HIV/AIDS Vaccine Shows Promise

May 18, 2011 | healthmap | Outbreak News

A new HIV/AIDS vaccine may be in the works as research at an Oregon University has shown to prevent virus replication in monkeys. Louis Picker, a researcher at Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU), specifically in the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute (VGTI) has been working on developing a HIV/AIDS vaccine from genetically modified cytomegalovirus (CMV).  CMV is a member of the Herpesviridae family and is most commonly associated with salivary glands in the body. CMV was used in this vaccine development because most people are already infected with CMV, although they show little to no symptoms. In addition, once an individual is infected with CMV they carry the virus for the rest of the life. This new vaccine was tested on rhesus macaque monkeys at Oregon National Primate Research Center in Beaverton, Oregon. All of the moneys were infected with Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV), the monkey form of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). This vaccine prevented infection in thirteen of the twenty-four monkeys who were originally infected with SIV for more than one year. These thirteen monkeys’ bodies controlled the replication of SIV to the point that highly sensitive tests could not find any traces of the virus. These results are extremely promising and hopeful for developing a vaccine for humans. The next step for Dr. Picker and his team will be to develop the current vaccine for human testing.  If successful, this vaccine could prevent thousands of people in the United States from being infected each year.

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