HIV may be referred to as a slowly replicating virus that is capable of invading the human body by way of exchanging bodily fluids with another infected carrier. This invasion is said to be the primary culprit that causes the acquired immunodeficiency disease (AIDS), which may be at the top of the list as being one of the deadliest diseases known to mankind. Once the HIV virus has gained complete control over the human immune system, the expected survival span of the infected individual is presumed to be approximately seven to ten years. However, researchers seem to have an idea about how to increase this life expectancy for those who have been infected with the HIV. Ironically, a preventive measure could very well be found in something that has been flying over the heads of humanity for years.
At the Washington School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, scientists have discovered an amazing aspect about the one insect most people may dread to see anywhere within close range. The idea of using the toxic venom from bees in order to destroy the HIV virus without the possibility of causing potential harm to other normal cells may not be such a far-fetched idea, according to these scientists. Mellitin, the primary toxin found in the venom of bees, is believed to be capable of obliterating the HIV virus and could be considered a primal breakthrough in the discovery for developing an antidote. Scientists may have pondered over this conclusion based on findings that may show just how effective mellitin could be at preventing the HIV virus from running rampant throughout the human bloodstream and attacking the white blood cells used to fight infections.
Studies suggest that, when mellitin is combined with nano particles, which are thought to be smaller in size when compared to the HIV virus and human cells, the combination may have the ability to annihilate the outer layer portion of the virus cells without mistakenly destroying the surrounding normal human cells. The outer protective membrane of the HIV virus, referred to as the viral envelope, may be composed of fatty molecules and a particular type of protein, known as Env, that is believed to be able to fuse itself to a healthy human cell. This fusion process is likely to be one of the probable reasons pertaining to how the HIV virus has the potential of hiding from the human immune system’s defense mechanisms that could destroy it. For this reason, scientists may be focusing on the molecular structure of bee venom in connection with the impact it may have on the molecular chemistry of the HIV virus in order to find a feasible preventive measure.
In addition to these findings, statistics may have shown that there were approximately 75 million reported cases worldwide of patients who may have become infected with the HIV virus since the epidemic first broke out, not including those who may be unknowingly infected. Because the HIV virus has been rumored to be able to live dormant within the human body for many years before symptoms start to appear, transmission of the HIV virus could escalate at a tremendous rate. Contracting the HIV virus through the exchange of bodily fluids (blood, vaginal, or semen) may have led researchers to the concept of inventing an antimicrobial vaginal gel against the virus for use before and several hours after sexual intercourse. Consequently, if there is a preventive measure that can be produced with bee venom, it may be possible for scientists to proceed with astonishing progress towards constructing an effective formula that could counteract the affliction caused by the HIV virus with a little help from several busy queen bees.
Opinion by Stephanie Tapley