HIV vaccine technology may have taken a huge step forward recently, thanks to researchers at the University of Montreal in Canada.
Until now, a major problem facing doctors and scientists hoping to find a vaccine and/or cure for HIV has been the unique way that the virus manages to evade the human immune system.
While the host body creates antibodies against HIV, the virus remains the equivalent to a tightly sealed can – antibodies are unable to reach the most vulnerable parts of the virus in order to eliminate the infection.
But a recently developed molecule known as JP-III-48 has had a groundbreaking impact on samples from HIV-positive patients – according to researchers, the molecule has the ability to act like a microscopic can-opener, revealing the inner workings of the virus to potential antibodies.
Understanding The Study
Researchers on the recent study(1) explain the complex process:
“The virus has to get rid of the CD4 proteins to protect itself,” Jonathan Richard, the study’s lead author, explains – CD4 proteins are located in T-cells, and allow for the immune system to be infected by HIV.
“Adding the small molecule forces the viral envelop to open, like a flower. The antibodies that are naturally present after the infection can then target the infected cells so they are killed by the immune system.”(2)
In other words, this new molecule may just provide the human body with the opportunity it needs to fight the HIV virus effectively.
Looking At Current HIV Treatments
Scientists have been working around the clock to devise a vaccine or cure for HIV/AIDS for decades, ever since the devastating impact that the massive outbreak known as the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s had on marginalized communities, especially LGBT individuals. Activists, along with scientists, have been behind the push for a cure.
Antiretroviral drugs are currently used to slow the spread of the virus and prevent HIV from escalating into the AIDS virus. Combined with lifestyle factors, many individuals living with HIV rely on this “shock and kill” therapy to keep their T-cell counts under control.
But while many individuals living with HIV today have higher quality of life standards than previous generations of HIV sufferers did, a vaccine or a cure seems a long way off still.
Implications For Future Treatment
This new discovery could help researchers develop a two-part vaccine to prevent HIV infection. Using this new family of molecules, antibodies are more easily generated, and can attack the virus on a cellular level.
But this discovery also is helping to pave the way for the development of a cure for individuals already infected with HIV and AIDS as well.
Researchers hope that the next step in looking at this molecule is to test its “can-opener” effect in monkeys.
- Pregnancy Test Leads To Cancer Diagnosis For Teenage Boy
When 18 year old Byron Geldard was diagnosed with cancer, doctors were stumped as to what kind of cancer he …
- Drinking More Than Two Diet Sodas Per Day Make You Twice As Likely To Get Heart Disease
A massive study led by researchers at Tufts University may give many people cause to consider cutting soft drinks out …
- Johnson & Johnson Loses Again, Jury Awards Woman $70m For Baby Powder Causing Her Cancer
In another high-profile case, a California woman has won 70$ million in her lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson. She claimed …
- Cannabis Oil Cured Girl’s Leukemia After HPV Vaccine Broke Down Her Body
Did you know that many children who have received the Gardasil vaccine have also been affected by leukemia and other …
- Aboriginal Plant Extracts Show Properties That Can Help Treat Diabetes and Cancer, Study Finds
Type 2 diabetes is a serious public health concern in many countries – it’s one of the fasted growing metabolic …
- Regular Coffee Consumption Helps Protect DNA, Researchers Say
Coffee production is at an all-time high right now – according to the International Coffee Organization, worldwide production of coffee …
- Here’s Why Washing Your Dishes By Hand Is Less Clean And Efficient Than You Think
Although dishwashers have been prevalent for well over a century, many people still rely on washing their dishes by hand, …
- Eating Fatty Foods Help Protect Your Brain Against Diseases Like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
The human brain is truly a marvelous thing! Scientists understand only a fraction of what the brain is capable of …
- Researchers Expose How Fluoride In Water Supply Is Making Us Sick and Depressed
New research from the Centre for Health Services Studies at the University of Kent is leading to calls for more …
- Ireland Makes Gutsy Move Against Tobacco Industry And Bans Branded Packaging
Following in the footsteps of Canada and other countries that have chosen to federally regulate the appearance of cigarette containers …
- Maple Syrup Extract Makes Disease-Causing Bacteria More Vulnerable To Antibiotics
Who doesn’t love maple syrup? It’s sweet and goes well with french toast or pancakes! But maple syrup is so much more …
- Endocannabinoid Deficiency Could Be To Blame For Your Chronic Health Conditions, Study Finds
The medical uses of cannabis are a hotly contested area of medicine right now; with many states in the USA …
- 3 Easy Rules to Follow For Permanent Weight Loss, According To Science
Getting people to eat healthier is a goal that many public health initiatives have struggled with. Just getting people to …
- Eating Vegetables and Proteins Before Carbs Helps Keep Your Blood Sugar Levels In Check
A new study published in the Journal of Diabetes Care says that how, in addition to what, you eat may …
- They Gave This Man Suffering From Alzheimer’s an iPod…Wait Until You See How He Reacts!
Alzheimer’s disease is an international health concern – the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and the …