New Hope For A Vaccine Against HIV

The natural genetic instability of HIV is this organismís best weapon. By generating mutations and increasing its diversity, the virus is able to fool its hostís immune system and has made the formulation of a vaccine so far impossible. However, US researchers have come up with a new computer algorithm that will soon allow the production of efficient HIV vaccines.

This new method elucidates and analyzes the variation found in different strains of the virus by describing the molecules able to elicit an immune response (immunogens) that have several forms of variable elements of the virus. The antigens then condense the variation found in many HIV strains into molecules long enough to serve as vaccine immunogens.

These immunogens reflect the diversity of HIV mutants and should be able to produce immune responses from the host against most forms of the virus, thus generating new hope for the millions of HIV-infected patients worldwide.

Source: Public Library of Science

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