HIV-1 virus particles under electron micrograph with H9 T-cells (in blue)
Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

A new study has unveiled a likely future cure for HIV which uses molecular scissors to ‘cut out’ HIV DNA from infected cells.

To cut out this virus, the team used CRISPR-Cas gene editing technology—a groundbreaking method that allows for precise alterations to a patient’s genome, for which its inventors won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2020.

One of the significant challenges in HIV treatment is the virus’s ability to integrate its genome into the host’s DNA, making it extremely difficult to eliminate—but the CRISPR-Cas tool provides a new means to isolate and target HIV DNA.

Because HIV can infect different types of cells and tissues in the body, each with its own unique environment and characteristics, the researchers are searching for a way to target HIV in all of these situations.

In this study, which is to be presented ahead of this year’s European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, the authors used CRISPR-Cas and two guide RNAs against “conserved” HIV sequences.

They focused on parts of the virus […]

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