View Full Version : Hopes for natural anti-HIV drugs

03-20-2006, 07:38 AM
Scientists have discovered a previously unknown mechanism that cells use to fight off HIV.
Two proteins that normally help repair cellular DNA were found also to destroy DNA made by HIV after it enters a human cell which it requires to survive.

It is hoped the breakthrough could lead to treatments to which the virus might be less able to adapt.

The Ohio State University study appears in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Currently, doctors treat HIV using combinations of drugs that target the virus itself, blocking its ability to reproduce and spread.

They have proved to be very effective, but there are concerns that HIV, deploying its ability to mutate rapidly, is becoming resistant to their impact.

Lead researcher Professor Richard Fishel said: "Our findings identify a new potential drug target, one that involves a natural host defence.

"HIV treatments that target cellular components should be far less likely to develop resistance."