News in the fight against AIDS:
Antibody Kills 91% of HIV Strains
In a significant step toward an AIDS vaccine, U.S. government scientists have discovered three powerful antibodies, the strongest of which neutralizes 91% of HIV strains, more than any AIDS antibody yet discovered.
Looking closely at the strongest antibody, they have detailed exactly what part of the virus it targets and how it attacks that site.
The antibodies were discovered in the cells of a 60-year-old African-American gay man, known in the scientific literature as Donor 45, whose body made the antibodies naturally. Researchers screened 25 million of his cells to find 12 that produced the antibodies. Now the trick will be for scientists to develop a vaccine or other methods to make anyone’s body produce them.
That effort “will require work,” said Gary Nabel, director of the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who was a leader of the research. “We’re going to be at this for a while” before any benefit is seen in the clinic, he said.
While a vaccine or a cure may be years away, this is a very significant discovery. Go read the whole article.