Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Research illuminating long-term non-progression suggests novel vaccination strategy for HIV

Date:
July 18, 2011
Source:
American Society for Microbiology
Summary:
A major problem researchers have faced in attempting to develop a vaccine for HIV is that the virus mutates incredibly quickly, which means that its antigens -- the target molecules of a vaccine -- are moving targets. A comparison of individuals who are able to control HIV without antiretroviral medication with those who are unable to do so suggests that a novel approach to vaccination might work around this problem.

A major problem researchers have faced in attempting to develop a vaccine for HIV is that the virus mutates incredibly quickly, which means that its antigens -- the target molecules of a vaccine -- are moving targets. A comparison of individuals who are able to control HIV without antiretroviral medication with those who are unable to do so suggests that a novel approach to vaccination might work around this problem. The research is published in the July Journal of Virology.

Human DNA contains so-called human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs), which are remnants of ancient retroviruses -- genetic fossils -- that under normal circumstances sit silently, and always genetically stably, within human DNA. In earlier work, a team of researchers led by Douglas Nixon of the University of California, San Francisco, showed that infection with HIV activates HERVs that lie inside HIV-infected cells in some individuals (but not those in non-infected cells), by interfering with regulatory compounds that normally prevent expression of these HERVs. The activated HERVs produce proteins that attract immune system T cells to the HIV-infected cells, targeting them for destruction. The researchers also showed that the greater T cell response, the lower an individual's viral load.

In the new research, Devi SenGupta of the University of California, San Francisco et al. extended these findings to include individuals who have long-term chronic HIV-1 infection. They compared the responses of a tiny subset of individuals who are unique in their ability to suppress the virus indefinitely without the aid of combination therapy to those of patients on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), virologic noncontrollers, immunologic progressors, and uninfected controls. A strong anti-HERV response corresponded to a lower viral load, and a higher CD4+ T cell count. "Interestingly, controllers who lack HLA alleles [critical immune system components] that are associated with protection from HIV-1 disease progression… constituted a large proportion of the subjects with the strongest HERV responses, suggesting that there may be an alternative mechanism of HIV control (such as HERV-specific cytotoxic T cells) in these controllers," the researchers write.

The findings suggest that a vaccination targeting proteins produced by the HERV genes could help the immune system keep HIV in check, says SenGupta. "Our research helps lay the groundwork for developing a new therapeutic or preventive vaccine against HIV. If this leads to a new anti-HIV therapy, millions of lives could be improved all over the world."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. D. SenGupta, R. Tandon, R. G. S. Vieira, L. C. Ndhlovu, R. Lown-Hecht, C. E. Ormsby, L. Loh, R. B. Jones, K. E. Garrison, J. N. Martin, V. A. York, G. Spotts, G. Reyes-Teran, M. A. Ostrowski, F. M. Hecht, S. G. Deeks, D. F. Nixon. Strong Human Endogenous Retrovirus-Specific T Cell Responses Are Associated with Control of HIV-1 in Chronic Infection. Journal of Virology, 2011; 85 (14): 6977 DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00179-11

Cite This Page:

American Society for Microbiology. "Research illuminating long-term non-progression suggests novel vaccination strategy for HIV." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110718154800.htm>.
American Society for Microbiology. (2011, July 18). Research illuminating long-term non-progression suggests novel vaccination strategy for HIV. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110718154800.htm
American Society for Microbiology. "Research illuminating long-term non-progression suggests novel vaccination strategy for HIV." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110718154800.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So 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:

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