[ View the story "Scientists discover HIV-blocking protein in breast milk" on Storify] Scientists discover HIV-blocking protein in breast milk Latest findings seen as major breakthrough in fighting AIDS.
AJAMStream· Thu, Oct 24 2013 15:19:54
In this paper, we identify an innate HIV-neutralizing protein in breast milk, Tenascin-C, which captures and neutralizes HIV-1 virions via binding to the chemokine coreceptor binding site on the HIV-1 Envelope. This protein has the potential to be developed as a prevention strategy for postnatal and other modes of HIV-1 transmission.pnas.org
The latest news boosted
from the United Nations that spoke to the benefits of breastfeeding for HIV-positive mothers.
Breastfeeding carries significant health benefits for infants and young children and is an essential child survival intervention. Without intervention, about 35% of HIV-positive pregnant women will pass on the infection to their babies during pregnancy, delivery and post-natally through breastfeeding. Without preventive interventions, about 10-20 per cent of infants born to infected mothers will contract the virus through breastmilk if breastfed for two years. The risk of postnatal HIV transmission after 6 weeks of age is estimated at around 1% per month of breastfeeding (WHO 2006).unicef.org
Dr. Sallie Permar, who headed the Duke team, explained how Tenascin-C works.
“The protein works by binding to the HIV envelope, and one of the interesting things is that we were even able to narrow down exactly where on the envelope it binds,” says Sallie Permar, the study’s lead author. Her team found that the protein binds to a crucial region on the virus’ envelope that normally locks onto a receptor called CCR5 on the outside of human T cells,allowing it to fuse its membrane with the cell’s. With the region covered up by Tenascin C, HIV’s normal route of attack is blocked, and the virus’ effectiveness is greatly diminished.blogs.smithsonianmag.com
Permar, however, cautioned that more work would still need to be done.
“It’s clearly not the whole story, because we do have samples that have low amounts of this protein but still have HIV-neutralizing activity,” Permar says. ”So it may be acting in concert with other antiviral and antimicrobial factors in the milk.”blogs.smithsonianmag.com
Many online praised the Duke study and its findings.
Wow! Amazing! Study shows how protein in #breast milk can help fight #HIV! #medicine #research #breakthrough #science via @DrMommyCallsRenei Taylor
Aw breast milk has its own protein that helps block the transmission of HIV from mom to baby. Gotta love the human body. #medicalnews #TNCKatie koldon