Bee sting venom could prevent the spread of HIV, doctors claim

  • Gel could be developed from chemical to destroy deadly virus

By Daily Mail Reporter

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Doctors have sensationally claimed chemicals found in bee stings could help prevent the spread of HIV.

Toxins in the insects' venom can destroy the virus and leave surrounding cells unharmed, it has been found.

Scientists are excited by the find and believe it could be an important step towards developing a gel to stem the rampant spread of HIV, which causes Aids.

Researchers have discovered a chemical found in bee stings could attack and destroy HIV virus cells

Researchers have discovered a chemical found in bee stings could attack and destroy HIV virus cells

The bees' chemical, melittin, destroys the HIV virus by puncturing its protective outer layer.

Scientists inserted the toxin into tiny nanoparticles, which are fitted with special 'bumpers' so they can bounce off normal cells.

 

But when the smaller HIV virus makes contact with them, it slips between the bumpers and is attacked by the toxin.

Study expert Dr Joshua L Hood, of Washington University School of Medicine in the US, said the toxin could be used in a vaginal gel to prevent HIV spreading.

What HIV looks like in the blood stream. Doctors hope to develop a gel featuring toxins from be stings which could prevent the spread of the virus

What HIV looks like in the blood stream. Doctors hope to develop a gel featuring toxins from be stings which could prevent the spread of the virus

He said: 'Our hope is that in places where HIV is running rampant, people could use this gel as a preventative measure to stop the initial infection.'

Most drugs slow the growth of the virus, but the bee venom attacks and kills it to prevent infection in the first place.

Dr Hood, who co-authored the study which appeared in journal Antiviral Therapy, added: 'We are attacking a physical property of HIV. Theoretically, there isn't any way for the virus to adapt to that.'

Doctors also believe nanoparticles may be able to be developed as a way to kill tumours.

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

Wonderful news. Should this prove to be a feasible method of attacking the disease, I can only hope the WHO uses this in a similar manner as they did to eradicate smallpox. Let's rid ourselves of plague. And it's also nice to see this scientific achievement coming out of the USA. Sorry for that bit of national pride but it's good too know we can still contribute to the well being of others in fields of science and medicine.

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How on earth do they find these things out.

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Excellent. I honestly believe things like AIDS, HIV, cancer, tumours will all be a thing of the past within my lifetime. I hope anyway - Christian , Birmingham, United Kingdom, 09/3/2013 12:49 I'd like to share your optimism but unfortunately drug companies will not profit by offering cures to diseases.

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Einstein might just be right. Brilliant progress hopefully cancer falls in the near future well done science

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As a population reductionist, I believe that this is bad news for our overpopulated world. - Continental opinion , Lille, France, 09/3/2013 12:47>>>>>>>>Have heart dear friend, you can always rely on some pandemic flu mutation. Mind you, you might not feel quite so ebullient if it takes someone YOU love!

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- Continental opinion , Lille, France, 09/3/2013 12:47--""As a population reductionist, I believe that this is bad news for our overpopulated world."" ======== Are you volunteering to leave or is only other people you want to die?

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Why is this not a breaking news story?? This is fantastic news!

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Bee sting venom as a vaginal gel might make for some rather frentic coupling.

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I think that the companies that provide anti retro meds and chemo meds will make sure neither hiv/aids nor cancer will ever be cured... there is no money in the cure.... but there vast amounts in on going 'life extending' treatment.

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What about coating condoms with the "Gel" Twice as safe then.

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