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HIV breakthrough could lead to vaccine

Sun 11 Jul 2010 In: International News View at NDHA

Antibody VRCO1 (blue and green) binding to HIV (gray and red). Three antibodies that neutralize 91% of HIV strains have been discovered, in a breakthrough that could potentially lead to a future vaccine. An article published in Science Magazine says the antibodies were culled from the body of a 60-year-old gay African-American man, who has been HIV positive for the past 20 years. American Government scientists designed a probe to exactly emulate the molecular site where the HIV-neutralizing antibodies attack. The researchers at Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases are stressing that the implementation of the antibodies must work towards a universal effect that can overcome the virus's constant mutations. Possible methods of implementation for the antibody vaccine include a raw form drug, a "microbicide" gel to be applied before sexual intercourse, and a stimulant that would cause the immune system to produce the antibodies before infection. The discovery also holds the possibility for boosting the effectiveness of already-existing HIV treatment medication. The research centre's director Gary Nabel says a lot of work lies ahead. "We are going to be at this for a while" before any benefit is seen in the clinic, he told the Wall St Journal.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Sunday, 11th July 2010 - 12:04pm

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