Animal vaccine study yields insights that may advance HIV vaccine research

A vaccine study in monkeys designed to identify measurable signs that the animals were protected from infection by SIV, the monkey version of HIV, as well as the mechanism of such protection has yielded numerous insights that may advance HIV vaccine research. Seven laboratories collaborated on the research led by Mario Roederer, Ph.D., and John R. Mascola, M.D., at the Vaccine Research Center of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

By examining both viral amino-acid sequences and the animals' immune responses, the scientists could determine the mechanisms of protection from SIV . The study demonstrated that antibodies to the virus spikes that SIV uses to infect cells are necessary and sufficient to prevent SIV infection. The study also identified clear measures of immune responses in monkeys that predict protection from SIV infection.

Amid the genetically heterogeneous mix of SIV to which the vaccinated monkeys were exposed, vaccine-induced immune responses tended to block infection by those viruses sensitive to neutralization by SIV antibodies, while neutralization-resistant forms of SIV tended to cause infection. A two-amino-acid change to the spikes on SIV converted neutralization-sensitive SIV to neutralization-resistant SIV, and vice versa. A similar change to the spikes on HIV had a related effect. Thus, SIV and HIV escape the immune system in similar ways, the scientists discovered. They concluded that the reasons why future human HIV vaccine trials fail or succeed will become clearer if scientists integrate information on the amino-acid sequence and neutralization sensitivity or resistance of the infecting virus together with information about volunteers' immune responses to the .

More information: M Roederer et al. Immunological and virological mechanisms of vaccine-mediated protection against SIV and HIV. Nature DOI: 10.1038/nature12893 (2013).

Related Stories

New microsphere-based methods for detecting HIV antibodies

date May 23, 2013

Detection of HIV antibodies is used to diagnose HIV infection and monitor trials of experimental HIV/AIDS vaccines. New, more sensitive detection systems being developed use microspheres to capture HIV antibodies ...

Recommended for you

HIV prevention and risk behaviors follow weekly patterns

date 13 hours ago

The peak time for seeking information on topics related to HIV, such as prevention and testing, is at the beginning of the week, while risky sexual behaviors tend to increase on the weekends, according to a new analysis by ...

Mathematical model seeks functional cure for HIV

date 15 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—Individuals with the natural ability to control HIV infection in the absence of treatment are referred to as elite controllers (ECs). Such individuals maintain undetectable viral loads ...

Indiana HIV outbreak, hepatitis C epidemic sparks US alert

date Apr 24, 2015

Federal health officials helping to contain an HIV outbreak in Indiana state issued an alert to health departments across the U.S. on Friday, urging them to take steps to identify and track HIV and hepatitis C cases in an ...

Why are HIV survival rates lower in the Deep South than the rest of the US?

date Apr 22, 2015

The Deep South region has become the epicenter of the US HIV epidemic. Despite having only 28% of the total US population, nine states in the Deep South account for nearly 40% of national HIV diagnoses. This region has the highest HIV diagnosis rates and the highest number of people living with HIV of any ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.