What is HIV all about?
Human immunodeficiency virus is a condition which causes progressive
failure of immune system and allows dangerous infections and cancers to
prosper. Infection with HIV is caused by transfer of blood, semen, vaginal
fluids and breast milk. The major routes of transmission include unsafe
sex, contaminated needles, breast milk and from an infected mother to
The latest story about this topic is that scientist at ULCA have proved
that engineered stem cells can really attack HIV infected cells in a living
organism. In a previous study researchers found that killer T cells contain
T cell receptors which help the killer cells to identify and kill the HIV
infected cells. But the sad part was that their numbers were not sufficient
to clear the virus from the body.
But the present study can be said as a boon in many ways. The researchers
cloned the T receptors and used it to engineer genetically human blood stem
cells. These cells were placed in human thymus tissue and implanted into
mice. Long story cut short these cells developed into large number of
mature cells that could specifically target cells containing HIV proteins.
But one thing is that the HIV specific T cell receptors should be a perfect
match to the individual in order to kill the virus.
Now the next step of the researchers will be to make T cell receptors
target different parts of HIV and which can be used in more genetically
matched individuals. The scientists believe that this method will be efficient
in eradicating the HIV virus from the body of infected persons. Let us hope
and pray that they should be successful in their attempt.