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February 4, 2011

Mouse hormone trial raises hopes for HIV cure

ABC Australia: "MARC PELLEGRINI: If we treat those mice with interleukin therapy we can actually clear this virus which is really quite overwhelming in the mice and is never cleared.

"So if we have two cohorts of mice, one given a placebo, those mice never clear the infection and it really overwhelms the immune system and the immune system succumbs to the disease.

"Whereas in the mice that are treated with interleukin-7 for three weeks we can actually effect the cure such that the virus is actually eliminated from their blood and from most of their, or indeed all of their organs like the lung and the brain which are sort of reservoirs for that particular virus in the mice.

"SIMON LAUDER: Does it follow that the same therapy could be used to clear HIV in humans?

"MARC PELLEGRINI: It would certainly follow that the same therapy could be used to boost immunity in HIV and either better control or perhaps even cure HIV in the long term."

Note: Technical abstract at