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Novel immune-suppressant vaccine completely blocks HIV infection in apes: human trials planned

RATE THIS! +37
Posted in Science on 29th Aug, 2014 01:23 AM by AlexMuller

A novel and relatively simple vaccine that can be administered orally has managed to completely block rectal infection with SIV, the monkey equivalent of HIV, in rhesus macaques and produced rapid re-suppression of viral load in monkeys who were previously infected with SIV.

 
The vaccine, whose success at blocking infection was described by its own designers as ‘surprising’ and ‘unexpected’, appears to work by stimulating the production of a previously unknown group of CD8 T-cells that stopped the monkeys’ CD4 cells from recognising SIV as a foreign invader, thereby preventing an immune response to SIV. This suppressant effect - which works in the opposite way to a traditional vaccine - means that the SIV is deprived of the SIV-specific immune-activated CD4 cells it needs in order to proliferate and establish an infection in the body.       
 
The vaccine consisted of inactivated SIV administered alongside doses of familiar bacteria, in the first case the TB-suppressant bacterium BCG, and subsequently with gut bacteria of the Lactobacillus genus, including one type commonly used in probiotic supplements. This suggests that if human studies replicate the success seen in monkeys (by no means assured in vaccine studies) the vaccine could be administered in a drink.
 
Two initial safety trials are now planned in humans. In one, HIV-negative volunteers at low risk of HIV will be given the vaccine to see if it stimulates the same immune- and virus-suppressant responses. In the other, HIV-positive volunteers on fully-suppressive antiviral therapy will be given the vaccine and then taken off ART six months later if test tube results suggest the vaccine has produced such responses.

Tags: HIVvaccinehealthmedicinebiotechnology

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-08-29
+2
Promising development. It is amazing how successful overall was previous research and therapies combating HIV - having this very powerful vaccine, providing that it works in humans, would be even better option Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-08-29
+2
The levels of protection seen in this vaccine are impressive. The approach is so unorthodox and appears so simple -the solution to the HIV vaccine challenge requires genius, which…is characterised not only by originality and usefulness, but also by surprising results. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-08-29
+1
This research is not only of use to HIV vaccine research. The strategy of vaccine-induced immune tolerance, rather than immune activation, is so new! Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-08-29
+2
Vaccines in cancer usually boost immune system. For example recently scientists have developed a vaccine that they say provides some protection against brain tumours in mice. The vaccine works by boosting the immune system to attack abnormal cells. Reply


 

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