vaccine blocks HIV in monkeys

In a revolutionary discovery, scientists claim that they have finally succeeded in making a compound that can block HIV infection. The vaccine gave promising results on monkeys and chances are high that it will be effective in humans too.

After three decades of conventional efforts, scientists have been able to design a vaccine that stimulates muscles to produce extra proteins that resemble Y-shaped heads. These heads blocks two sites called spikes on which HIV virus attaches itself. Since, virus isn’t attached to the cell, the immune system comes into play and removes those deadly viruses from the body.

“It’s a twofer,” said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which supported the work. “It’s very impressive, and the method is quite promising. But it’s still just in an animal model, so we’ll need to see evidence of whether it works in humans.”

The research involved four monkeys who were repeatedly infected with the SHIV virus ( modified HIV used in lab). However, every attempt to infect the monkeys went in vain after giving the vaccine. Some scientists claim it to be the most potent solution against the HIV so far. Some experts even said that the vaccine should be tested on humans right away.

The study author’s next aim is to try the vaccine on already HIV-infected monkeys and see whether the vaccine can stop the virus from further replicating itself or can vaccine totally remove the virus from the body. If successful then researchers will look forward to starting trials on humans. If everything goes according to the plan, it would take another 2-3 years before any trial starts on humans.

Moreover, the vaccine follows a new approach known as cutting-edge technique different from other vaccines that mainly focus on killing or weakening the virus.

The study appeared in the journal Nature.

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