CRISPR-Cas9 is a new genetic modification technology that alters the genome sequence by cutting double strands of DNA. CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) refers to gene editing technology. However, there is a report that the HIV virus was eliminated by using such gene-editing technology.
The researchers combined CRISPRCAS 9 gene-editing technology with a new drug under test to destroy the HIV virus from mouse genes. Of course, it is expected to be a new treatment method to fight HIV or AIDS. However, there is still a long way to go such as clinical trials.
It may feel silly to get rid of infections with gene editing techniques. HIV integrates and replicates itself in viral DNA. Anti-HIV treatment can inhibit HIV replication, but it cannot eliminate HIV altogether. This is because the dormant virus cannot be excreted from the body.
The new study, published in the journal Nature Communications, is that CRISPRCAS 9 has a synergistic effect when used in conjunction with existing ART and has succeeded in releasing viruses from biological genes.
In a mouse experiment with a genetically modified human-like gene sequence, the team reported that more than 30% of HIV-infected mice were completely eliminated from the HIV virus. It’s not a perfect result, but it’s a significant achievement. The research team says that non-human primate trials can now be conducted and that clinical trials on human patients will be possible within a few years.
According to the United Nations AIDS Program (UNAIDS), there are 37 million HIV-1 infections worldwide, and more than 5,000 new infections are reported every day. Although there are many mountains to overcome until clinical trials, it is necessary to explain that the success rate is low as it is a new study, and that it does not cause side effects to organs such as cancer through gene editing.
The researchers have shown that gene editing can be used to excise the infected gene in the DNA of infected HIV. However, this method cannot completely remove viruses as well as anti-HIV.
The research team noted that other teams have approached ART in a new form called Long Acting Slow Effective Release (LASER). The system targets the hiding places of the HIV virus. To do this, the drug must be wrapped in nanocrystals so that the HIV virus spreads to the tissues used as dormant dwellings. When the target site is reached, the nanocrystals stay inside the cell for several weeks and slowly release the drug.
The research team paid attention to this approach and is wondering whether HIV reproduction would be suppressed if the gene-editing technique was maintained in the body for a sufficient time to completely destroy viral DNA through LASER ART. The experiment combined LASER ART and gene editing technology in mice, and as a result, the virus was eliminated in the dormant blood, bone marrow, and lymph tissue that HIV favors hiding. There was no damage in the mouse cells.
Of course, experts say that this is a result of great interest, but the method has to be sustained for a long period of time in the body, and the concern that gene editing technology not only removes HIV from the cells, but may erase other things in the body in an uncontrollable form. It is also indicated. Anyway, the concept of removing the virus from HIV-infected mice is a good idea.
Anti-HIV therapy against AIDS has changed the lives of countless people, but it is not a fundamental treatment. Patients should be tested for the HIV virus and regularly checked and dosed to ensure that they do not reach a risk to the body. What is needed now is a treatment that completely eliminates HIV from the body. This study can be said to be meaningful in terms of research on fundamental treatments for AIDS. Related information can be found here .