Monday, July 12, 2010

Vaccine Breakthrough: Antibody finding may help in quest for AIDS vaccine

via Reuters, by Maggie Fox

Researchers have discovered antibodies that can protect against a wide range of AIDS viruses and said they may be able to use them to design a vaccine against the fatal and incurable virus.

The bodies of some people make these immune system proteins after they are infected with the AIDS virus, when it is too late for them to do much good. But a properly designed vaccine might help the body make them much sooner, the researchers reported in Friday's issue of the journal Science.

"I am more optimistic about an AIDS vaccine at this point in time than I have been probably in the last 10 years," Dr. Gary Nabel of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who led the study, said in a telephone interview. Two of the antibodies can attach to and neutralize 90 percent of the various mutations of the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS, Nabel said.

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