Breast milk seems to kill the AIDS virus
Scientists believe they have discovered a new property in human milk: to inhibit the human immunodeficiency virus. Yet unknown component in breast milk kills the virus particles and infected cells by itself, is also capable of blocking the transmission of HIV in mice with human immune system.
Even if babies born to HIV positive mothers could prevent infection at birth, about 15% could get the disease during early childhood because the virus can reach the breast milk, so breastfeeding a baby was due of suspected infection.
Angela Wahl of the University of North Carolina and colleagues investigated more on the subject and created mice with bone marrow, liver and thymus tissue to be infected with HIV. All mice were infected when the virus were given at an oral dose regularly, but when it was given the virus in breast milk infected, the virus was not transmitted.
Other research pointed to the antiviral properties of breast milk, but it was not known for sure is this would prevent the transmission of AIDS.
Now the task is to find that mysterious ingredient in breast milk that inhibits the virus. If identified could be used to prevent other forms of transmission of the illness, including sexual activity.
Some wonder why babies are born without the virus, an HIV positive mother is infected if breast milk is not transmitting? One possibility is that there is any injury to the mother’s nipples, exposing their blood to the baby.
Link: Breast milk Seems to kill HIV (New Scientist)Tags: AIDS, baby, breast milk kills viruses, HIV