Scientists are exploring new antifongal medicines that may help people recover from infection with HIV, hepatitis and other infectious diseases.
A team of researchers in the US says the drugs work by blocking a molecule that’s associated with HIV.
The drugs can be administered by injection, by mouth or by using a nasal spray.
It is not known whether the drugs would also work for other infections.
The discovery of these medicines could also help reduce the number of people dying from HIV in the United States, the researchers said.
“We are now in the process of testing these new antifeal drugs on patients in the African continent who have recently been infected with HIV and are not receiving antiretroviral drugs,” said senior author and associate professor of medicine, Dr James Dolan, from the University of Washington in Seattle.
“Our preliminary results suggest that our new antivethmic drugs can prevent infection from HIV, and also help with the progression of some viral diseases,” he said.
The research was published in the journal Nature Communications.
The team used two compounds in a series of studies to test the effectiveness of the drugs.
They found that a combination of the two drugs reduced the likelihood of infection by a virus by about 90 per cent.
“These drugs work like a cocktail of two or three different antifeals,” Dr Dolan said.
These drugs work very differently from the drugs currently on the market, Dr Dola said.
They don’t work by slowing the spread of a virus, but by stopping its ability to replicate.
Instead, they target specific molecules of the virus.
These molecules are known as antigen receptors, which are the receptor molecules that the body has to attack when it comes into contact with HIV-1.
“Antibodies work by targeting specific proteins or molecules of virus to stop the virus from replicating,” Dr Sondhi, who led the study from the university, said.
One of the compounds, called the triterpenoid, was shown to inhibit the replication of the HIV-2 virus in a mouse model.
This study was the first to test whether this drug could also be used to treat people infected with the hepatitis C virus.
“If we can treat hepatitis C patients with antiretsitants, we could reduce the risk of getting HIV infection,” Dr James said.
Antiretritis, also known as arthritis, can affect the joints and muscles in people with HIV infection.
The treatment, known as co-treatment, is designed to keep the body from attacking the infection.
It has not been shown to treat other infections, but Dr Dolo said this research showed the effectiveness could be applied to people infected only with HIV or hepatitis C. The scientists used a drug called CELTA, which blocks the proteins involved in HIV replication.
This drug is also used to prevent the virus causing inflammation in people infected by other viral diseases.
“There are about 10,000 new infections in the USA each year and approximately one in three HIV-positive people have been treated with this drug,” Dr Oleg Vankin, a professor of pharmacology and immunology at the University in St Petersburg, Russia, who was not involved in the research, said in a statement.
“Currently, the only way to treat HIV is by the use of antiviral drugs and co-therapy with anti-viral drugs, which can take years.
“More clinical trials are needed to assess their potential benefits and side effects. “
The new antiretic drugs may be a promising option to reduce the incidence of infections by HIV in our country,” he added.
“More clinical trials are needed to assess their potential benefits and side effects.
The study also highlights the importance of the development of better and more potent drugs for managing HIV,” he concluded.
The findings have been published in Nature Communications, the journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.
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