Genetically altered bacteria may fight HIV

Jan. 17, 2006 at 5:55 PM
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LONDON, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Scientists have genetically altered bacteria found in yogurt so the bugs release an anti-HIV drug, Nature reported Tuesday.

The bacteria have only been tested in the lab, but the scientists think the technique could be used to develop cheaper and more effective ways of delivering HIV-blocking medications.

The scientists think the genetically altered bacteria could eventually be included in yogurts, so the bacteria, once ingested, could provide women with vaginal protection against HIV.

A single dose might be capable of providing protection from HIV infection for a week.

The initial findings are reported in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Nature said the researchers intend to test in macaque monkeys a genetically modified bacteria strain known as Lactococcus lactis.

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