New HIV vaccine can produce strong antibodies - study

The study notes the obstacle to creating a vaccine that can induce strong antibodies that can neutralize HIV strains.

3D print of HIV surface protein gp120. An antibody also is attached at the top (green and blue). When antibodies stick to viruses, they may prevent or limit infection of host cells.  (photo credit: NIH)
3D print of HIV surface protein gp120. An antibody also is attached at the top (green and blue). When antibodies stick to viruses, they may prevent or limit infection of host cells.
(photo credit: NIH)

A new vaccination strategy for HIV has been introduced with the ability to influence antibodies and protect animals from infections, according to a recent study.

The peer-reviewed study, which was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine on Wednesday, concludes that the vaccine involved can elicit polyclonal neutralizing antibodies, which are cells derived from two or more cells of different ancestry or genetic constitution.

The study notes the obstacle to creating a vaccine that can induce strong antibodies that can neutralize HIV strains.

The process of designing the HIV vaccine

Kevin Saunders, the lead scientist in the study, designed a vaccine that delivers a stabilized HIV protein. Researchers are basing vaccines on molecules that mimic proteins in the HIV viral envelope in order to test new strategies to boost vaccine responses.

Non-human primates developed polyclonal neutralizing antibodies that could target areas on the HIV viral envelope, according to what researchers discovered during the process. Afterward, they were exposed to a relative of HIV that affects primates known as simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV).

The glycoprotein spike complex of the Ebola virus bound by a neutralizing antibody isolated from a vaccinated individual. Surface representations in grey and pink show the two distinct submits that make the trimeric Ebola spike complex. The heavy and light chains of the neutralizing antibody are sho (credit: RON DISKIN/WEIZMANN INSTITUTE)The glycoprotein spike complex of the Ebola virus bound by a neutralizing antibody isolated from a vaccinated individual. Surface representations in grey and pink show the two distinct submits that make the trimeric Ebola spike complex. The heavy and light chains of the neutralizing antibody are sho (credit: RON DISKIN/WEIZMANN INSTITUTE)

Of the primates, most of the immunized monkeys remain uninfected with strong antibody responses, though all of the control animals that were involved in the study developed infections.