Bee Venom Can Kill HIV, Study Says
(Image source: Digital Trends) BY BRIANA ALTERGOTT Good news in the fight against HIV. Scientists
from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have discovered that bee venom
kills the virus while leaving the body unharmed. A team of researchers found nanoparticles
infused with melittin, the toxin in bee venom, destroys the protective envelope around the
HIV virus while leaving the surrounding cells intact.
According the study, the nanoparticles don’t harm healthy cells because of the
“protective bumpers” around each particle. According to researchers in the study: “When
the nanoparticles come into contact with normal cells … the particles simply bounce off.
HIV … is even smaller than the nanoparticle, so HIV fits between the bumpers and makes
contact with the surface of the nanoparticle, where the bee toxin awaits.”
(Via Washington University in St. Louis) Bee venom not only kills the HIV virus,
but can also help prevent against contracting it in the first place.
The researchers hope to use this new technique to develop anti-HIV vaginal gel and other
treatments to prevent the initial infection. In the future, this topical gel could be
mixed with spermicide to work as a double whammy against both HIV and pregnancy.
Unlike other methods used to prevent HIV from reproducing, the bee venom technique
works to break down the virus’ structure and wipe it out. Experts believe the idea
behind this technique might also knock out other diseases such as hepatitis B and C.
This discovery is yet another success story in the medical world this week. A baby girl
born with HIV in rural Mississippi was pronounced cured by doctors on March 3 after months of