AIDS vaccine ’a step closer’ after HIV antibodies discovery
2012-10-24 0:00

By Erin Conway-Smith |

Researchers have discovered how potent antibodies can neutralize HIV, a breakthrough that could help with the development of a vaccine for the virus that causes AIDS.

A team of scientists found that the immune systems of two South African women infected with HIV were able to produce antibodies capable of neutralizing and killing 88 percent of known strains of the virus, according to a study published Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine.

Significantly, scientists were able to establish a link between a change in the outer protein coating of the virus, and the formulation of the "broadly neutralizing antibodies" that fight it.

The research, undertaken by the Center for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), has been hailed as a ground-breaking discovery that could be an important step towards developing an AIDS vaccine.


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