Researchers at the University of Minnesota have identified a series of novel compounds that combat HIV and may one day lead to new options for antiretroviral treatment. Publishing their findings in the Journal of Virology, the investigators discovered five compounds called ribonucleoside analogs that in laboratory studies either blocked replication of HIV at the point in its life cycle called reverse transcription or that caused the virus to mutate into extinction.

“It’s a counterintuitive finding,” said Louis Mansky, PhD, a virologist at the University of Minnesota and one of the study’s authors, said in a release. “These ribonucleoside analogs were not generally thought to be associated with affecting HIV DNA synthesis—a critical step in virus replication. We don’t yet know all the details for how these particular compounds stop the virus in its path.”

If research pans out, these findings may lead to new, cost-effective HIV treatments and a means to combat resistance to today’s antiretrovirals. Ribonucleoside analogs are less expensive to produce than the deoxyribonucleoside analogs currently in use and for which they might provide an alternative.

To read the study abstract, click here.

To read a release on the study, click here.