Researchers Have Eliminated HIV In Mice For the First Time

pgmrdlm shares a report from USA Today: Researchers say they’ve successfully eliminated HIV from the DNA of infected mice for the first time, bringing them one step closer to curing the virus in humans. Scientists from Temple University and the University of Nebraska Medical Center were able to eliminate the virus using a combination of gene-editing technology and a slow-release antiviral drug, according to a study published Tuesday in Nature Communications.

Researchers used a new form of ART called LASER ART on 23 “humanized mice,” animals genetically modified to bear similarities to the human immune response. They were able to control the release and metabolism of the drug which allowed it to suppress virus replication for longer period of time. The team then excised the remaining integrated HIV genome using a gene-editing tool called CRISPR-Cas9 which allows scientists to operate on DNA to add or disable certain genes. Study author Howard Gendelman said its unclear how long it will take before clinical trials can begin noting that more research needs to be done into the potential of toxicity of gene modifying therapy and how to scale up the dose for humans.

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