CHICAGO (AFP) – In a breakthrough that could potentially lead to a cure for HIV infection, scientists have discovered a way to remove the virus from infected cells, a study released Thursday said.
The scientists engineered an enzyme which attacks the DNA of the HIV virus and cuts it out of the infected cell, according to the study published in Science magazine.
The enzyme is still far from being ready to use as a treatment, the authors warned, but it offers a glimmer of hope for the more than 40 million people infected worldwide.
“A customized enzyme that effectively excises integrated HIV-1 from infected cells in vitro might one day help to eradicate (the) virus from AIDS patients,” Alan Engelman, of Harvard University’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, wrote in an article accompanying the study.
Obviously it’s a long ways away, but I’m going to predict that a cure is going to come from a novel approach like this one. Focus on removal off the virus from the cell instead of the destruction of the cell itself.