While there is no cure or vaccine for AIDS, scientists have been working for years to find one. Recently, scientists discovered antibodies (proteins in body fluids that detect and respond to various pathogens) that neutralize 91% of HIV strains, which is a higher percentage than any previous antibodies found.
Antibodies are integral to the creation and effectiveness of vaccines. For more about how vaccines work, see Discovery Health’s How Vaccines Work.
Following is a news report from The Body about the recent discovery:
Scientists have discovered two potent human antibodies that can stop more than 90 percent of known global HIV strains from infecting human cells in the laboratory, and have demonstrated how one of these disease-fighting proteins accomplishes this feat. According to the scientists, these antibodies could be used to design improved HIV vaccines, or could be further developed to prevent or treat HIV infection. Moreover, the method used to find these antibodies could be applied to isolate therapeutic antibodies for other infectious diseases as well.
“The discovery of these exceptionally broadly neutralizing antibodies to HIV and the structural analysis that explains how they work are exciting advances that will accelerate our efforts to find a preventive HIV vaccine for global use,” says Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health. “In addition, the technique the teams used to find the new antibodies represents a novel strategy that could be applied to vaccine design for many other infectious diseases.”
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