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Cow Antibodies May Lead To HIV Vaccine

In a new study, researchers may have found the link between cow's antibodies and a successful vaccination against the deadly HIV.

Cow Antibodies May Lead To HIV Vaccine

Cow's antibodies might become the new HIV vaccinations

In a new study, researchers may have found the link between cow's antibodies and a successful vaccination against the deadly HIV. The research team at the International Aids Vaccine Initiative and the Scripps Research Institute carried out the study on the antibodies of cows. The study showed that immunising the cattle with an HIV immunogen, produced in them strong and powerful antibodies, in only a few weeks' time. The same procedure could take several years if it were a human body.

"One approach to a preventive HIV vaccine involves trying to elicit broadly neutralising antibodies in healthy people, but so far the experiments have been unsuccessful, in both human and animal studies," said lead author Devin Sok, Director, Antibody Discovery and Development at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI). "This experiment demonstrates that not only is it possible to produce these antibodies in animals, but we can do so reliably, quickly, and using a relatively simple immunisation strategy when given in the right setting," Sok added.

HIV tricks the immune system by displaying irrelevant forms of protein which distracts the system. Scientists believe that they have overcome this challenge by developing an immunogen called "BG505 SOSIP", which imitates the protein target. In the new study, four cows immunised with "BG505 SOSIP" elicited "bnAbs" to HIV within 35-52 days.

"Cows cannot be infected with HIV, of course. But these findings illuminate a new goal for HIV vaccine researchers: by increasing the number of human antibodies with long loops, we might have an easier chance of eliciting protective bnAbs by vaccination," the researchers noted.

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