Anti-HIV Protein found in Breast Milk
(Ivanhoe Newswire) – A protein found in breast milk may protect newborns from the HIV virus, according to new research from Duke University.
The protein, Tenascin-C (TNC), was previously identified as playing a role in healing wounds and tissue repair, but after testing milk samples from uninfected women against HIV strains, researchers found TNC captures and neutralizes virus particles.
"It's likely that TNC is acting in concert with other anti-HIV factors in breast milk, and further research should explore this," senior author Sallie Permar, M.D., Ph.D., was quoted as saying. "But given TNC's broad-spectrum HIV-1-binding and neutralizing activity, it could be developed as an HIV-prevention therapy, given orally to infants prior to breastfeeding, similar to the way oral rehydration salts are routinely administered to infants in developing regions."
For more information, go to: http://www.dukehealth.org/health_library/news/breast-milk-protein-may-be-key-to-protecting-babies-from-hiv-infection
SOURCE: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, October 2013
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