Major breakthrough in HIV prevention

See on Scoop.itVirology News

MELBOURNE researchers have developed cows’ milk that can defend human cells against HIV.

Lead researcher, University of Melbourne’s Marit Kramski said they vaccinated pregnant cows – which cannot contract human immunodeficiency virus – with an HIV protein [Env?] and studied the first milk produced by the cow after birth.

HIV cases in Australia on the rise

Dr Kramski said this first milk, called colostrum, produced milk high in antibodies to protect its newborn against disease.

The researchers were able to inhibit the virus from infecting cells when “combing the virus cells with milk” [sic – I think they mean combining the virus with milk containing antibodies].


I think this is very interesting, and has potential for trial in monkeys – not humans, because there is the little problem of the antibodies that would go into a virucidal cream being from cows – meaning they would elicit an immune response, unlike the humanised anti-HIV monoclonals being made in plants by the Fraunhofer Institute.


Still, using cow’s milk is an inventive thing to do – and sounds like a very cheap source of antibodies.  Except that colostrum is ONLY produced immediately after birth of a calf, so it will nothing like as cheap as milk.

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