New research suggests that Geranium plants may hold the key to new generation of HIV treatments that inactivates HIV-1 on invading human cells. Extracts contain compound that attacks the virus and prevents replication in the human body.
Geranium Plants Extract
Geranium include around 422 species of flowering plants which grows in temperate and tropic mountains in the world, mostly in the east of the Mediterranean region. But researchers at the German Research Centre for Environmental Health in Munich found out that extracts may bring new potential and more effective class of antiretroviral drugs against HIV-1.
According to their findings, Geranium plant extracts contain compound that attacks HIV-1 and prevents viral replication throughout the entire human body.
"Geranium extracts are a very promising lead for the development of the first scientifically validated phytomedicine against HIV-1. The extracts attack HIV-1 with a mode of action that is different from all anti-HIV-1 drugs in clinical use. Therefore they may be a valuable supplement for established anti-HIV therapies," said research group leader Professor Ruth Brack-Werner as quoted by Daily Mail.
Researcher have extracted Pelargonium sidoides or PS from Germanium plants and found out that it attacks HIV-1 particles which can lead to prevention of viral replication. Professor Ruth Brack-Werner and Dr Markus Helfer investigated further more to determine efficacy on HIV-1 infected cultured cells.
PS extracts protect blood and immune cells from HIV-1 infection and also blocks the attachment of viral particles on host cells. Moreover, PS contain antiviral effects mediated by polyphenols which can be used as less toxic for cells than the raw extract itself to prevent and hopefully cure HIV-1 infection.
The findings will enable creation of PS-based medicine and drugs to fight HIV in addition to antiretroviral drug therapies which are easier to produce and do not require refrigeration unlike ARTs.
"The extracts are attractive candidates for increasing anti-HIV-1 therapy options in resource-limited settings since they are easy to produce and do not require refrigeration. The results of our study and the proven safety of the extracts encourages their testing in HIV-1 infected individuals as a next step," Professor Ruth Brack-Werner expanded.
If German researchers leading the Germanium plant extracts discovery made their way to successful advancement, PS-based medication against HIV-1 will bring possible positive effects to the human body of patients.
- Prevents replication of the virus due to blocking compound.
- Viral reservoirs may drop significantly due to lack of replication.
- Alternative and cheaper medicine than ARTs.
- More effective and better results if combined with ARTs.
- Quicker independence from ARTS which relieves adverse effects.
At least 35 million people around the world are now infected with HIV according to the World Health Organisation and majority of these infected people have HIV-1 subtype.