Nanoparticles containing bee venom toxin melittin can destroy human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) while at the same time leaving surrounding cells unharmed, scientists from Washington University School of Medicine reported in the March 2013 issue of Antiviral Therapy.
“Our hope is that in places where HIV is running rampant, people could use this gel as a preventive measure to stop the initial infection.”
tumor Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculturehoney-bee products, including venom, could well have applications in cancer treatment and prevention
Normal cells remain intact
HIV is much smaller than the nanoparticles and fits in between the bumpers. When HIV comes across a nanoparticle it goes in between the bumpers and comes into direct contact with its surface, which is coated with the bee toxin, which destroys it.
“We are attacking an inherent physical property of HIV. Theoretically, there isn’t any way for the virus to adapt to that. The virus has to have a protective coat, a double-layered membrane that covers the virus.”
- A vaginal gel to prevent the spread of HIV infection
- Therapy for existing HIV infections, particularly drug-resistant ones
The hepatitis B and C viruses, among several others, rely on the same type of protective envelope and could be targeted and destroyed by administering melittin-loaded nanoparticles
Baby “functionally cured” of HIV infectiona baby who was administered antiretroviral therapy thirty hours after being born was “functionally cured”
Ramping up HIV antiretroviral treatments worth the extra costscaling up HIV antiretroviral treatment in a remote province of South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal) reduced the risk of transmitting HIV to sexual partners by 96%