New study shows bee venom kills HIV

New study shows bee venom kills HIV

  • We owe so much to our bees. A recent study shows another reason to thank them.
  • A team of researchers at Washington University in St. Louis discovered bee venom contains a toxin called “melittin” may help kill the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). It seems to work by puncturing the protective envelope surrounding the virus.
  • They used nanoparticles that were smaller than the HIV virus and infused them with the melittin found in bee venom, U.S. News and World Report explains.
  • A protective layer was added to these nanoparticles, allowing them to bounce off normal cells and lodge into the HIV virus.
  • Joshua L. Hood, MD, PhD was the instructor of this research team and had this to say, “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 new discovery may some day lead to a gel that will protect the virus from spreading, and possibly help treat those who already have the virus. “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,” Hood adds.
  • This study is in the very early stages and has not been tested yet.
  • It will most likely be tested on animals first if it is approved, and then on humans. Bee venom cannot be used to treat HIV until larger scale studies are conducted, but the results are promising.
  • HIV has become one of the most serious health complications in the world today. reports that there are currently 33.4 million people worldwide who are living with HIV/AIDS, and more than 25 million people have died from AIDS since the first cases were reported in 1981.
  • HIV is a serious epidemic, and this research shows promising results for a world free of this deadly disease.
  • 1. Strait, Julia E. “Nanoparticles Loaded with Bee Venom Kill HIV | Newsroom | Washington University in St. Louis.” Washington University in St. Louis. Washington University in St. Louis, 07 Mar. 2013. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.
  • 2. Koebler, Jason. “Study: Bee Venom Kills HIV.” US News. U.S.News & World Report, 08 Mar. 2013. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.
  • 3. Sieczkowski, Cavan. “Bee Venom Kills HIV: Nanoparticles Carrying Toxin Shown To Destroy Human Immunodeficiency Virus (VIDEO).” The Huffington Post., 09 Mar. 2013. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.
  • 4. “Global Statistics.”, n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.
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