Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Friendly bacteria in humans may protect against HIV

19.04.2005


Scientists have identified good bacteria already living in some humans that target and trap HIV and may protect against infection. They report their findings today at the 2005 American Society for Microbiology Beneficial Microbes Conference.



"I believe every life form has its natural enemy, and HIV should not be the exception," says Dr. Lin Tao, Associate Professor of the Department of Oral Biology, College of Dentistry, University of Illinois at Chicago. "If we can find its natural enemy, we can control the spread of HIV naturally and cost-effectively, just as we use cats to control mice."

The bacteria are strains of lactobacillus, commonly found colonizing the oral and vaginal cavities of humans. They do not cause disease. They target HIV because the virus is coated with the sugar mannose, which they use as a food source. "Different bacteria have different sugar preferences," says Tao. "To block HIV, however, we needed to find bacteria that prefer the unusual sugar mannose and thus can capture it."


To identify bacteria that target mannose, Tao and his colleagues isolated oral and vaginal lactobacilli from healthy humans and tested the ability of different strains to bind to baker’s yeast, another microorganism coated with mannose-rich sugars. They found a small group of lactobacilli that bound to mannose and further testing against HIV revealed two strains that specifically trapped the virus and blocked infection.

Due to high rates of mutation, repeated attempts at developing a vaccine to protect against HIV have failed. Inoculating the major mucosal surfaces where HIV transmission occurs with the HIV-capturing lactobacilli may provide a safe and cost-efficient method for preventing the spread of HIV, says Tao. "This method can protect infants against HIV in breast milk and women against HIV upon sexual contact unobtrusively and inconspicuously via fermented foods or feminine products," says Tao. "If the method can be successfully developed and applied, the global spread of HIV can be controlled rapidly, effectively and safely."

"The major roadblock in the development of this technology is the lack of financial support. Drug companies and venture capitalists are not interested because the beneficiary populations are infants and women in poor countries," says Tao. He is currently seeking sponsorship from charities or philanthropists to develop this technology.

Carrie Patterson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.asmusa.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht More genes are active in high-performance maize
19.01.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht How plants see light
19.01.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>