Bee Venom Destroys HIV Cells
“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, man would have only four years to live. No more bees, no more pollination, no more men!” — Albert Einstein
Ever wondered why bees are so important to our survival? One of the thousands of reasons is the fact that they help to cure AIDS.
Scientists from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, have found that by poking holes in the protective envelope surrounding HIV and other viruses, melittin – a toxin found in bee venom – kills the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) while leaving the body unharmed. This breakthrough could lead to drugs that are immune to HIV resistance; development of an anti-HIV vaginal gel that may prevent the spread of HIV; as well as possible treatments for existing HIV infections (In 2015, nearly 40 million people were living with the lethal virus globally).
Dr Joshua L. Hood, a research instructor in medicine at Washington University, remarked:
“Melittin on the nanoparticles fuses with the viral envelope. The melittin forms little pore-like attack complexes and ruptures the envelope; stripping it off the virus… We are attacking an inherent physical property of HIV. Theoretically, there isn’t any way for the virus to adapt to that. The virus has to have a protective coat, a double-layered membrane that covers the virus.”