In late 2020, over 37 million people around the globe were living with HIV. There are about 1.2 million people only in the US who are living with the virus. For many years, medical researchers have tried to discover an efficient treatment for HIV/AIDS, and they may finally have the solution.
A new study led by Dr. Adi Barzel and Ph.D. student Alessio Nehmad from the TAU School of Neurobiology, Biochemistry, and Biophysics reveals that a new possible treatment for HIV/AIDS might prove itself very useful. If the treatment is successful, a single vaccine dose will solve the problem in patients suffering from AIDS, according to The Jerusalem Post. Researchers from the USA and Israel also had their contributions to the study.
The bacteria use CRISPR systems to disable viral sequences
The potential treatment works by deploying a bacterial immune system to tackle viruses. CRISPR systems are used to find viral sequences and disable them.
The researchers had the purpose of genetically engineering-type B white blood cells, which are responsible for creating antibodies, from an AIDS patient to secrete neutralizing antibodies to tackle HIV.
Dr. Barzel explained:
Until now, only a few scientists, and we among them, had been able to engineer B cells outside of the body, and in this study, we were the first to do this in the body and to make these cells generate desired antibodies.
Another important statement from Ph.D. student Alessio Nehmad said:
We incorporated the capability of a CRISPR to direct the introduction of genes into desired sites along with the capabilities of viral carriers to bring desired genes to desired cells. Thus, we were able to engineer the B cells inside the patient’s body.
A person can get infected with HIV mainly by having unprotected sex or getting into contact with contaminated blood.
The new study was published in Nature Biotechnology.