HIV vaccine progress made

HIV vaccine progress made
HIV vaccine progress made | Courtesy of
Two new studies published in PLOS Pathogens on July 9 suggest that neutralizing antibodies (Nabs) may help scientists to develop a vaccine for HIV.

Nabs are immune proteins that bind to and provoke the destruction of a virus before it develops into a chronic infection. It is crucial that an HIV/AIDS vaccine provokes a strong Nab response in order to protect the patient against a variety of HIV subtypes, as well as a variety of infections.

Provoking a broad and strong Nab response can be partially controlled by polyclonal antibodies that would target several different antigenic targets or epitopes within a virus.

One of the published studies suggests that a repertoire of Nab can start after a superinfection. The second published study evaluates the effectiveness of using Nabs to interrupt direct cell-to-cell transmission of the HIV infection, which would stop the infection before it developed any further.

"Eliciting a highly diverse immune response may be favorable to providing protection against incredibly diverse HIV-1 variants in global circulation supports further investigations of the molecular and functional characteristics of the virus-antibody interplay in superinfected individuals, as superinfection may provide insight to the development of a diverse Nab response with multiple epitope specificities,” researchers from the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center in Seattle said.

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

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