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CROI -- Day 2: Selected highlights of NIH-supported research
Date:2/28/2011

s or co-morbidities; mode of HIV transmission; diagnosis of depression; self-reported education level; alcohol use; or perceived social support. Scientists are conducting further analyses to elucidate this finding.

Vaccines and Anti-HIV Antibodies

John Mascola, Ph.D., of NIAID's Vaccine Research Center in Bethesda, Md., provided an update on newly discovered anti-HIV antibodies that have been used to identify regions of the virus vulnerable to antibody-based neutralization across a wide array of HIV strains. Based on the structure of these regions, researchers are designing proteins to elicit such broadly neutralizing HIV antibodies through immunization. Scientists envision that immunization for HIV will involve coaxing the body to develop a series of antibodies that evolve from a primitive state into a mature form through a process known as affinity maturation. By determining the genetic origin of an antibody, scientists can analyze all related genetic sequences, identify the genetic precursors of the mature antibody, and develop an immunization strategy that mimics the natural antibody affinity maturation process.

Jerome H. Kim, M.D., of the U.S. Military HIV Research Program in Rockville, Md., discussed the search for antibodies that could help explain why some participants in the Thai-based RV144 HIV vaccine trial were protected against HIV. As previously reported, the vaccine regimen tested in that 16,000-person study was found to be 31.2 percent effective at preventing HIV infection. Scientists have analyzed blood samples of study participants for specific types of antibodies to the gp120 protein, a vaccine component. Although researchers found relatively few HIV neutralizing antibodies, they identified many types of HIV binding antibodies. In addition, they found that the specific design of the gp120 protein in the vaccine enhanced the binding of certain antibodies to HIV, and also exposed areas of the virus that ordinarily re
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Contact: Laura Sivitz Leifman
niaidnews@niaid.nih.gov
301-402-1663
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Source:Eurekalert

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