Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Removal of HIV from Mice
Two sequential treatments are necessary to completely remove HIV from mice. The first treatment involves a long-acting slow-effective release (LASER) form of antiretroviral therapy (ART; the use of HIV medicines to treat HIV infection). The second treatment requires the removal of viral DNA using a gene editing tool called CRISPR-Cas9. LASER antiretroviral therapy medications take the form of nanocrystals that can quickly penetrate tissues with inactive HIV. Once inside the cells infected by HIV, the nanocrystals will release their payload gradually over several weeks. The purpose of LASER is to suppress HIV replication long enough for CRISPR-Cas9 to completely rid the cells of the viral DNA. Researchers treated mice models (with human T cells that could easily contract HIV) with LASER antiretroviral therapy followed by CRISPR-Cas9 and saw that there was no trace of HIV DNA in around one-third of the animals.
I thought this article was cool because there could be a possibility that HIV could be removed from humans using this method or a variation of it. I hope that it becomes possible in the near future because there is currently no cure for HIV. This article made me feel optimistic about how there will be many new discoveries of cures for incurable conditions in the near future.