Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University developed an HIV/AIDS vaccine candidate, that appears to have the ability to completely clear an AIDS-causing virus from the body.
Above: Scanning electron micrograph of HIV-1, colored green, budding from a cultured lymphocyte.
The promising vaccine candidate is being developed at OHSU’s Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute and tested by a non-human primate form of HIV, called simian immunodeficiency virus, or SIV, which causes AIDS in monkeys.
It is hoped an HIV-form of the vaccine candidate can soon be tested in humans.
Louis Picker, M.D., associate director of the OHSU Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute, said:
“To date, HIV infection has only been cured in a very small number of highly-publicized but unusual clinical cases in which HIV-infected individuals were treated with anti-viral medicines very early after the onset of infection or received a stem cell transplant to combat cancer. This latest research suggests that certain immune responses elicited by a new vaccine may also have the ability to completely remove HIV from the body.”
Through this method we were able to teach the monkey’s body to better ‘prepare its defenses’ to combat the disease. Our vaccine mobilized a T-cell response that was able to overtake the SIV invaders in 50 percent of the cases treated. Moreover, in those cases with a positive response, our testing suggests SIV was banished from the host. We are hopeful that pairing our modified CMV vector with HIV will lead to a similar result in humans.”