Aussie researchers have developed a new cost-effective immunotherapy technique that can prevent the progression of HIV to AIDS.
This new technique called OPAL therapy, Overlapping Peptide-pulsed Autologous CeLls, was developed because there was a dire need for effective immunotherapies for HIV, as current therapies are expensive, impractical, and often highly toxic.
Led by Professor Stephen Kent, the OPAL trechnique is a reinfusion of fresh blood cells incubating with overlapping SIV peptides.
First the researchers successfully tested the OPAL technique in animal trials for stimulation of immunity, control of virus levels, and prevention of AIDS.
Due to vaccination there was a 10-fold decrease in the levels of virus as compared to controls, and it was also shown to be durable for over one year past initial vaccination.
Thus, viral replication was shown to be prolonged and more manageable, resulting in fewer deaths from AIDS.
The study is published recently in the open-access journal PLoS Pathogens.