Foot cream causes HIV-infected cells to 'commit suicide,' study says

 

By VICTORIA TAYLOR

| NEW YORK DAILY NEWS |

SEP 25, 2013 | 7:07 PM

 

 

Foot cream causes HIV-infected cells to 'commit suicide,' study says

Ciclopirox, an FDA-approved topical cream used to treat nail fungus, eliminated HIV from cell cultures. (Fougera)

 

A cream often prescribed to treat nail fungus could have a revolutionary secondary use.

Ciclopirox, a topical anti-fungal drug, was found to eradicate HIV from infected cell cultures, according to a new study.

Researchers from Rutgers' New Jersey Medical School said that the drug caused the HIV-infected cells to "commit suicide" by blocking the mitochondria, which is a cell's "powerhouse."

 

Normal cells actually have a built-in self-destruct function that is triggered when they become infected or damaged. However, HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, can disable this so-called suicide feature. Ciclopirox was shown to reactivate this ability while also sparing the healthy cells.

 

Researchers said the virus did not bounce back or return when the drug was stopped. This is not the case with the available anti-HIV drugs, which keep the virus at bay but do not eliminate it.

 

Ciclopirox still needs to undergo clinical tests on humans, but researchers said they hope the fact that it is already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will speed up the costly and often lengthy process.

The study was published online in the journal PLOS ONE.

 

Foot cream causes HIV-infected cells to 'commit suicide,' study says - NY Daily News  http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/foot-cream-eradicates-hiv-cell-cultures-study-article-1.1467654