Scientists from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), have discovered a new method of treating the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that could help to create a reliable method of curing patients
In a publication in the Nature Communications medical journal, UCLA researchers said they had upgraded a method developed in 2017 to flush and kill a hidden HIV virus lying dormant in human cells.
The 2017 method suggests using a special synthetic compound to activate a dormant HIV virus. The method was tested on mice with an altered immune system that resembles that of a human in combination with antiretroviral drugs normally used to kill an active HIV virus.
The earlier method killed some 25% of HIV virus in mice within 24 hours, but is not ideal, according to the study. The group of UCLA researchers, however, added "healthy natural killer cells", like those produced in a healthy human, to eliminate the reactivated HIV virus in mice. As a result of their tests, UCLA researchers reported a full elimination of the virus from the bodies of 40% of the mice in the study.
The research gives extra hope to millions who suffer from HIV, that a cure will be found before the onset of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Currently, UCLA researchers are reported to be working to bring the success rate up to 100%. Further testing is hoped to reach the human trials stage.