Tags: hiv | vaccine | aids | strains | scripps

Potential HIV Vaccine Combats All Strains

By    |   Wednesday, 18 February 2015 03:53 PM

Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have created a new compound that combats all known strains of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The researchers said it is so potent and effective that it could form the basis of a vaccine.

The research, which was published online in journal Nature, involved scientists from more than a dozen research institutions and found that the new compound blocks every strain of HIV-1, HIV-2 and SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus) that has been isolated from humans or rhesus macaques — including the hardest-to-treat variants.
The results showed that it also protects against much-higher doses of virus than occur in most human transmission and does so for at least eight months after injection.
"Our compound is the broadest and most potent entry inhibitor described so far," said Michael Farzan, a Scripps professor who led the effort. "Unlike antibodies, which fail to neutralize a large fraction of HIV-1 strains, our protein has been effective against all strains tested, raising the possibility it could offer an effective HIV vaccine alternative."
When HIV infects a cell, it targets and hijacks the CD4 lymphocyte — a key fighter in the body's immune system. HIV fuses with the cell and inserts its own genetic material — in this case, single-stranded RNA — and transforms the host cell into a HIV manufacturing site.
But the new drug compound binds to two sites on the surface of the virus simultaneously, preventing entry of HIV into the host cell and effectively shutting it down.
The team suggested the compound could be delivered through a benign virus that causes no disease and, once injected into muscle tissue, could create biological "factories" that produce enough of the new protective protein to last for years, perhaps decades, Farzan said.
"This is the culmination of more than a decade's worth of work on the biochemistry of how HIV enters cells," Farzan said. "When we did our original work on CCR5, people thought it was interesting, but no one saw the therapeutic potential. That potential is starting to be realized."

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Scientists have created a new compound that combats all known strains of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
hiv, vaccine, aids, strains, scripps
Wednesday, 18 February 2015 03:53 PM
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