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 September 24, 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 September 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Health officials warn that without further intervention, the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could reach 1.4 million by January. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

AFP (Sep. 23, 2014) The number of Ebola infections will triple to 20,000 by November, soaring by thousands every week if efforts to stop the outbreak are not stepped up radically, the WHO warned in a study on Tuesday. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) No surprise here: A recent study says men can reduce their risk of heart attack by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes daily exercise. 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