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!
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research