According to a new study, a common drug used to treat nail fungus may hold promise against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
In laboratory research, the anti-fungal drug Ciclopirox allowed HIV-infected cells to get killed off by blocking the cells’ mitochondria — their powerhouse. In addition, Ciclopirox eliminated HIV from cell cultures, and the virus did not return when the anti-fungal drug was stopped, the study authors said.
This does not occur with currently available anti-HIV drugs, which must be taken for the rest of a patient’s life, said study leaders Michael Mathews and Hartmut Hanauske-Abel, of the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.
The effectiveness of Ciclopirox against HIV needs to be confirmed in human clinical trials. But because the drug is already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment of fungal infection and is considered safe, the clinical trial process for this treatment could be quicker and less costly than usual, the researchers said.
The study is published in the current edition of the journal PLoS One.
The application of combination antiretroviral drugs have significantly improved HIV treatment, the study authors said within a Rutgers news release. These so-called drug cocktails work at keeping HIV under handle, but they never completely eradicate chlamydia.
HIV’s persistence is partially because ability to disable a cell’s so-called committing suicide pathway, which is normally triggered if a cell becomes infected or broken.
Source: HealthDay News