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Bee Venom Kills HIV (Just Another Reason To Save The Bees!)

Bee Venom Kills HIV (Just Another Reason To Save The Bees!)

Colony collapse disorder is decimating bee populations around the world. The possibility of losing our planet’s most industrious pollinator hasn’t motivated agencies like the EPA to protect them, but maybe this will: A team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis recently used nanoparticles carrying a toxin found in bee venom to destroy HIV without harming nearby cells.

According to study results, which appear in the current issue of Antiviral Therapy, bee venom contains a potent toxin called melittin that can poke holes in the protective envelope that surrounds HIV, and other viruses. The paper’s senior author, Samuel A. Wickline, MD, the J. Russell Hornsby Professor of Biomedical Sciences, has even shown that melittin-loaded nanoparticles to be effective in killing tumor cells.

What other naturally occurring substance do you know of that can tackle both HIV and cancer? Exactly.

The study’s authors believe that with further research, they could be able to create a vaginal gel, loaded with the bee venom particles, that could help prevent the spread of HIV.

According to Joshua L. Hood, a research instructor in medicine involved in the study, most anti-HIV drugs inhibit the virus’s ability to replicate. But this anti-replication strategy does nothing to stop initial infection, and some strains of the virus have found ways around these drugs and reproduce anyway. The bee venom toxin is different because it attacks an essential part of the virus’ structure. 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,” Hood says. “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.”

Because the bee venom toxin has been engineered not to attack healthy cells, a vaginal gel could be ideal for couples where one partner has HIV and they want to have a baby. It’s also theoretically possible that intravenous injections of the nanoparticles would be able to clear HIV from the blood stream, a virtual miracle for those who have tested positive.

Perfecting this treatment will take years. Let’s just hope the bees survive that long. Wouldn’t it be a shame to see a potential cure for HIV lost because we were too busy dumping bee-killing pesticides on everything in sight?

Related Reading:

Poisoned Bees Will Get Their Day In Court

All Abuzz About Bee Venom Treatment

Is This The HIV Cure We’ve Been Waiting For?

Read more: Alternative Therapies, Health, HIV/AIDS, , , , , , ,

Image via Thinkstock

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Beth Buczynski

Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog or check out her blog.

173 comments

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3:36AM PDT on Mar 30, 2014

Dr. Oraede God will continue to bless you more abundantly, for the good works you are doing in peoples life, I will keep on writng and posting testimonies about you on the Internet, I’m Theodora Fabzz, I was a HIV patient, I saw a blog on how Dr. Oraede cured someone, I contacted him and also got my healing, kindly email him now on Dr.oraedespellhome@hotmail.com or dr.oraedespellhome@gmail.com or email me on theofabzz@gmail.com or call him on +2348161879468

9:48PM PST on Feb 1, 2014

Thanks for sharing :) Save the Bees!

9:04PM PST on Feb 1, 2014

i am miss Gregory from USA, i navel believe that hiv cure is real on till i got in contact with Dr okosun, my HIV stated eight years ago, i was even waiting for death because all my money went out for drug, which keep me till today, one day i saw in the interment that HIV cure is out i then email Dr okosun, and he prepare the herb for me which i took, after taking it he told me to go to the hospital which i did, could you believe that i was confirm HIV negative after the test, and i went to another hospital and it was also negative. if you have this problem and you want to be free from it please contact this doctor with this email address dr.okosunshrinetemple@gmail.com, he is the best HIV cure you will find in the whole world. thank you Dr okosun am free now.

10:54PM PST on Jan 8, 2014

i am RODA by name, i want to tell the whole world how i got my hiv cured, i live in Manchester united kingdom, presently i am working as a teacher in an high school, i was once a stripper in a club and i got affected with HIV due to the nature of my job, in February 2nd 2009, This is not design to convince you but its just a personal health experience.
I never taught doctor LAWCY could ever get my HIV-AIDS cured with his healing herb spell, i have been spending so much buying my drugs for the past three years now and taking several medication but no relieve, until one day i was just browsing on the internet when i came across a great post of MARIAN, who explained to me how a great dr called PAPA LAWCY helped her, by curing her from HIV, i thought as much and i quicklly contacted him, and he gave to me the assurance that he is going to help me with his herbs, he told me to buy the herbs which he will use for the preparation of my medicine which i did, he prepared the medicine and told me how i am going to take them which i did, just three days later i went to the hospital to give the final test and the doctor confirm that i am now negative, i am so happy that GOD sent DR LAWCY to help me out of my problems, if you are out there passing through this kind of problem, you can also contact him on DRLAWCYSPELLHOME@GMAIL.COM.com, and i pray that he will help you also.
All thanks to DR LAWCY, you can contact me on +44702407841

10:28AM PDT on Jul 1, 2013

Well now i'm really hopeful 4 the bees plight---it they can serve humans--no doubt our ugly species will be coming up with every solution possible to save them. Thanks

5:53AM PDT on Jun 29, 2013

Let us hope this leads to some real therapy, and maybe it might also help with cancer. I know that bee stings are used for arthritic disorders.

11:41AM PDT on Jun 23, 2013

Bees are best!

5:46PM PDT on Jun 22, 2013

The bees pollinate our food as well as provide a cure for cancer and HIV.

11:01AM PDT on Jun 22, 2013

Please note your photo shows a wasp or yellow jacket, NOT any kind of bee.
This is not to say that wasps do not have their place in ecology but is not favoured by honey bee keepers as they will attack a a weak bee hive.

7:09AM PDT on Jun 22, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

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