Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

HIV vaccine strategy expands immune responses

Date:
March 23, 2010
Source:
DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory
Summary:
Researchers have announced an HIV vaccination strategy that has been shown to expand the breadth and depth of immune responses in rhesus monkeys. Rhesus monkeys provide the best animal model currently available for testing HIV vaccines.

HIV is an extremely variable virus. One of the most daunting challenges for developing an effective HIV vaccine is designing one that stimulates immune responses that will protect an individual from the highly diverse spectrum of strains of the circulating virus.
Credit: Image courtesy of DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory

Two teams of researchers -- including Los Alamos National Laboratory theoretical biologists Bette Korber, Will Fischer, Sydeaka Watson, and James Szinger -- have announced an HIV vaccination strategy that has been shown to expand the breadth and depth of immune responses in rhesus monkeys. Rhesus monkeys provide the best animal model currently available for testing HIV vaccines.

The research appeared in two back-to-back articles in Nature Medicine this week, and outlines a strategy, called "mosaic vaccines," for reducing the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

HIV is an extremely variable virus. One of the most daunting challenges for developing an effective HIV vaccine is designing one that stimulates immune responses that will protect an individual from the highly diverse spectrum of strains of the circulating virus. The mosaic vaccine design uses computational methods developed at Los Alamos to create small sets of highly variable artificial viral proteins. These proteins, in combination, provide nearly optimal coverage of the diverse forms of HIV circulating in the world today.

In one of the two papers, Dr. Dan Barouch of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard University reported very promising results when HIV mosaic vaccines were embedded in specialized vectors -- organisms that transmit pathogens to a host -- that were designed in his laboratory specifically to make strong "Killer T cell" responses. Killer T cells enable our immune system to recognize and kill virally infected cells, and they help clear or contain viral infections.

When this vaccine was used to immunize rhesus monkeys against HIV-1, the most predominant and transmittable type of the virus, the researchers observed up to four-fold improvement in the monkeys' immune response to HIV-1, compared with natural vaccine strains similar to those that have been used in the past. In the other, complementary study, Drs. Norman Letvin and Sampa Santra, also affiliated with the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Dr. Barton Haynes of Duke University, used a distinct HIV mosaic vaccine construct that stimulated an immune response emphasizing "Helper T cells" -- the kinds of cells required to stimulate and control many aspects of an immune response. This study also showed an increased breadth and depth of anti-HIV immune responses to the vaccine. Both approaches demonstrated that mosaic vaccines improve the immune response against genetically diverse HIV-1 viruses.

"This research indicates that mosaic vaccines represent a promising strategy to expand coverage for genetically diverse pathogens such as HIV-1," Korber said. "The next step is to see whether the improved immune response found in Rhesus monkeys will hold up in humans, so small-scale human safety and immune response studies are being launched at Harvard and at Duke to explore that possibility."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory. "HIV vaccine strategy expands immune responses." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100303131707.htm>.
DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory. (2010, March 23). HIV vaccine strategy expands immune responses. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100303131707.htm
DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory. "HIV vaccine strategy expands immune responses." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100303131707.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:
from the past week

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