Scientists were finally able to eradicate HIV from the DNA of infected mice by creating a treatment called LASER ART which suppresses HIV cells from replicating, a study published in Nature Communications said.
This sparks hope of a cure for the nearly 37 million people living with the virus.
The study examined infected "humanized mice” engineered to produce human T cells susceptible to HIV, with nine out of 23 mice were virus free by the end of the study.
Researchers integrated genome editing technology, using a gene editing tool called CRISPR-Cas9, with a slow-release virus suppression drug to eliminate HIV cells entirely from some infected mice.
The team at Temple University's Lewis Katz School of Medicine and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) altered the drug for a slow release across several weeks, which was directed at tissue in the spleen, bone marrow and brain where latent HIV reservoirs, or clusters of inactive HIV cells, were likely to take place.
“The process allowed the teams to clean segments of the genome and remove the HIV chromosome,” co-author Kamel Khalili told CNN.
If the study continues successfully, clinical trials could ensue by next summer, he expected.