Doorbraak in HIV-onderzoek
Billions of Euros go every year into research for finding a cureto Aids or a vaccine against the HI virus that causes Aids. In2008, over 33 million people were infected with 2/3 of them livingin Sub-Saharan Africa. Now, an international group of researchershas come up with an antibody that neutralizes 91 % of all knownvariations of HIV.
The challenge of preventing an HIV infection lies in the factthat the virus mutates frequently leaving antibodies produced bythe human body ineffective. Antibodies are protein structures thatare able to bind with a specific virus and thereby prevent it frominfecting body cells. In recent research, much attention was paidto the few humans that are infected with HIV but seem to be immuneto its symptoms.
Researchers from the US National Institute of Health have nowsucceeded in identifying a protein area that is common to almostall HI virus variations. With this insight, they managed to designan antibody that can connect to the so called CD4-binding site ofthe HIV. These findings prepare the path for a possible vaccinationagainst HIV in the future. Even though the development of such avaccine will take years, this breakthrough definitely puts an endto the recently stagnating progress to fight Aids.
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