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The Wall Street Journal reported July 9, 2010, that there's been an Advance in Quest for HIV Vaccine. Although it may take years to develop a vaccine, finding antibodies to the set of HIV viruses that cause AIDS is a gigantic step forward.

NOTE: This has been diaried before, here and here, but I think it's important enough news to diary again so that more people will see it. The announcement is not for a cure for AIDS, nor is it a vaccine. Yet. It's just a big advance in the field.

HIV/AIDS is a tough virus to immunise against or kill once it's in the body. Most antibodies don't work on all strains of HIV - the virus is very mutable, which means it changes a lot (the flu is another highly mutable virus). In fact, most antibodies only work on a couple of strains. The antibodies found in the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases study work on more than 90% of HIV strains. These newly found antibodies bind to a different place on the HIV virion than other antibodies, allowing them to neutralise many more HIV strains. Previous antibodies have worked on, at best, about 40% of HIV types.

Science magazine has the abstract online for free. The full article is behind a paywall.

Make no mistake - this is not a solution for any of the problems associated with HIV. It doesn't solve transmissibility. It doesn't cure those infected with HIV and it doesn't help AIDS patients or people living with HIV. It doesn't prevent infection with HIV. It does, however, provide hope for future improvements in dealing with the AIDS epidemic.

Originally posted to SciMathGuy on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 09:12 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  NIH ramping up for clinical trials (5+ / 0-)

    Looks like the NIH is ramping up for larger trials. On February 26, it requested bids to produce the antibody for pre-clinical and clinical trials.

    "I had seen the universe as it begins for all things. It was, in reality, a child's universe, a tiny and laughing universe." Loren Eiseley

    by cadejo4 on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 09:32:19 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for publicizing this, SMG! (6+ / 0-)

    Frugal Fridays, where the cheap come to chat.

    by sarahnity on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 09:44:40 AM PDT

  •  I was reading the L.A. Times article as you (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sarahnity, Floja Roja, MsWings, SciMathGuy

    posted this. Great news indeed.

  •  A Roadmap For An AIDS Vaccine Was Published (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Floja Roja, SciMathGuy, rsmpdx

    years ago.

    But nobody was interested as far as I can tell.

    Huh? What? Why not?

    Takes a little telling.

    It's about sugar.

    A kind lots of people think they know all about but don't.  Nobody does.

    You see the HIV retrovirus uses sugar to hide just like cancer and other diseases do.

    That sugar pattern is distinct.

    Knowing the sugar pattern provides a target.

    Glycobiologists know a bit about sugar.  Not much but a little.

    There aren't many glycobiologists and the ones there are mostly talk to themselves because the language is foreign to normal people, even scientists who think they know a lot about sugar.

    And so we do immunology and cellular biology, which are not all that good.  Better than nothing. You do what you can.

    Sure hope things work.

    But it might help if we spent more money killing disease and less money killing people.

    One might say that would be very sweet.

    The book is here for any that have too much money and that for some reason are interested in killing disease instead of killing people.

    I apologize in advance for any thought I want to hijack this thread.  I don't.  Again I wish success with an incredibly difficult task by any who try.

    Best,  Terry

    •  Not hijacked. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Floja Roja, rsmpdx

      Making drugs aimed at carbohydrates is another approach to treating some diseases.

      Generally, vaccines try to mimic the agent you're vaccinating against, so whole live attenuated (weakened) organisms or killed organisms are used. Sometimes, treatments can be made that allow the body to focus on a part of the organism rather than the whole thing. Antibodies generally require a protein to bind to so that the offending organism can be "neutralised," but other approaches have been tried, too.

      -8.75, -6.72 If it's 15000 ft below sea level, maybe it should stay there.

      by SciMathGuy on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 10:30:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A Scottish Immunologist Gave A Short Lecture In (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SciMathGuy

        Florida on a carbohydrate cancer vaccine she was working on.

        I asked a very distinguished and knowledgeable lady with considerable accomplishments why she thought her vaccine would work while another similar vaccine had failed miserably in a Phase III trial and been abandoned.

        I have no memory of the details of her reply.  Probably had my mind on seeing other ladies on the beach in Florida.  Essentially I think she talked about better targeting.

        A few weeks later her vaccine was abandoned.

        My guess is that she and the other guys' problem was that they didn't really understand carbohydrates.

        As I indicated those dang glycobiologists speak really funny.  I know because I tried to talk them too.  Even the American ones talk a strange language.

        Take care, my friend.  We all must swim in a sea of ignorance.

        Just on its face, fighting a retrovirus that hijacks the immune system for its own purposes with immunology is a devilishly difficult problem.

        Best,  Terry

        •  Amen to that! (0+ / 0-)

          fighting a retrovirus that hijacks the immune system for its own purposes with immunology is a devilishly difficult problem.

          Yep - that is a real booger! Viruses are problems. Retroviruses are worse problems. Retroviruses that kill the immune system are almost unspeakable problems.

          -8.75, -6.72 If it's 15000 ft below sea level, maybe it should stay there.

          by SciMathGuy on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 11:37:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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