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Studies Advance Understanding of Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies Against HIV

Three recent studies funded by the National Institutes of Health have shed further light on broadly neutralizing antibodies that may play a role in developing an effective HIV vaccine. The studies demonstrated techniques for stimulating immune cells to produce antibodies that either could stop HIV from infecting human cells in the laboratory, or had the potential to evolve into such antibodies, according to a National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases press release.

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Vaccine Combo Demonstrates Protection Against HIV-like Virus in Monkey Study

Administering a 2-part prime-boost vaccine prevented infection in half of a dozen rhesus monkeys repeatedly exposed to simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), and antibody responses against viral envelope proteins appeared to be the key to protection, according to a study published in the July 2 advance edition of Science magazine.

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Novel Entry Inhibitor May Provide Vaccine-like Protection Against HIV

A potential new therapy using a molecule that mimics both the CD4 receptor and the CCR5 co-receptor can stop an HIV-like virus from entering host cells, researchers reported in the February 18 online edition of Nature. Monkeys given gene therapy to produce the eCD4-Ig protein did not become infected after repeated virus exposures, suggesting it may be an effective HIV vaccine alternative as well as a long-acting therapy.

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May 18 is HIV Vaccine Awareness Day

May 18 is HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, an annual opportunity to call attention to progress in vaccine science and the need for further research on both preventive vaccines that stop new HIV infections and therapeutic vaccines that help the immune system fight existing infection.

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Neutralizing Antibodies from Llamas Provide Clues for HIV Vaccine Research

Heavy-chain broadly neutralizing antibodies produced by llamas can neutralize a wide range of circulating HIV virus strains, suggesting that immunization could potentially induce protective antibodies against HIV in humans, according to a report in the December 18 edition of PLoS Pathogens.

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