News and Features
Correction to the Perinatal Guidelines Issued
NIH-Funded Scientists Map Possible Path to an HIV Vaccine
“In an advance for HIV vaccine research, scientists have for the first time determined how both the virus and a resulting strong antibody response co-evolved in one HIV-infected individual. The findings could help researchers identify which proteins to use in investigational vaccines to induce antibodies capable of preventing infection from an array of HIV strains. …
“In the current study, scientists identified one of the roughly 20 percent of HIV-infected individuals who naturally develop broadly neutralizing antibodies to the virus after several years of infection. This person in Africa was a volunteer in a study in which participants gave weekly blood samples beginning early in the course of infection. This individual had joined the study just 4 weeks after infection and was followed for more than 3 years. Having blood samples from such an early stage enabled researchers to pinpoint the particular ‘founder’ virus that triggered the immune system to make an immature broadly neutralizing antibody against HIV, as well as the cell from which that antibody emerged. Analyses of the weekly samples also enabled the scientists to see the series of changes that the virus and antibody underwent over 2.5 years until the antibody matured to a form capable of potently neutralizing the virus. Scientists are now attempting to create a vaccine that harmlessly mimics the virus at key points in the observed process to generate broadly neutralizing HIV antibodies, first in uninfected animals and then in uninfected people.”
More information is available:
- NIAID: Press release
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