Tuesday, 12 December 2017

UK scientists identify microorganisms to cure HIV

29 November 2017 | News

One strain of bacteria found is proven to be an inhibitor of an enzyme that allows the HIV virus to reproduce itself.

Image credit- ucsb.edu

Image credit- ucsb.edu

A group of scientists from the Newcastle University in the UK have found actinobacteria species with potential to treat HIV in Chile’s Atacama Desert, one of the highest and driest places on Earth.

It is notable that one strain of bacteria found is proven to be an inhibitor of an enzyme that allows the HIV virus to reproduce itself. This could provide essential clues for the development of anti-HIV drugs.

The researchers believe that the discovery of new bacteria could potentially be used to create new treatments as work continues to tackle the antibiotics problem.

The team is focussing their study on actinobacteria as they are keystone species in our ecosystems and are acknowledged as an unrivalled source of bioactive compounds.

This microbial seed bank represents an enormous untapped resource for biotechnology programmes, especially in an era where resistance to existing antibiotics is rapidly becoming a major threat to global health.

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