New gel may prevent and protect against HIV transmission
- Day after Rahul Gandhi slams PM Modi, Amit Shah condemns politics over surgical strikes
- Prohibition to stay in Bihar: SC stays Patna HC judgment setting aside liquor ban
- US says does not support declaring Pakistan a 'terrorist state'
- Talk on stage at Parrikar event: 200 killed, atom bomb vs atom bomb
- Hurricane Matthew: Haiti death toll rises to 339, deadly storm hits Florida
A new vaginal microbicide gel could be highly effective in blocking infection by the AIDS virus, a new study has claimed
Researchers led by Dereuddre-Bosquet from the European Combined Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Microbicides (CHAARM) Consortium describe the gel's key ingredient, which are small peptides engineered to present a decoy to bind up the virus and prevent it from entering and infecting the body cells.
Because this is a gel it can be topically applied and could represent a powerful preventative agent against sexual transmission of HIV.
The scientific community, worldwide, is working on the development of a vaccine against HIV. To date, few treatments that block virus entry have shown promising protection.
Research is also focused on the reduction of the spread of the virus by the application of a microbicide gel to protect users during intercourse which is a time of first exposure to virus.
Bosquet and colleagues engineered peptides named "miniCD4s" because they mimic the CD4 receptor used by HIV to gain entry into immune cells of the body.
The study shows that the miniCD4s blocks HIV entry into isolated cells in a dish and tissue models that mimic mucous membranes which are points of virus entry.
The authors then formulated miniCD4s at 0.3 per cent in a microbicide gel that was vaginally applied to six female cynomolgus macaques monkeys for one hour before the animals were given a high dose of the virus also in the vagina.
This dose would ordinarily make the animals prone to infection but instead, five of the six were completely protected from HIV infection. No trace of virus was found in any body tissue.
They were also unable to detect any antibodies to the virus in the plasma of the animals, indicating that the virus was completely repelled and there was full protection.
- Revealing Elena Ferrante’s identity violates her desire for privacy
- Breakdown of LoC ceasefire will make it difficult for army to control infiltration
- Academic publishers suit shows how much they benefitted from intellectual commons
- Lack of unity has prevented Sindhi nationalists from pressuring Islamabad
- India must be prepared to deal with a disease that is growing globally
- Challenge for India’s leaders is to show that strength can be blended with subtlety & deftness