German scientists have engineered an enzyme that cuts HIV DNA out of infected cells.
It’s a new approach that would eliminate the virus rather than suppressing it like current treatments do.
The research is in the early stages — it hasn’t even been tested in animals yet. But it could be a revolutionary approach for the 40 million people worldwide infected with HIV.
Apparently HIV is good at avoiding detection inside a cell, so a key part of the finding, published June 29th in Science, is that the enzyme that can sniff out the virus.
This ability to recognize HIV’s DNA might one day help overcome one of the biggest obstacles to finding a cure: the ability of the HIV virus to avoid detection by reverting to a resting state within infected cells which then cease to produce the virus for months or even years.