The amazing new treatment using COW’S MILK that could prevent HIV

  • Cows can’t  catch HIV but they can produce antibodies against the virus
  • Scientists  injected cows with HIV protein, and collected resulting antibodies from the  milk
  • They plan to  create a cream for women to prevent HIV transmission


PUBLISHED:05:24 EST, 24  October 2012| UPDATED:05:48 EST, 24 October 2012


Cows cannot contract HIV but their immune systems develop antibodies against the foreign protein 

Cows cannot contract HIV but their immune systems  develop antibodies against the foreign protein

Love it or hate it, cow’s milk is an  excellent source of calcium and vitamin D. Now scientists think they can harness  it to protect people from HIV.

Researchers found that cows could be used to  produce antibodies that defend against the human immunodeficiency  virus (HIV). The animals can’t contract the disease themselves.

The next step will be to develop it into a  cream which women can apply to protect themselves from contracting  HIV from  sexual partners.

A team from Melbourne University worked with Australian biotechnology company Immuron  Ltd to develop the milk.

The scientists, led by Dr Marti Kramski,  vaccinated pregnant cows with an  HIV protein and studied the first milk that  cows produced after giving  birth.

The first milk,  called the colostrum, is  naturally packed with antibodies to protect the newborn calf from infections.  The vaccinated cows produced HIV  antibodies in their milk.

‘We were able to harvest antibodies specific  to the HIV surface protein from the milk,’ said Dr  Kramski.

‘We have tested these antibodies and found in  our laboratory experiments that they bind to HIV and that this inhibits the  virus from infecting and entering human cells.’

The HIV-inhibiting antibodies from cows’ milk  will be developed into a cream called a microbicide that is applied into the  vagina before and/or after sex to protect women from contracting sexually  transmitted infections.

Other microbicides are being developed  around the world but the antibodies in this research are easier and  cheaper to  produce, providing a new HIV-prevention strategy.

‘We hope that our anti-HIV milk  antibodies  will provide a user-friendly, female-controlled, safe and  effective tool for  the prevention of sexually acquired HIV infection,’ Dr  Kramski said.

‘If proven effective in humans, it will  empower women to protect themselves against HIV.’

Marti Kramski, left, at the University of Melbourne with frozen milk containing HIV antibodies. Pictured with colleagues Behnaz Heydarchi, middle, and Rob Center 

Marti Kramski, left, at the University of Melbourne with  frozen milk containing HIV antibodies. Pictured with colleagues Behnaz  Heydarchi, middle, and Rob Center

About 30 million people are living with HIV  globally and there is presently no effective vaccine for humans.The research was  supported by the Australian Centre for HIV and Hepatitis Virology Research and  the NHMRC.

Dr Kramski  and her colleagues are now developing plans for animal and human  studies.

The work was being sponsored by Fresh  Science, a national program sponsored by the Australian Government. It is  published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

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