TEMPO.CO, Surabaya - For three weeks, James Hutagalung and his team gave propolis drops to a patient at Airlangga Hospital, Surabaya. Five drops in the morning and five drops in the afternoon. "The coma patient was gradually able to see," said James, the head of the Center for Bee Studies at the Tropical Disease Institution at Airlangga University.
Propolis, also known as bee glue, is packaged in capsules of 500 grams or in liquid form. James added that the medication will continue by using bee venom after the approval of the patient’s family. Last Thursday, he revealed that using bee venom as an experiment was done in collaboration with Brest University in Paris.
The venom was derived from apis melifera (European honey bees) that usually live near coniferae plants such as pines or in the forests. The bees are currently being developed in tropical disease institutions. James hopes that the Center for Bee Studies will be able to make Indonesia as an international reference.
James used bee venom by referring to the research done by a team of scientists at Washington University School of Medicine about Antiviral Therapy last March. The research team discovered that nanoparticles carrying bee toxin named melittin were shown to be able to destroy the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) without damaging its surrounding cells.
They claimed this research to be a big step towards the creation of a vaginal gel that can prevent the spread of HIV causing AIDS.
Melittin is a strong toxin that can be found in bees. It can create a hole in the HIV wall. Large doses of melittin can cause massive damage. A senior writer for the report named Samuel A. Wickline revealed that the nanoparticles containing melittin have anti-cancer properties and the capacity to kill tumor cells.
Joshua L. Hood, a medical research instructor at Washington University School of Medicine, believes there are two potential therapies that can be derived from these nanoparticles. First, it can be used to create a vaginal gel that can prevent the spread of HIV. Second, it can be used as a therapy for current HIV infections, especially for people who are resistant to medications. The theory is that if these nanoparticles are injected into the bloodstream, the patient will be able to cleanse his or her blood from HIV.