If you refer this page you will come to know that there are drugs available to treat HIV virus infection by attacking almost at all stages of infection of HIV (mode of action) except one point, that is destruction of HIV carrying human cells, there is no drug available which can find out HIV infected tissue cells and destroy them. Getting such drug would be a great breakthrough towards complete removal of HIV from human body.
A first step towards development of this novel class of antiretroviral drug is made by Dr. Edward A. Berger of (National Institute of Health) NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Dr. Ira Pastan of NIH’s National Cancer Institute (NCI). To understand how this drug will work it is important to understand how HIV virus infects and multiply.
During infection process HIV virus first attaches to a Human CD4 cell and inject its RNA in to human CD4 cell; HIV RNA is converted in to DNA strand which is capable of transcribing HIV proteins essential for multiplication of HIV. This DNA get permanently attached to human DNA of human CD4 cell, and convert this human cell in to a HIV virus factory.
Therefore even though there are drugs designed to kill HIV virus at all stages, these HIV producing human cells are alive inside human body hidden in various tissues, which becomes active as soon as antiretroviral drug therapy is stopped. Therefore to eliminate HIV DNA carrying human cells is equally important to achieve complete removal of HIV virus from human body.
Cytotoxic HIV-specific immunotherapy is found to destroy human cells responsible for reproduction of HIV in is a toxin derived from bacteria and is known as immunotoxin 3B3-PE38.
This toxin was found to be effective in reducing the HIV viral load in humanized rat model. It was found that dose of immunotoxin along with antiretroviral drug therapy (ART) was successful in reduction of HIV loaded or HIV DNA carrying CD4+ T cells, macrophages and thymocytes.
Authored by : B.V. Waghmare
Last Updated : 28-Jan-2014