There aren’t many people who like bees, but could they help fight HIV? Turns out, it could.
Scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have developed nanoparticles loaded with bee venom that could help destroy HIV cells. The nanoparticles would be applied using a vaginal gel possibly destroying the HIV virus before it has a chance to reach infection.
The new study shows that melittin loaded onto these nanoparticles does not harm normal cells.
When the nanoparticles come into contact with normal cells, which are much larger in size, the particles simply bounce off. HIV is even smaller than the nanoparticle, so HIV fits between the bumpers and makes contact with the surface of the nanoparticle, where the bee toxin awaits.
Researchers are hopeful this development can be used to prevent existing infection, rather than just treat existing ones. Recent reports indicated an HIV-infected infant was completely cured for the first time, which is hope that more groundbreaking developments can happen in preventing and treating HIV.
Not sure women will be fond of the idea of applying bee venom to their vagina, but if It means getting rid of a deadly infection, it shouldn’t be too hard to sell people on especially when there are limited options currently available.