Scientists Successfully Remove HIV From Cells

Scientists from the University of Amsterdam have successfully removed HIV from cells using CRISPR/Cas9, a gene-editing technique that works similarly to a cookie cutter, focusing on HIV DNA at a small scale and removing all viral imprints at particular locations within infected cells.

Scientists Successfully Remove HIV From Cells 1

A gene-editing technique that won the 2020 Nobel Prize promises to progress HIV treatment and eliminate the need for long-term antiviral drugs. Nonetheless, there are still issues with how difficult it is to completely eradicate HIV from all infected cells.

In a preprint, Japanese scientists warn against blood transfusion from mRNA vaccine recipients, claiming that there are a variety of possible complications linked to blood transfusions from people who have received mRNA COVID-19 shots.

Using a revolutionary approach, researchers have effectively eliminated HIV from infected cells, increasing hopes for a potential treatment.

Through the use of specific proteins embedded on the surfaces of these cells, the team was also able to identify “hidden” HIV storage cells.

Researchers at the University of Amsterdam used CRISPR/Cas9, a gene-editing technique that won the Nobel Prize.

With a gene editor, one may precisely alter the DNA of plants, animals, and microorganisms. This technology has transformed the field of molecular life sciences, created new avenues for plant breeding, and aided in the creation of novel cancer treatments.

The device works similarly to a cookie cutter, focusing on HIV DNA at a small scale and removing all viral imprints at particular locations within infected cells. This makes it possible to remove undesirable genes or add new genetic material to cells.

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The researchers revealed that their work is a “proof of concept” when they were drafting their pre-conference abstract for the 34th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID 2024).

According to the researchers, “these findings represent a pivotal advancement towards designing a cure strategy.”

Dr. Elena Herrera Carrillo, a molecular virologist at Amsterdam University Medical Center and the study’s principal author, stated that their goal is to provide a treatment that may successfully combat several HIV strains.

The study’s conclusions differ from several other developments in the field. The approach was successfully used on monkeys in 2023, opening the door for the first human trials.

Several scientific projects have looked into employing CRISPR/Cas9 to combat HIV. Excision BioTherapies revealed that in one such project, three HIV-positive individuals had no alarming adverse effects after 48 weeks.

Nonetheless, Dr. Jonathan Stoye, a virus specialist at the Francis Crick Institute in London, informed the media that eradicating HIV from every cell infected in the body was “very difficult.”

He stressed that “It therefore seems likely that many years will elapse before any such Crispr-based therapy becomes routine — even assuming that it can be shown to be effective.”

HIV resides in immune system cells and uses these cells’ genetic replication machinery to replicate itself. Some cells go into a state of hibernation in response to effective treatment, retaining HIV DNA but not actively generating new viruses.

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