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Body's Own Immune System Offers AIDS Vaccine Hope

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posted on Apr, 4 2013 @ 01:16 AM
When a person is infected with the HIV virus, his or her immune system goes into overdrive.

What follows is an escalating arms race as the body tries to develop antibodies to the virus and the virus keeps mutating to escape them. During this process, the body often produces very sophisticated antibodies. Unfortunately, by the time they are developed the virus has already gone into the second stage of its cycle, hiding in the lymph glands where antibodies can't get at it. Without ARVs, full-blown AIDS and death eventually follow.

However, the complex antibodies produced by the immune system could possibly be effective against the HIV virus if they were available to the body at an earlier stage of infection.

Now, a group of scientists has successfully harvested some of these antibodies from an HIV-infected African patient, and found them to be very effective in neutralising HIV. Body's anti-HIV 'training manual' offers vaccine hopes.

The above link is to a BBC news item. Here are a couple of quotes from the original paper published by the researchers in Nature:

The mature antibody, CH103, neutralized approximately 55% of HIV-1 isolates... Source

The researchers believe that the study of these antibodies could help develop a vaccine or other treatments against HIV and AIDS.

These data determine the viral and antibody evolution leading to induction of a lineage of HIV-1 broadly neutralizing antibodies, and provide insights into strategies to elicit similar antibodies by vaccination.

I think this is both interesting and exciting, not just for the hope it offers those living with HIV but because it points a way forward for vaccine development using the body's own immune system as a lab and a factory.

Even those who believe in vaccination conspiracies and are afraid of having their children vaccinated should welcome this. After all, what vaccine could be more benign and 'natural' than one based on antibodies produced by the human immune system itself? No more dead viruses!

edit on 4/4/13 by Astyanax because: of format errors.


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