US scientists develop new molecule that can 'kick and kill' HIV virus

Updated On : 06 Oct , 2017 , 07:37 PM
 US scientists develop new molecule that can 'kick and kill' HIV virus
US scientists develop new molecule that can 'kick and kill' HIV virus
New Delhi:

HIV is regarded as one of the fatal diseases and continues to remain a major public health issue all across the globe. 

In 2016, about 36.7 million people were suffering from HIV and out of them, 1.8 million were children. Shockingly, around 30 percent of them are not aware that they have the virus. 

Scientists have been trying to find out ways through which they can eliminate the 'reservoirs', where the HIV virus hides. It appears as if the researchers may have been able to develop the solution.

Scientists have developed a technique called 'Kick and Kill' against the HIV which uses a molecule to awaken the dormant virus cells and after this knocks them out. 

According to researchers at the University of California, the current anti-AIDS drugs are sufficient enough in making HIV undetectable and allowing the person infected with the virus to live longer. 

The treatment called antiretroviral therapy also reduces the risk of transmission from one person to another. 

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The medications, however, do not actually help the body in getting rid of the virus, which has the ability to dodge the medications by lying dormant in cells known as CD4+ T cells. These cells signal another type of T cell called CD8, to destroy the HIV-infected cells.

When a person infected with HIV stops the treatment, then the virus emerges again and replicates inside the body. This weakens the immune system and raises the risk of opportunistic infections which can even kill the patient. 

Scientists approach include sending an agent to awake the dormant virus, which will cause it to begin replicating. This will ensure that either the immune system or the virus would kill the cell which harbors HIV. 

The technique is yet to be tested on humans yet, but the but the synthetic molecule developed by scientists has been effective enough in kicking and killing the HIV virus in the lab animals.

First Published : Friday, October 06, 2017 07:10 PM
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