The numbers are increasing, it affects not just few countries but the whole world.
For the longest time, researchers from different countries, has untirely formulated various tests in order to have a vaccine or even cure for Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV, one of the deadliest disease in the world today.
But, here’s a good news, researchers have discovered that cows produce antibodies which may be useful in developing treatments, or even vaccines, for a number of diseases — most especially HIV.
As discussed in earlier, researchers have long been looking for ways to help HIV-infected individuals produce more broadly neutralizing antibodies (Bnabs) — antibodies which are known to combat multiple forms of virus.
According to the medical professionals, Bnabs are an important topic in HIV research, because the virus alters slightly with every cell division — meaning that a single, specific antibody can’t keep up.
Going back to the latest development, new study has found that cows may provide answers for scientists who have been seeking to better understand how Bnabs can be harnessed.
Expalining further, in terms of their makeup, broadly neutralizing antibodies are notable because they’re big and kind of unruly as far as proteins go.
With these “incredible” features, scientists realized that Bnabs bore resemblance to a the types of antibodies found in cows.
Cows don’t get HIV, but after researchers injected them with a protein that’s very similar to the virus’s envelope, their bodies produced antibodies to block it.
Furthermore, the proteins were then extracted, and tested against multiple strains of HIV as it attempted to infect cells in a petri dish.
According to Devin Sok, director for antibody discovery and development at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, he said via STAT News that the epiphany was like “an alignment of the stars, where we had veterinarians, cow antibody scientists, and HIV scientists all talking and came up with this.”
The scientist said that the study is the first to reliably encourage the development of Bnabs, it has not elucidated how to prompt the same growth in humans.
However, John Mascola, director of vaccine research at National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), optimistically stated to STAT that while “the study . . . doesn’t tell us how to make a vaccine for HIV in people […] it does tell us how the virus evades the human immune response.”
As of now, the discovery may also open up the possibility of using cow blood in a clinical capacity in order to provide short term protection against HIV, or help treat those who are already infected.
The recent development may help alleviate the suffering of patients among the estimated 1.1 million people in the U.S. who are currently living with HIV.