With more than 70 million people reportedly infected with the HIV virus, Scientists at the NIAID Laboratory of Viral Diseases have developed a novel treatment for HIV infection.
The scientists developed nucleic acids that encode novel chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) proteins that can be used to specifically kill HIV-infected cells within HIV-infected individuals.
When the CARs are expressed on host T cells (CAR T cells), they can be used to specifically kill HIV-infected cells within HIV-infected individuals. This technology can also be used to protect uninfected cells within HIV-infected individuals by rendering them resistant to infection by HIV.
There is a growing body of in vitro and in vivo data that provides support for the continued development of NIAID’s CAR T-cells as a treatment, and potential cure, for HIV infection
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 70 million have been infected with the HIV virus and about 35 million people have died of HIV.
Since the beginning of the epidemic, more than 70 million people have been infected with the HIV virus and about 35 million people have died of HIV. Globally, 36.7 million [30.8–42.9 million] people were living with HIV at the end of 2016. An estimated 0.8% [0.7-0.9%] of adults aged 15–49 years worldwide are living with HIV, although the burden of the epidemic continues to vary considerably between countries and regions. Sub-Saharan Africa remains most severely affected, with nearly 1 in every 25 adults (4.2%) living with HIV and accounting for nearly two-thirds of the people living with HIV worldwide. – WHO
NIAID scientists say the potential commercial applications include therapy for HIV infection and research on antiretroviral infection while it will also enhance potency for HIV inhibition and does not render transduced CD8T cells susceptible to HIV infection.