Author Topic: SA researchers develop Aids vaccine? (not some bullshit website)  (Read 122 times)

eS El Duque

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South Africa is central to the global search An HIV ‘toolkit’ would include a new vaccine

SA scientists at the vanguard of the quest to find an Aids vaccine, writes Claire Keeton

SCIENTISTS now know they need to be smarter than nature to discover an Aids vaccine and recent setbacks have spurred a renaissance in this field.

Many vaccines mimic how the body’s immune system fights infection, but the body is not able to overcome the human immuno- deficiency virus — and attempts to create an Aids vaccine the classical way have failed.

Dr Seth Berkley, the chief executive of the International Aids Vaccine Initiative , said this week: “A few years ago, we were all looking for a quick win; there will be no quick win.”

But he stressed that the urgency had not abated. With about 7500 people infected by HIV each day, a vaccine is the best hope of stopping the epidemic.

Despite major disappointments, there is a surge forward with modern technology opening up options, a renewed focus on basic science and discovery, and an injection of funding ( 125-million last year).

South Africa is central to the global search for a vaccine. It is developing its own candidate vaccines, setting up clinical trials to test them and having acclaimed scientists in the field.

Professor Lynn Morris, head of the Aids unit at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, said: “The big news on the local front is that an HIV vaccine designed and developed by South African researchers will be tested in the next few months at two sites in South Africa. This vaccine is already being tested in the US.”

The IAVI’s “Aids vaccine blueprint 2008” proposes that those on the quest to find a vaccine outline the steps that are attainable on the way to the ultimate goal. Until now, Aids vaccine researchers have pursued two main strategies, with experimental work on a third showing promise.

# The first is the T-cell, or cell- mediated immunity approach, which aims to crank up the immune system by stimulating T-cells to destroy HIV-infected cells. This would prevent or delay the progression to Aids (this is a therapeutic vaccine);

# Neutralising antibodies: identifying and generating antibodies that stop HIV infecting cells (a preventative vaccine); and

# Gene transfer or therapy: this involves inserting a gene, or genes, that prevent HIV from invading cells or modifying T-cells so that they find and destroy HIV- infected cells more effectively.

Most licensed vaccines so far have been designed to stimulate T-cells and there are about 30 of them in the pipeline for testing. But this approach suffered a huge blow in September 2007 when the results of a large trial of Merck’s MRKAd5 vaccine showed no benefit, even though it stimulated T cells.

As a result, the Phambili trial to test it in South Africa was halted.

Berkley said : “We have made enormous progress since the Merck trial.”

On the T-cell side, he said: “We have six approaches that look better than Merck’s and we have better approaches in the monkey model.”

One vaccine tested on monkeys totally protected some of them from the simian version of HIV.

“We need to accelerate as many promising candidates as possible to jump the pile and confirm the results in humans,” said Berkley.

On the antibody side, he said: “We have a couple of new antibodies that appear to be more potent. This is important because we have a few more targets to go after.”

Morris added: “There have been some exciting discoveries that increase our prospects of designing a vaccine that induces the production of the right types of antibodies.”

In South Africa, Elevation Biotech is working on identifying HIV antigens that will prompt the body to produce antibodies capable of neutralising the virus.

Large-scale human clinical vaccine trials — which require thousands of volunteers, take a long time and are costly — have been scaled down.

Dr Anthony Fauci, one of the world’s most influential HIV scientists, said: “The bar to go for a big efficacy trial has been raised very high. We are looking more at small proof-of- concept trials.

“We have been forced to re- examine fundamental concepts on the immune system,” he said at the recent international aids vaccine conference in Cape Town.

Fauci said it might be necessary to settle for a vaccine that has a major effect even though it is not 100percent successful.

He said a vaccine would be one tool in an “HIV toolkit” for stopping the epidemic. Others would include preventative microbicides, male circumcision, condoms and prophylactic antiretrovirals to block (rather than treat) infection.

Mitchell Warren, the executive director of the Aids Vaccine Advocacy Coalition, said this week that it was an exciting time, while admitting that the HIV prevention puzzle was still missing necessary pieces.

Releasing the coalition’s annual report, Warren said that research trials into methods, such as microbicides (which look promising) or pre-exposure prophylaxis could yield important results.

As Fauci said: “We cannot guarantee success. But we cannot give up trying.”


Mr. O

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Re: SA researchers develop Aids vaccine? (not some bullshit website)
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2009, 07:30:27 PM »
Wow...i hope they find the cure.
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Cali Climate

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Re: SA researchers develop Aids vaccine? (not some bullshit website)
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2009, 11:28:07 PM »
Then how will the man control over breeding ignorant blacks?


Re: SA researchers develop Aids vaccine? (not some bullshit website)
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2009, 09:18:49 AM »
Then how will the man control over breeding ignorant blacks?

it'll be one big ass orgy all through africa