News / Health

Scientists Target Antibodies That Work Against Many HIV Mutations

Discovery may focus development of an effective vaccine

Scientists have identified antibodies that might be effective against a broad range of HIV mutations, and  which could lead to an effective HIV vaccine.
Scientists have identified antibodies that might be effective against a broad range of HIV mutations, and which could lead to an effective HIV vaccine.

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +
Art Chimes

The search for a vaccine against HIV/AIDS has been disappointing, in part because the virus cleverly changes to elude the antibodies of the human immune system. Now, scientists have identified antibodies that may be effective against a broad range of HIV mutations.

Vaccines work by stimulating the body's own immune system to mount a defense against disease. But the human immune system just isn't very good at fighting off an HIV infection, in part because the virus is constantly mutating. That's been a big obstacle to developing an HIV vaccine, as Laura M. Walker of the Scripps Research Institute in California says.

"For HIV, current vaccines, because of the variability of the virus, don't induce antibodies that are able to recognize many different virus strains. And therefore, they usually are not very effective in preventing infection or preventing disease."

But Walker and her colleagues identified rare antibodies that were effective against a large number of the virus variations in circulation.

In the lab, they mixed those antibodies with HIV and saw that the virus was neutralized, and a relatively small amount of antibodies did the trick.

"What's special about these antibodies is that they're able to inactivate the viruses at very low concentrations, which means that if you could induce these antibodies by a vaccine, you wouldn't need very much of them to provide some protection, which we think is very hopeful in terms of vaccine design,"  Walker says.

The researchers isolated specific molecules from the antibodies that attacked new targets in the virus. Walker says these molecules might be used as what she calls templates for potential vaccines.

"Then, hopefully you can develop vaccine candidates that can induce these types of antibodies in a large population of people."

Walker is cautiously optimistic that her work may lead to an effective HIV vaccine. However, she says her approach may help protect people who are newly exposed to HIV, but probably won't benefit those who already carry the virus.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid