JUN 23, 2017 8:23 PM PDT

Delivering A New HIV Vaccine

WRITTEN BY: Kara Marker

Creating a successful vaccine for HIV has so far been unsuccessful, but now scientists are zeroing in on two important factors for perfecting the vaccine: timing and mode of delivery.

The vaccine candidates used in the study mimic the trimeric envelope protein spikes on the surface of HIV. Rendering of HIV with envelope protein trimers clearly visible on the virus surface. Credit: La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology

The potential HIV vaccine is based on neutralizing antibodies, which attach to viruses and prevent them from promoting infection. However, in the past neutralizing antibodies have been “notoriously difficult” to create in the context of targeting HIV. From the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, researchers tested the efficacy of an optimized vaccine in non-human primates, a traditional model for studying HIV. However, the initial vaccine wasn’t successful at first.

"The animals' immune responses, although the right kind, weren't very robust and a few didn't respond at all," explained Colin Havenar-Daughton, PhD. "That caused significant concern that the immunogen wouldn't consistently trigger an effective immune response in all individuals in a human clinical trial."

They improved upon the vaccine, using subcutaneous delivery - under the skin like insulin and morphine injections. Additionally, they increased the time intervals between immunizations, ensuring a slow and steady delivery. This makes the vaccine’s effect stronger, activating the neutralizing antibodies.

"Depending on how we gave the vaccine, there was a bigger difference due to immunization route than we would have predicted," explained co-lead author Matthias Pauthner. "We can help translate what we know now into the clinic."

HIV in 2017

HIV is now relatively considered to be a “chronic, manageable disease” thanks to antiretroviral drugs that treat AIDS. Although, accessibility to these drugs isn’t guaranteed; only half of people living with HIV have access to treatment, and new people are contracting the disease every day. The new

"The vaccine candidates we worked with here are probably the most promising prototypes out there, and one will go into people in 2018," said Professor Dennis R. Burton, PhD.

The present study was published in the journal Immunity.

 

Source: La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, Healthline

About the Author
  • I am a scientific journalist and enthusiast, especially in the realm of biomedicine. I am passionate about conveying the truth in scientific phenomena and subsequently improving health and public awareness. Sometimes scientific research needs a translator to effectively communicate the scientific jargon present in significant findings. I plan to be that translating communicator, and I hope to decrease the spread of misrepresented scientific phenomena! Check out my science blog: ScienceKara.com.
You May Also Like
MAR 19, 2020
Infographics
MAR 19, 2020
All You Need to Know About Coronavirus (CoVID-19)
A new coronavirus, first identified in China in December 2019, has caused an outbreak of respiratory illness that was re ...
MAR 28, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
MAR 28, 2020
The Antibody Test to See if You've Already Had the Coronavirus
Knowing whether you’ve had the virus or not may not just reduce your need to panic- but also better help epidemiol ...
APR 15, 2020
Immunology
APR 15, 2020
Does COVID-19 Attack the Immune System like HIV?
Researchers from the US and China have found that COVID-19 can destroy T cells, a type of lymphocyte that plays a key ro ...
APR 21, 2020
Immunology
APR 21, 2020
A Nasal Vaccine Against Tau Tangles
  One of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the accumulation of “tau tangles”. Tau is a ...
APR 11, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
APR 11, 2020
Promising Experimental Anti-Malarial Drug
At St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, researchers discovered a fast-acting anti-malarial compound with promisi ...
MAY 18, 2020
Microbiology
MAY 18, 2020
An Antibody Against SARS May Neutralize SARS-CoV-2
SARS-CoV caused an outbreak of SARS in 2003. Samples collected from those patients back then may help us against SARS-Co ...
Loading Comments...