Researchers have come one step closer to preventing HIV transmission, thanks to a newly-found antibody that can reportedly kill up to 98-percent of the virus’ strains. As part of a new study, scientists from the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have successfully identified an antibody called N6 that is capable of annihilating nearly 98-percent of HIV strains, 20 among which are known to be resistant to other antibodies of the same class.
The breakthrough, the team believes, could help contain the growing epidemic of HIV and its more lethal version, AIDS. Led by scientist Mark Connors, the group is currently tracing the evolution of N6 and its amazing HIV-neutralizing prowess. This would in turn allow researchers to develop effective vaccines against the disease, thus preventing the transmission and acquisition of the virus in the first place. Speaking about the study, Anthony S. Fauci, the director if NIAID said:
The discovery and characterization of this antibody with exceptional breadth and potency against HIV provides an important new lead for the development of strategies to prevent and treat HIV infection.
Additionally, it could pave the way for new treatment techniques that rely on subcutaneous administration of drugs, instead of the commonly-used intravenous methods. Given its impressive HIV-killing abilities, however, N6 would likely be more invasive than other techniques currently being developed, such as VRC01.
To learn more about the breakthrough and its potential contribution to HIV prevention, head over to the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases’ official website.