New Strategy Proposed For Designing Antibody-based HIV Vaccine
These studies demonstrate that, contrary to widespread belief, it is not uncommon for people infected with HIV to naturally make antibodies that can neutralize a variety of HIV strains. These antibodies do not protect people from the virus because they arise years after HIV infection is established. However, if a vaccine could prime the body to make these broadly neutralizing antibodies before exposure to HIV, they could potentially prevent infection or hold the virus at bay until an army of immune cells assembles to limit viral replication.
Based on these findings, Dr. Mascola and colleagues recommend a research strategy that uses naturally occurring, broadly neutralizing anti-HIV antibodies for the ultimate design of an antibody-based HIV vaccine.
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