MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

University of Rochester tests novel method for HIV prevention

Testing a novel method for protecting against HIV
Testing a novel method for protecting against HIV | Courtesy of

Researchers at New York's University of Rochester Medical Center recently began testing a new approach to preventing HIV infections.

Regularly, people would receive a vaccine and scientists would wait to determine whether the vaccine was effective against the vaccine because of its antibodies, which are proteins that immune systems create to battle infections.

In the new study, the scientists will directly administer the antibody to the trial subjects. The antibody, which is named VRC01, can attach to over 60 strains of HIV from across the globe.

The scientists hope this new discovery will increase the development of efficient vaccines to protect people from HIV infections. They will use the Rochester Victory Alliance, also called the University’s HIV Vaccine Trials Unit, to study an experimental antibody that is designed to fight HIV.

“If the VRC01 antibody works to prevent HIV, the field will prioritize efforts to design a vaccine that can produce the antibody in sufficient quantities,” Michael Keefer, director of the HIV Vaccine Trials Unit and principal investigator of the study, said. “On the other hand, it is possible that we could find that controlling transmission of the virus might require a vaccine that produces more than one of these broadly neutralizing antibodies. Either way, this study will provide answers that are crucial for timely progress in the field.”

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University of Rochester Medical Center

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