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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Successful HIV vaccine trial in monkeys gives hope for human cure

After years of working to create a vaccine that can effectively prevent the deadly HIV/AIDS, US scientists published a report that promises to find cure to the elusive virus.
In their experiment, 24 healthy rhesus monkeys were injected with a vaccine that will produce antigens and attack the monkey form of HIV, said the BBC.
In their study published in Nature, the vaccine offered complete control of the virus in 13 of the macaques and gave protection in 12 of the monkeys for more than one year.
The study explained that the shot stimulated the memory T-cells in the blood of the test animals. These cells offered long-lasting protection by being on the look out after the infection was gone.
Professor Louis J Picker of the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute in Oregon—the main author of the landmark study—compared the T-cells to armed soldiers, "There are soldiers that are back at the base with their rifles in the shed, and then you have the guys out in the field."
The study shows that the success of the vaccine trial in lab animals may give clue on how to combat the infection in humans.
Human trials may come after three to five years and scientists face the dilemma on how to proceed and the ethical issues that go along with it.
Nonetheless, researchers consider this development as unprecedented in the field of HIV/AIDS. Found effective, the vaccine will replace the current modes of treatment.
Details of this report here.

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