Scientists have discovered a new therapy based on antibodies that could reduce the amount of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the blood of an infected person, as published today in the journal "Nature".
Researchers at Rockefeller University (USA) have carried out the first test in a man of a new generation of so-called broadly neutralizing antibodies, able to fight many strains of HIV.
In a person infected with HIV there is a struggle between the virus and the immune system, which defends against external agent that invaded the body, explained Marina Coaskey, co-author of the study.
Despite the fact that the body produces antibodies to attack the virus, it is constantly changing to escape and remains at all times a few steps ahead of antibodies.
This new research has found that administration of an antibody called powerful 3BNC117 "may surprise HIV with your guard down and reduce their viral load, said the researcher.
"What's so special about these antibodies is that they are acting against over 80 percent of HIV cases and the strains are extremely powerful," said Caskey.
The broadly neutralizing antibodies, naturally occurring and between 10% 30% of people with HIV but do only several years after infection.
At this point, the virus has evolved to evade enough powerful of these antibodies.
Scientists have isolated and cloned the 3BNC117 antibody "obtained from long-term patients and have been applied more recently to infected individuals in order to test their effectiveness.
Previous research has demonstrated the role of these antibodies to suppress infection in mice, but this is the first time the new generation of antibodies against HIV is tested in humans.
According to the study, the more likely it is that the 3BNC117, as with other antiretroviral agents, is used in combination with other antibodies or drugs to keep under control the infection.
"One only antibody as a remedy by itself, is not sufficient to suppress viral load for a long period of time will arise due to resistance", said Caskey.
In addition to the possibility of treatment, this study also raises hopes to create a vaccine against HIV since this therapy can help block the infection before it can develop the disease.