The more than 2.7 million new HIV infections recorded per year leave little doubt that the HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to spread globally. That’s why there’s the need for safe, inexpensive and effective drugs to successfully block HIV transmission.
A new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine further validates the use of humanized BLT mice in the fight to block HIV transmission. The “BLT” name is derived from the fact that these designer mice are created one at a time by introducing human bone marrow, liver and thymus tissues into animals without an immune system of their own. Humanized BLT mice have a fully functioning human immune system and can be infected with HIV in the same manner as humans.
The pioneering developers of the humanized BLT mouse model are Paul Denton, PhD, instructor of medicine and J. Victor Garcia-Martinez, PhD, professor of medicine in the UNC Center for Infectious Diseases and the UNC Center for AIDS Research.
In the study published online Wednesday, May 18 in the Journal of Virology, Denton and colleagues provide data that validates humanized BLT mice as a preclinical experimental system that potentially can be used to develop and test the effectiveness of experimental HIV prevention approaches and topical microbicides.
The animal study reproduced the design and methods of a recent double-blind clinical study in 889 women of the topical microbicide tenofovir. That study, the CAPRISA 004 trial, tested topical pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) with 1 percent tenofovir which participants were instructed to apply vaginally twice daily. The 2.5 year trial resulted in an overall 39 percent reduction in instances of vaginal HIV transmission. Among women who self-reported as strongly adhered to the recommended instructions the protection figure climbed to 54 percent.
The new topical PrEP study by Denton and coauthors in humanized BLT mice reproduced the CAPRISA experimental design with tenofovir. The researchers say they “observed “88 percent protection of vaginal HIV-1 transmission,” which was further confirmed by lack of detectable virus anywhere in the animals.
The researchers then tested six additional microbicide drug candidates for their ability to prevent vaginal HIV transmission. These experimental compounds, not yet tested in people, interfere with the virus’ ability to reproduce. Partial or complete protection was shown by all but one of these drug candidates. Based on these positive results, Denton said these inhibitor drugs warrant serious consideration for future testing in people.
“This animal model has great potential value for testing and predicting the HIV preventive benefits of the second generation of microbicide candidates that are aimed at preventing viral replication,” Garcia said. “The results of these studies will help provide important information for current and future clinical trials.”
Also involved in the study were researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, University of Utah School of Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute, National Cancer Institute, and Weill Cornell Medical College.
Les Lang | EurekAlert!
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences