Conquering the AIDS virus continues to be a challenging task to members of the scientific community. Thanks to the perseverant efforts of the Brown University researchers who have genetically manipulated bacteria present in yoghurt to release an anti-HIV drug. The results of this research can be found in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.
The research has promised a new ray of hope to curbing a disease that has been haunting the whole world. Although successful results have only been obtained in laboratory conditions, the researchers are optimistic that it could eventually pave way for the development of a cost-effective strategy for effective delivery of anti-retroviral drugs.
The research team, headed by Bharat Ramratnam, a specialist in HIV/AIDS have sucessfully altered the genetic constitution of Lactobacillus lactis to enable release of cyanovirin. This drug has already been found to confer protection against HIV infection in monkeys and human cells (in vitro culture).
It is further hoped to initiate human clinical trials of the drug before next year. Until then, the conventional methods of HIV prevention such as safe sex and use of a condom would hold good.