Researchers Claim Ability to Excise HIV from Cells

Researchers have claimed to cut HIV from Cells.

Researchers have successfully eradicated HIV from Infected Cells Using Nobel Prize-Winning CRISPR Gene-Editing Technology.

Operating akin to molecular scissors, CRISPR technology targets and cuts DNA, allowing for the removal or deactivation of problematic genetic segments. The ultimate goal is the complete eradication of the virus from the body, although extensive further research is imperative to ensure both safety and efficacy.

While current HIV medications can suppress the virus, they fall short of eliminating it altogether. Presenting an abstract of their preliminary findings at a medical conference, the University of Amsterdam team emphasizes that their work represents a proof of concept and does not offer an immediate cure for HIV.

Dr. James Dixon, an associate professor specializing in stem-cell and gene-therapy technologies at the University of Nottingham, concurs, underscoring the necessity for thorough examination of the complete findings. “Significant additional research will be necessary to verify whether the outcomes observed in these cellular assays can be replicated in an entire organism for potential therapeutic application,” he remarked.

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Several other research groups are exploring the application of CRISPR technology against HIV. Excision BioTherapeutics reports that three HIV-positive volunteers experienced no significant side effects after 48 weeks of treatment.

However, Dr. Jonathan Stoye, a virus expert at the Francis Crick Institute in London, cautions that eliminating HIV from all potential host cells in the body poses significant challenges. He highlights concerns regarding potential off-target effects and long-term side effects of the treatment.

“It is therefore likely to be many years before any CRISPR-based therapy becomes standard practice, even if its effectiveness can be demonstrated,” he added.

HIV infiltrates and damages immune system cells by exploiting their own machinery to replicate itself.

Despite effective treatment, some individuals enter a dormant or latent state where they harbor HIV DNA or genetic material without actively producing new virus particles. Consequently, most HIV patients require lifelong antiretroviral therapy to suppress the virus. Discontinuation of these medications can lead to reactivation of the dormant virus and recurrence of symptoms.

A select few cases have purportedly achieved “cure” status following aggressive cancer therapy, which inadvertently eliminated some HIV-infected cells. However, such an approach would never be advised solely for HIV treatment purposes.

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