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Bee venom kills HIV

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  • mdudley
    Bees could hold the key to preventing HIV transmission. Researchers have discovered that bee venom kills the virus while leaving body cells unharmed, which
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 12 7:34 AM
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      Bees could hold the key to preventing HIV transmission. Researchers have
      discovered that bee venom kills the virus while leaving body cells
      unharmed, which could lead to an anti-HIV vaginal gel and other treatments.

      Scientists at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
      found that melittin, a toxin found in bee venom, physically destroys the
      HIV virus, a breakthrough that could potentially lead to drugs that are
      immune to HIV resistance. The study was published Thursday in the
      journal *Antiviral
      Therapy*.

      "Our hope is that in places where HIV is running rampant, people could use

      this as a preventative measure to stop the initial infection," Joshua Hood,
      one of the authors of the study, said in a statement.

      The researchers attached melittin to nanoparticles that are physically
      smaller than HIV, which is smaller than body cells. The toxin rips holes in
      the virus' outer layer, destroying it, but the particles aren't large
      enough to damage body cells.

      "Based on this finding, we propose that melittin-loaded nanoparticles are
      well-suited for use as topical vaginal HIV virucidal agents," they write.

      Theoretically, the particles could also be injected into an HIV-positive
      person to eliminate the virus in the bloodstream.

      Because the toxin attacks the virus' outer layer, the virus is likely
      unable to develop a resistance to the substance, which could make it more
      effective than other HIV drugs.

      "Theoretically, melittin nanoparticles are not susceptible to HIV
      mutational resistance seen with standard HIV therapies," they write. "By
      disintegrating the [virus'] lipid envelope [it's] less likely to develop
      resistance to the melittin nanoparticles."

      The group plans to soon test the gel in clinical trials.

      ...

      A new study has shown that bee venom can kill the human immunodeficiency
      virus (HIV).

      Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have
      demonstrated that a toxin called melittin found in bee venom can
      destroy HIV<http://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/25061.aspx>by poking
      holes in the envelope surrounding the virus, according to a news
      release sent out by Washington University.

      *Visit Washington University's website to read more about the
      study.<http://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/25061.aspx>
      *

      Nanoparticles smaller than HIV were infused with the bee venom
      toxin<http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/03/08/study-bee-venom-kills-hiv>,
      explains U.S. News & World Report. A "protective bumper" was added to the
      nanoparticle's surface, allowing it to bounce off normal cells and leave
      them intact. Normal cells are larger than HIV, so the nanoparticles target

      HIV, which is so small it fits between the bumpers.

      "Melittin on the nanoparticles fuses with the viral envelope," said
      research instructor Joshua L. Hood, MD, PhD, via the news release. "The
      melittin forms little pore-like attack complexes and ruptures the envelope,
      stripping it off the virus." Adding, "We are attacking an inherent physical
      property of HIV. Theoretically, there isn't any way for the virus to adapt
      to that. The virus has to have a protective coat, a double-layered membrane
      that covers the virus."

      This revelation can lead to the development of a vaginal gel to prevent the
      spread of HIV<http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/bee-venom-shown-kill-hiv-scientists-reveal080313>and,
      it seems, an intravenous treatment to help those already infected.
      "Our hope is that in places where HIV is running rampant, people could use
      this gel as a preventive measure to stop the initial infection," said Hood.

      The bee venom HIV study was
      published<http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/03/08/study-bee-venom-kills-hiv>on
      Thursday in the journal
      *Antiviral Therapy*, according to U.S. News & World Report.
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