Scientists from the University of Nebraska Medical Center for the first time in history managed to completely remove the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from a living organism. To this end, they resorted to gene modification and complex counteraction to the disease.
Treating HIV complicates the ability of the virus to hide from the immune system. This allows it to freely multiply and spread throughout the body. Doctors managed to create drugs that slow down the development of the disease and block its transmission, but so far there is not a single means to completely neutralize the disease. Therefore, scientists have decided to use gene modification.
Specialists at the University of Nebraska Medical Center have proposed a new method of combating HIV, combining the use of the CRISPR-Cas9 and LASER ART gene modifier - the gradual introduction of a drug that limits the ability of the virus to reproduce. The combination was extremely effective.
Experimental method tested in mice. First, rodents were infected with HIV, and then treated with LASER ART. When the levels of the virus in the organisms were reduced to extremely low values, the researchers cut out the DNA sequences from the infected cells using CRISPR-Cas9. As a result, the virus was completely removed from the mice.
The lead author of the study, Kamel Khalili, noted that the next step would be testing a new method of treatment in primates. He also does not exclude the possibility of clinical trials in humans over the coming year.
Recall that at the end of last year, genetically modified girls were born in China, who with the help of CRISPR "turned off" the CCR5 gene, which is involved in the development of HIV. The experiment of Chinese scientists was criticized all over the world, and the Chinese authorities have banned the genetic modification of people.