HIV virus remains elusive up to this day, but scientists have already found ways to decipher its characteristics enough to procure proteins or organic compounds to combat the disease. This newly discovered antibody has the power to neutralize HIV with 98% efficiency.
Scientists from US National Institutes of Health (NIH) discovered that this N6 antibody was able to identify an HIV virus even if the virus altered itself and split away from it.
Antibodies are proteins that help identify and remove foreign infectious agents like virus and bacteria. They also act like signalers for other agents of the immune system to attack the foreign bodies.
Scientists did the test of N6 on 181 HIV strains. The result provided an impressive 98% of destroying the strains.
N6's similar antibody the VRC01 was only able to destroy 90% of the HIV strain provided to it.
To know what makes the N6 more successful, the scientists tracked the evolution of the antibody and its response to the shape-shifting properties of the HIV virus. They found out that N6 bypassed the binding measures that rested on the area where the morphing of the HIV virus took place. Instead, N6 targeted the area of the virus that were more consistent among different strains.
Although there are some HIV virus that were resistant to N6, they hardly stood a chance in reacting to it as fast as they would in other antibodies.
The scientists noted that they had only done the test in the lab. They still have to perform the test on those people who are HIV-infected. They remained optimistic since other similar treatments were found to have removed HIV from a patient's blood.
See: HIV Testing via USB Stick, Results Done in 30 Minutes!
The results have been published in Immunity