Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NIAID Describes Challenges, Prospects For An HIV Vaccine

Date:
August 29, 2008
Source:
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Summary:
Events of the past year in HIV vaccine research have led some to question whether an effective HIV vaccine will ever be developed. In the Aug. 28 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, officials from NIAID examine the extraordinarily challenging properties of the virus that have made a vaccine elusive and outline the scientific questions that, if answered, could lead to an effective HIV vaccine.

Events of the past year in HIV vaccine research have led some to question whether an effective HIV vaccine will ever be developed. In the August 28 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, officials from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, examine the extraordinarily challenging properties of the virus that have made a vaccine elusive and outline the scientific questions that, if answered, could lead to an effective HIV vaccine.

In recent years, the most extensively studied HIV vaccines have aimed to mobilize immune cells called T cells, write Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., NIAID director, and Margaret I. Johnston, Ph.D., director of the Vaccine Research Program in NIAID's Division of AIDS.

T-cell vaccines are not expected to prevent HIV infection. Rather, they could potentially reduce the level of virus (but not eliminate it) following infection, limit the number of immune cells that HIV destroys, and thus delay the progression to AIDS. There is no evidence yet that T-cell HIV vaccines work in humans, however.

If the vaccines ultimately do, their effectiveness may vary greatly depending on the genetic make-up of each individual, given that T-cell immunity is dependent on genetic factors. Furthermore, because the virus would persist in the blood of vaccinated individuals, T-cell vaccines would likely generate only transient "herd immunity"--that is, population-wide protection from disease conferred by vaccination of a percentage of the community.

In response to the failure last September of a T-cell vaccine for which many people had high hopes, the HIV vaccine field has undergone a self-reexamination and has determined that the balance between fundamental discovery research and product development should shift toward discovery. In particular, future research must intensify the study of broadly neutralizing antibodies to HIV, why most HIV-infected people do not make them, and the design of novel strategies to induce them with a vaccine.

Also, studying the earliest stages of HIV infection may shed light on ways to manipulate innate and mucosal immune responses to widen the window of opportunity for viral eradication, to prevent the virus from advancing to gut-associated lymphoid tissue, or both.

The authors conclude with cautious optimism that an effective HIV vaccine will be developed, but will depend on the significant growth of scientific understanding of HIV disease and human responses to the virus.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. MI Johnston and AS Fauci. An HIV vaccine--challenges and prospects. New England Journal of Medicine, 2008; DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp0806162

Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "NIAID Describes Challenges, Prospects For An HIV Vaccine." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080827195736.htm>.
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (2008, August 29). NIAID Describes Challenges, Prospects For An HIV Vaccine. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080827195736.htm
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "NIAID Describes Challenges, Prospects For An HIV Vaccine." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080827195736.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) A look inside Monrovia's Island Hospital, a key treatment centre in the fight against Ebola in Liberia's capital city. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) The Ebola outbreak is putting stress on first responders in Liberia. Ambulance drivers say they are struggling with chronic shortages of safety equipment and patients who don't want to go to the hospital. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) After the announcement that the first U.S. patient had been diagnosed with Ebola, doctors were quick to say a U.S. outbreak is highly unlikely. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) Medical officials from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital confirm they are treating a patient with the Ebola virus, the first case found in the US. (Sept. 30 Video provided by AP
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