New hope has sprung for HIV patients as a team of experts discovers an evolving antibody.
HIV remains as one of the deadliest viruses that attack the immune system and despite intensive research and study, no sure treatment has been found so far.
Experts have been searching for an antibody capable of attaching itself onto the virus purposely to immobilize.
Lately, however, new hope has sprung for HIV patients as a team from the National Institutes of Health seem to have discovered one.
The human body is armed with antibodies whose function is to protect its system from attacking viruses. Antibodies do this by immobilizing viruses, stopping it from multiplying further. White blood cells kill the viruses once they’re unable to move.
Antibodies can be likened to a bunch of keys each with a corresponding antigen that it can lock out of the system. But the problem with HIV is that it is so good at evading antibodies, making it difficult to keep them at bay.
Scientific studies back in 2009 reveal that antibodies have difficulty completely attaching themselves to the killer virus because they aren’t flexible enough. Stretching far enough to fully embrace HIV isn’t one of its nature.
But there’s a recent report about a procedure that holds some promise. When an antibody is cut off or separated from HIV patients, the same antibody is able to kill sample HIVs at a success rate of almost 100 percent.
Scientists observed that in isolation, the antibody reinvents itself, dropping its typical HIV attack style. It has evolved into a new antibody that can potently eradicate HIV-1.
Scientists called this the N6 antibody. Once it is cut-off and reproduced in large numbers, there’s a big chance that it can overpower and kill HIV. It may even replace antiretroviral medications widely used by HIV sufferers.
Some patients taking antiretroviral medications reportedly experience bleeding, bone loss, and heart ailments,
So far, the effectiveness of N6 is limited to active HIV samplings only. Also, there is no confirmation if it can help reduce the number of dormant viruses lurking in a person’s system.
Still, there is hope of coming up with a treatment that will effectively thwart active and dormant HIV and it could be in the guise of this N6. But then again, series of human trials will have to be conducted first.
Until a proven and effect treatment for HIV can be found, health officials are still adamant about the importance of practicing safe sex and getting routine testing for STDs.