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March 14, 2005

On: China Tests AIDS Vaccine

Topics: Terri Schiavo's Life Counts

- from Las Vegas Sun via Hidden Nook we read that China is testing a new AIDS vaccine.  Ho-hum!

Why aren't we excited about this? During the past 20 years, the pendulum of research opinion in the development of an HIV-1 vaccine has swung back and forth between two extremes; initially the induction of antibodies-only was a favorite, and subsequently the induction of cell-mediated immune responses-only seems to be the favorite child of the frustrations faced in HIV vaccine development.

Presently, since the mother nature of immunology doesn't play favorites and since the synergistic interaction of humoral and cell-mediated immunological processes is the norm rather than the exception, the consensus now seems to be that induction of both humoral and cellular immunity by an HIV-1 vaccine will be required to achieve maximum protection. One obstacle to the development of an effective HIV-1 vaccine has been the difficulty in inducing broadly reactive, potent antibodies with protective functions. Defining epitopes and designing immunogens that will induce these antibodies is one of the main challenges that currently confronts the HIV-1 vaccine field.

However, the biggest obstacle to the development of and AIDS vaccine that actually works is the nature of the act of infection itself - multiple exposures with different strains(glades). An HIV vaccine capable of controlling the international epidemic would need to satisfy several criteria. It would need to be effective against multiple strains (or clades) of HIV, especially those predominant in developing countries. It would have to be made accessible to at-risk populations throughout the world, including populations with minimal ability to purchase the vaccine. And it would have to be deliverable in developing countries with rudimentary health care infrastructures. Each of these priorities presents special challenges to scientists and policymakers.

So the only real news about China testing a new AIDS vaccine is the fact that China is announcing that they are testing a new AIDS vaccine, as suggested by Hidden Nook.  The only news is that they are openly recognizing that a problem involving AIDS infection exists at all.

Related:

French vaccine shows promise in preliminary study that demonstrates promise in suppressing AIDS virus(using own dendritic cells)

Progress toward gene therapy in AIDS: Researchers find monkey gene linked to blocking AIDS

Hat tip - Hidden Nook

Posted by Hyscience at March 14, 2005 8:44 AM



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