Antibody kills 99 percent of HIV strains

Posted on 2017-10-13

An antibody is capable of killing 99% of all HIV strains. The study involved a tri-specific antibody consisting of 3 broadly neutralising antibodies.

Broadly neutralising antibodies are effective at attacking HIV and are considered vital in the fight against HIV. Those infected with the virus can have several strains of it present in their body due to HIV's nature to constantly mutate. However, broadly neutralising antibodies are capable of killing multiple strains of HIV and in a small minority of cases humans can produce these antibodies naturally.

Research carried out by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) in conjunction with pharmaceutical firm Sanofi, has produced an antibody which is 3 broadly neutralising antibodies stuck together and is being hailed as an "exciting breakthrough". Usually, these types of antibodies kill 90% of all strains but the tri-specific was observed to destroy 99%.

Monkeys received an injection of the tri-specific antibody and another injection full of the HIV virus. All 24 monkeys used in the study didn't contract an infection from HIV. After this extraordinary result, a clinical trial is expected to be conducted in 2018.

As Sanofi's Gary Nabel told the BBC, "[The tri-specific antibodies] are more potent and have greater breadth than any single naturally occurring antibody that's been discovered."

HIV is not as big as a killer as it was. It used to be a death sentence but now advancements in medicine and easier access to Anti-retroviral drugs, it has become a manageable condition with near normal life expectancy for 20-year-olds diagnosed with HIV. Although it is still estimated that 36.7 million people around the world are living with HIV/AIDS, so a cure and more effective treatment is still in high demand.

Source Science Alert, Futurism