Scientists have found a way to make cells resistant to HIV and it could be a huge breakthrough.
With over 100,000 people affected by HIV in the UK, researchers have now found way to make cells immune to the infection which could stem the virus spreading and potentially act as a cure.
Scientists have incredibly managed to attach HIV-fighting antibodies to cells which are immune, therefore creating a bunch of cells which are miraculously resistant to the deadly virus, Science Daily reports.
The idea is these resistant cells would then replace infected cells, which would currently deem it more effective than other therapies.
Now, researchers want to team up with investigators at City of Hope’s Centre for Gene Therapy, in California so they can conduct safety tests and evaluate the efficiency of the therapy.
This new life-changing piece of research was conducted at The Scripps Research Institute, in San Diego where they first tested their theories against the rhinovirus – behind the common cold.
The scientists synthesised antibodies with the human cell receptor, which then acts as a barrier, preventing the virus from entering and spreading the infection further.
In the study, the cells without the antibodies died and the protected cells multiplied and passed on their protective barrier to new cells.
This technique was then applied to HIV which had a similar outcome.
Senior author behind the study and Professor of Immunochemistry, Dr Richard Lerner said:
This is really a form of cellular vaccination.
Other therapies apparently allow antibodies to float in the bloodstream, although senior staff scientist Dr Jia Xie, has said this new system called the ‘neighbour effect’ is much more effective.
The scientists are hoping HIV will be able to be controlled in people with AIDS, without any need for further medicines.
The City of Hope’s Dr Dr Joseph Alvarnas said:
HIV is treatable but not curable – this remains a disease that causes a lot of suffering. That makes the case for why these technologies are so important.
This could be life-changing for people with the deadly infection and could perhaps one day prevent it from spreading.
This is huge news in the world of science and could save thousands of lives across the globe.
Fingers crossed they can push forward with their research.