. Studies have also shown that HIV under effective therapy is contagious. The funds must be for life taken, and can have a long duration of use side effects.

In the case of repeated treatment, the virus level decreased in about a third of the animals to a non-detectable level. In mice that were treated with only one of the methods, remained the Virus, however, continue to exist. “This study marks an important step towards the development of a possible cure for the HIV infection in humans,” said Temple University.

The results of the combined therapy are promising, there is a need for still further research. “We now have a clear path to monkeys and, possibly, clinical trials in humans within a year,” says Khalili.

A cure for HIV in sight?

It was a “very important study,” said Ruth Brack-Werner, Virologist at the Helmholtz-Zentrum in Munich, which was not involved in the study. With regard to the development of a cure for people, they urged patience. “It is a step, but we are not there yet.” The number of mice studied was very low. First of all, the efficiency of the approach needs to be improved, then Tests of other kinds of animals were necessary. “Indirectly, there is a glimmer of hope, directly applicable to the people there is still, however, there is still a lot of development work needs to be done.”

According to estimates by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Berlin, around 86,000 people in Germany are living with the HI Virus. Increasingly, the way to protect yourself as a healthy person with drugs against HIV infection will be used. Especially gay men using the HIV-prophylaxis, “PrEP” (pre-exposure prophylaxis). Experts hope that, as a result, the number of new Infections is reduced significantly.

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