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HIV: Scientists at MOU make breakthrough

A group of Nigerian scientists have found what could be a novel treatment for Human Immune-deficiency Virus, HIV, infection that may slash the cost of treatment.

The team of scientists, including graduate students and researchers from the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia state, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Nigeria have been able to show that synthetic Aluminum-magnesium silicate (AMS) has antiretroviral effects that could lay a perfect track for affordable and effective therapy for HIV.


Results of their work titled “Assessment of Antiretroviral Effects of a Synthetic Aluminum-magnesium Silicate” published in the British Journal of Medicine & Medical Research and featured on nd featured on SCIENCEDOMAIN international shows a significant reduction in the titres of the virus when HIV positive plasma was incubated with AMS.

Head, Department of Veterinary Medicine at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, and the lead scientist, Professor Maduike Ezeibe,  said the discovery could provide an ultimate cure for the virus that has defiled so many scientific efforts to curtail it in the past.

Ezeibe reacted aluminium silicate with magnesium silicate to obtain the synthetic aluminum-magnesium silicate devoid of impurities.

Giving further details Ezeibe noted: “Molecules of aluminum-magnesium silicate have platelets that possess both negative and positive electrical charges on their surfaces and their edges. HIV on the other hand is negatively charged. So the simple scientific understanding that opposite charges attracts ensures that the HIV virus binds to the AMS and is discharged from the body alongside.”

Existing medicine

“AMS is normally used as a stabilizing medicine that does not really have toxic effect on the patient, so it makes it a suitable agent for mopping up HIV virus from the body,” he said.

In the Journal, Ezeibe stated that “possession of both negative and positive electrical charges makes AMS a broad spectrum antiviral medicine.”

“AMS, if used in combination of selected antibiotics and immune stimulant may achieve a ‘cure’ for HIV,” the lead researcher of the work said.

“When a significant number of particles of invading viruses adsorb onto its (AMS) molecules instead of onto their hosts cells, viral infections are terminated,” Ezeibe noted.

The author noted also that “Adsorbing out HIV means that millions of new virions usually released from each infected cell would be inhibited from establishing new infections in more cells,” adding, “Thus, HIV would be prevented from overwhelming the body immune systems and the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) stage may be prevented.which case Ezeibe said a cure could be achieved.


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