Scientists in the US have proven that cows develop antibodies to fight HIV virus.
Researchers at Scripps Institute of Technology, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and Texas A&M have found that cows hold the cure to HIV. When cows were injected with the HIV virus, they quickly developed antibodies which killed the virus.
The team injected four calves with HIV immunogens, a protein which is designed to elicit an immune response to the virus. They discovered that the calves quickly developed bNAbs to HIV in their blood. bNAb is a neutralizing antibody that defends a cell from from an antigen.
Devin Sok, director of antibody discovery and development at IAVI, commented,
I was shocked. It was really crazy and very exciting. The responses developed very quickly — between one to two months — which is well beyond what we anticipated.
Following the revelation, the team isolated antibodies from the calves to take a closer look. The antibody, now named NC-Cow 1, was found to be specifically powerful while neutralizing the virus. Fauci, a team member, said,
The kind of insight we get from studying this is an understanding of the mechanisms whereby the cows’ immune system is capable of creating these antibodies.
This discovery has created a massive stir in the medical world where scientists believe that understanding how the immune system works to defend itself from foreign bodies by developing antibodies, even in cows, is a remarkable leap. With this discovery, scientists are hoping to develop a vaccine or a cure to the deadly HIV infection in humans. It will also help develop new therapies or treatments for viruses that evade the human immune system.