Tick saliva could help keep hearts healthier in people with HIV

HIV Blood Testing

HIV research and treatments have evolved leaps and bounds in the past decades but researchers continue to dedicate time and resources to helping increase both quality of life and life expectancy for those who contract the virus. Researchers have recently developed an experimental drug derived from deer tick salvia that could significantly decrease inflammation and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Individuals with HIV develop a higher risk of both neurological and cardiovascular medical issues because the immunodeficiency virus causes higher levels of monocytes, a type of white blood cell. These cells directly influence the “tissue factor” (TF) protein, which triggers blood clotting and dangerous inflammation – even when an individual is controlling their HIV virus rigorously by antiretrovirals. The scientists have developed an experimental drug called Ixolaris which contains extracts from saliva of a type of ticks found on deer. It was first tested on monkeys who had been infected with SIV, the primate equivalent of human HIV virus. They discovered Read more