For the first time, researchers have removed HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, from the genomes of live animals – an important achievement on the road to rid the world of this deadly disease.  For the study, published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications researchers from Temple University and the University of Nebraska Medical Center began constructing mice to produce human T cells susceptible to HIV infection.
Having infected the mice, they used a therapeutic strategy known as long-acting, slow-acting, releasing antiretroviral therapy (LASER ART) to suppress HIV replication within the animals.
Finally, the researchers used CRISPR to remove HIV DNA from the infected cells. 1
When the researchers later analyzed the mice, they found that approx. one third of the animals did not show any signs of HIV.
They are now eager to test their combination LAS ER ART / CRISPR therapy in non-human primates – and if these trials go well, human trials can kick off within the year, says researcher Kamel Khalili in a press release.
But while the team is optimistic, it is also aware that it has a lot of reason to cover between mice and people.
"Things that work in mice cannot work in men," told scientist Howard Gendelman CNBC . "The limitations of some mouse work have to do with the species, how the drug is administered, the distribution, which is much easier than a man or a woman."
READ MORE: Scientists say they are closer to finding cure for HIV after using CRISPR technology to eliminate live mouse disease for the first time [ CNBC ]
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