Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hopkins Scientists' Sequencing Of AIDS Virus From India Waves A Red Flag For Vaccine Developers

Date:
January 11, 1999
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
Scientists at Johns Hopkins and in India report they have sequenced the complete genome of a form of HIV, the AIDS virus, from that country for the first time.

Scientists at Johns Hopkins and in India report they have sequenced the complete genome of a form of HIV, the AIDS virus, from that country for the first time. The work has revealed unexpected variation in genes for one key part of the virus, prompting the researchers to suggest that currently favored approaches to vaccine development may not work.

Related Articles


The achievement, reported in this month's Journal of Virology, also suggests that different forms of HIV in India, unlike the single U.S. virus type, may be combining in a way that will further complicate vaccine development.

Researchers know that the genetic makeup of the virus varies with geography; they've catalogued 10 possible different HIV subtypes, lettered A to J. The United States subtype, for example, is largely subtype B. "India's strains are primarily subtype C, a variety also dominant in Africa and Southeast Asia," says Hopkins virologist Stuart C. Ray, M.D., who directed the U.S. arm of the study. "But we were curious to see if India's subtype C differed in important ways from the others." Knowing a subtype's makeup is an important step on the road to a vaccine, he says.

The research team drew blood samples from six newly infected Indian volunteers: two had received contaminated transfusions and four were clients of a sexually transmitted disease clinic in western India. The samples reflect HIV variation in that country, the researchers say. The PCR technique to amplify the viral genes and their resulting analysis took place at Hopkins.

The scientists found that, while the virus has much in common with subtype C samples worldwide, the genes coding for proteins in the outer "envelope" of the virus -- the target of most of the trial anti-viral vaccines to date -- vary significantly from the subtype B strains that form the backbone of vaccines currently in international trials. "It means we could expect problems with any vaccine based solely on envelope proteins," says Ray. "We should probably look to other places in the virus for a vaccine ."

A second result also may signal problems. "One of the six patients had a virus that was a mosaic, or blend, of subtype C and subtype A," says Ray. "In Thailand and Brazil, unlike the United States, mosaics are the major players in the epidemic, and we believe mosaics may have a survival advantage over single subtype strains. Studies also suggest it's harder to make a vaccine against cross-strains. We're concerned that the A/C combination could become common and that single-strain vaccines won't work."

Literally thousands of people are newly infected with HIV each day in India, making the country the world's number one hot spot for the disease. Part of India is included in the Golden Triangle, an intense area of drug use and trafficking, and "that's an important part of the problem," says Ray. "Even more, however, comes from heterosexual transmission.

"Countries like India don't have money to pay for expensive drug treatments, so our best hope is a vaccine," he adds, "and we need to find the proper principle to develop one quickly."

Other scientists on the Hopkins research team were Robert C. Bollinger, M.D., and Nicole G. Novak, M.S. Kavita S. Lole and Deepak Gadkari of the National Institute of Virology, Pune, India; Smita S. Kulkarini and Ramesh S. Paranjape of the National AIDS Research Institute, Pune, India were also on the study team, as was Haynes Sheppard of the California Department of Health Services at Berkeley.

Research was funded by NIH grants and support from the government of India.

--JHMI--

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions' news releases are available on a PRE-EMBARGOED basis on EurekAlert at http://www.eurekalert.org, Newswise at http://www.newswise.com and from the Office of Communications and Public Affairs' direct e-mail news release service. To enroll, call 410-955-4288 or send e-mail to [email protected]

On a POST-EMBARGOED basis find them at http://hopkins.med.jhu.edu, Quadnet at http://www.quad-net.com and ScienceDaily at http://www.sciencedaily.com.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Hopkins Scientists' Sequencing Of AIDS Virus From India Waves A Red Flag For Vaccine Developers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 January 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990108113818.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (1999, January 11). Hopkins Scientists' Sequencing Of AIDS Virus From India Waves A Red Flag For Vaccine Developers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990108113818.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Hopkins Scientists' Sequencing Of AIDS Virus From India Waves A Red Flag For Vaccine Developers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990108113818.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) Carnegie Mellon researchers found frequent hugs can help people avoid stress-related illnesses. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins