Stem cell therapy shows advances in the fight against HIV

Scientists at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) have taken the fight against HIV one step further. They developed a tool that causes the body to fight the virus that causes AIDS and win. The new technique uses the ability of stem cells to regenerate to generate an immune response against the virus. The study was published in the scientific journal Molecular Therapy.

The study

Researchers Jerome Zack and Scott Kitchen were the first to report the use of a molecule called chimeric antigen receptor, or CAR , on blood-forming stem cells to fight HIV . Blood stem cells are capable of transforming into any type of blood cell, including T cells, which are central to the immune system. In a healthy immune system, T cells can usually rid the body of a viral or bacterial infection. However, in the case of patients with HIV, the virus mutates very quickly, so that the T cells cannot fight the infection.

The researchers inserted a CAR gene into blood-forming stem cells in the lab. CAR, which is a two-part receptor that recognizes an antigen, is designed to be transported by T cells and direct them to locate and kill HIV-infected cells. The CAR-modified blood stem cells were then transplanted into HIV-infected mice that had been genetically engineered with a human immune system (as a result, HIV infection causes illness similar to that in humans). T cells with CAR were able to fight the virus and there was a decrease in HIV levels of 80 to 95%.

A HIV epidemic

HIV infection, the virus that causes AIDS, is the world’s deadliest infectious disease, accounting for more than 40 million deaths worldwide since it was first identified in the early 1980s. invades the body, it targets and weakens the cells of the immune system to such an extent that the body is no longer able to fight even the simplest infections. Certain drugs help to weaken the virus, however, because the body cannot eliminate HIV completely, people remain infected for life.

Although drugs are effective in controlling the infection, most of the 35 million people infected with HIV worldwide do not have access to drugs. According to the researchers who coordinated this study, the T-cell approach is more flexible and potentially more effective because it could theoretically be used in any human being. If the next tests are promising, the scientists hope that this technology will be available for human application in 10 years.

HIV prevention

HIV still has no cure. It can be transmitted through contact with body fluids such as blood and semen. Some ways to prevent the disease include:

– Practicing sexual intercourse with condoms.

– Do not share needles and syringes.

– Wear gloves when handling wounds and body fluids.

– Test the blood before performing transfusions.

– For HIV-positive mothers, the use of antiretrovirals should be done throughout the pregnancy.

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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