Research unit traces movement and process of HIV vaccine

Researchers find antibodies to develop HIV vaccine
Researchers find antibodies to develop HIV vaccine | Courtesy of
Scientists from the Dynamics of Immune Responses Unit (Institut Pasteur/Inserm/VRI) have discovered processes by which an AIDS vaccine, MVA-HIV, processes and destroys HIV-infected cells.

This study, directed by Inserm research director Philippe Bousso, examined the movement and cellular processes of the vaccine, and the means by which infected and healthy cells interact and interchange cellular material.

One of the significant developments of this ongoing study is the visualization of this process. Powerful microscopes and innovative video recording processes enable researchers to watch the vaccine and the cell’s interactions as they happen, called in vivo — in the living — on live organisms. This footage sheds new light on the ways cells and vaccines work together, revealing new ways to modify vaccines so that they can work more effectively.

The vaccine, MVA-HIV, is also remarkable for its destructive properties. Researchers discovered the vaccine kills macrophages, which releases a positive response in the lymph node, facilitating a positive vaccine response. The vaccine is notable for its ability to distinguish between healthy and HIV-infected cells and the rapid way it makes these distinctions and reacts to destroy infected cells.

“Our research demonstrates the potential of the vaccine candidate MVA-HIV to trigger a significant, diverse immune response," Bousso said, highlighting one of the most important aspects of the MVA-HIV vaccine. He said this diverse response is leading the way for innovative vaccines and potential cures for HIV.

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Institut Pasteur

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