A novel antiviral approach.

Walter Arancio, Walter Arancio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Viral infections are often the etiological agents of severe acute and chronic human diseases. Their peculiar biology usually leads to the need of design specific therapies for each virus, and the eradication of the viruses and the healing of the patients very often are not reached also after decades of theoretical and applied researches. HIV is a classical example of how the efforts of the researchers may be disappointed in eradicating a virus infection in an infected patient. Here I present a hypothesis for a new antiviral approach that may be suitable for the treatment of HIV infected patients. The same approach, with opportune modifications, may be also applied as healing strategy for a wide set of viruses infections. In brief, my idea is to use the retrotranscription machinery and the packaging system of HIV infected cells to amplify the interfering effects of siRNAs directed against HIV genes and transcripts. The coding sequences for the interfering RNAs are brought to the infected cells via modified HIV virions deficient for structural viral genes that will use the resident viral activities of HIV infected cell as helpers. The use of this strategy will probably lead to an intracellular, intercellular and systemic amplification of the specific virus-targeted interfering activities. Moreover this strategy may show novel levels of interference: a competition between the deficient and wild type viruses for the packaging molecules and the possibility of homologous recombination between the deficient and wild type viruses that may lead in turn to the formation of recombinant non infectious viruses, and the removing of wild type provirus sequence from the host genome of infected cells by recombination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-399
Number of pages4
JournalMedical Hypotheses
Publication statusPublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

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