Navigation Links
Possible AIDS Treatment Shows Promise in Monkeys

It stops virus from fooling immune cells, researchers say

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers report that a treatment under development appears to stop the equivalent of the AIDS virus in monkeys.

Nine rhesus macaque monkeys infected with a virus known as SIV underwent treatment and remain alive eight months later. The treatment appears to work by preventing virus cells from fooling the immune system.

There's no guarantee that the treatment will work in people. But if it's effective in humans, the treatment could allow patients to avoid taking AIDS drugs for the rest of their lives, said study co-author Rama Rao Amara, an assistant professor at Emory University's Yerkes National Primate Research Center.

"If you wake up and realize you don't have to take a pill, it's a big step forward," he said. In addition, he said, current AIDS drugs are expensive and have serious side effects.

Existing AIDS drugs do have benefits: They're often effective and have allowed patients to live normal lives. However, they can't always keep up with the AIDS virus, which evolves quickly and can become immune to current treatments.

"The virus changes and then these drugs don't work after some time," Amara said.

In the new study, Amara and colleagues injected nine monkeys with an antibody that blocks a kind of "don't kill me" signal that cells infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) send to immune cells.

When the SIV-infected cells emit the signal, "the killer cell thinks, 'You are not my enemy. You're my friend,'" Amara said. But when the signal is blocked, the killer immune cells can do their job and wipe out the virus.

The researchers gave four injections of the antibody to the monkeys over 10 days and then watched to see what happened.

The study appears in the Dec. 10 online edition of Nature

The monkeys, infected with SIV for as long as 21 months, were able to beat back the virus. Levels of virus in the blood dropped and the animals remained alive.

By contrast, four out of five monkeys who received a "control" antibody died within four months.

"What is amazing to me how rapidly you can actually change these killer cells," Amara said. "Now they are good cells."

The work of the monkeys is done and they will be euthanized, Amara said. It is too expensive -- $7 a day each -- to pay for their care with available funding, he said.

In humans, the treatment could cost a couple thousand dollars per dose, Amara said, although patients might then avoid taking drugs for life.

Dr. Mark Connors, a specialist in AIDS research, said the research is "clearly valid and very interesting. I'm sure it's going to generate debate over the next year or so as to what it means."

Even skeptics may be convinced by evidence that the treatment directly affects survival and the level of the virus in the body, said Connors, chief of the HIV-Specific Immunity Section at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases.

As for the future, Connors said he's "guardedly optimistic" that the treatment could be used in humans, perhaps in conjunction with other medications.

More information

To learn more about AIDS, go to

SOURCES: Rama Rao Amara, Ph.D., assistant professor, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta; Mark Connors, M.D., chief, HIV-Specific Immunity Section, U.S. National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, Md.; Dec. 10, 2008, Nature, online

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Condell Health Network and Medical Center to Pay $36 Million Settlement After Self-Reporting Possible Health-Care Fraud
2. Great California Workplace Award Goes to Company Facing Lawsuits, Possible Federal Complaint
3. Finding Points to Possible Blood Test for Brain Tumors
4. Revolutionary Procedure for the Treatment of Gastroesophageal Reflux Now Possible in San Francisco Thanks to Dr. Paul Cirangle
5. Possible link between diabetes and pelvic girdle syndrome
6. Possible association between CP and LC of alcoholic etiology
7. Researchers identify mechanism, possible drug treatment for tumors in neurofibromatosis
8. Sugammadex Study First to Show Rapid Reversal of Profound Rocuronium-Induced Muscle Relaxation is Possible
9. LegalView Informs Patients of Possible Cimzia Cancer Link, Drug Commonly Used to Treat Arthritis
10. Later Use of Clot-Buster After Stroke Possible: Study
11. Study: Delaying evolution of drug resistance in malaria parasite possible
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Possible AIDS Treatment Shows Promise in Monkeys
(Date:11/27/2015)... Canada (PRWEB) , ... November 28, 2015 , ... There ... do we outperform our billings from last year? , This question has not been ... organizations are coming to the retirement age and the younger workforce don’t share the ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The rapid ... America. As people age, more care is needed, especially with Alzheimer’s, dementia and ... professionals are being overworked. The forgotten part of this equation: 80 percent of ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Lizzie’s Lice Pickers just announced a special ... 10% off of their purchase of lice treatment product. In addition, customers will receive ... a company spokesperson. “Finding lice is a sure way to ruin the holidays, so ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Consistent with the ... 2016 Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs meeting will showcase some of ... 6, 2016, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas with a pre-conference session on ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Keeping in mind challenges faced ... and wellness consultation, has collaborated with a leading web-based marketplace for extra-curricular activities ... by parents and bring advice from parenting experts within their reach. As a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... Nederland, November 26, 2015 ... Een nieuwe aanpak combineert immunotherapie met Bremachlorin-photodynamische ... ) --> ...      (Photo: ) ... Universitair Medisch Centrum (LUMC) blijkt ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Nov. 26, 2015 Research and Markets ... the "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ... Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging ... --> --> This ... the Japanese therapeutic drug monitoring market, including emerging ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 --> ... potential att använda SyMRI för att hitta ... patienter med multipel skleros (MS) eller hjärntumörmetastaser ... AB för att kunna använda SyMRI Research ... SyMRI kan man generera flera konstrastbilder från ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: