About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

New AIDS Drug Protects Monkeys from Getting Infected

by Himabindu Venkatakrishnan on February 19, 2015 at 1:25 PM
Font : A-A+

 New AIDS Drug Protects Monkeys from Getting Infected

A new drug against AIDS tested on monkeys provided an astonishingly effective shield against an animal version of the AIDS virus, said scientists on Wednesday. This stands as a major gain in the quest for an HIV vaccine.

Macaque monkeys given the drug were able to fend off high, repeated doses of the simian version of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), they reported in the journal Nature.

Advertisement

"We... show a way to achieve long-lived, effective vaccine-like protection from HIV 1," the main group of viral strains in humans, said study leader Michael Farzan, a professor at the Scripps Research Institute in Florida.

The prototype drug, called eCD4-Ig, comprises two imitations of the receptors, or docking points, where HIV latches on to CD4 cells -- the key defences of the immune cells.
Advertisement

The mimics latch on to the virus, tricking it into prematurely launching the docking procedure.

The virus can only execute the procedure once, rendering it unable to attach to CD4 cells thereafter.

The scientists likened the effect to closing the door to an intruder and tossing away the key.

The drug provides "very, very strong protection," Farzan told AFP by email.

The paper reported on a 40-week experiment which showed that inoculated animals thrived even after being injected with four times the dose needed to infect macaques in a "control" group.

Further research, to be unveiled at a conference in Seattle next week, found that the treated macaques "continue to be protected from eight times and 16 times the infectious dose, more than a year after inoculation," Farzan said.

The search for a vaccine has been one of the most frustrating chapters of the AIDS saga.

Traditional antibody-based candidate vaccines have failed to put up more than a partial shield, partly because of mutations in the stealthy virus.

The new prototype formula, though, targets sites on the virus' so-called Env entry protein that are "highly conserved" -- a scientific term meaning that these sites do not mutate very much.

Lab-dish tests have found that the drug also works on human HIV, which is very close to simian version of the virus.

"Of course, we still need to do further safety studies in both macaques and humans," before any trials can take place, Farzan stressed.

Since 1981, about 78 million people have been infected by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which destroys immune cells and leaves the body exposed to tuberculosis, pneumonia and other opportunistic diseases.

Thirty-nine million have died, according to UN estimates.

Antiretroviral drugs, invented in the mid-1990s, can treat infection, but cannot cure it or prevent it.

Treatment is lifelong and carries side-effects. For many health systems, the drugs bill is spiraling, becoming a major burden to budgets.

Source: AFP
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Ways to Manage Stress during COVID-19 Pandemic
Can Adjusting Fatty Acid Intake Improve Mood in Bipolar Disorder Patients?
Insulin Resistance Doubles the Risk of Major Depressive Disorder
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Oral Health And AIDS Drug Toxicity AIDS/HIV AIDS/HIV - Epidemiology AIDS/HIV - Clinical Features AIDS/HIV - Health Education AIDS/HIV - Prevention And Transmission AIDS / HIV - Treatment AIDS/HIV- Lab Tests and Faqs AIDS - Initial Theories and Disease Progression 

Recommended Reading
Quiz on HIV Symptoms
Do you know that there are symptoms for each stage of HIV/AIDS? Learn more from our HIV Symptom ......
Needlestick Injuries
A needlestick injury is a common occupational hazard that occurs when the skin has been pierced by ....
Facts on HIV / AIDS
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) usually targets the human immune system to weaken the body's ......
AIDS - Initial Theories and Disease Progression
AIDS was first detected in early 1980s, among gays, Haitians and black Africans. HIV is a descendant...
AIDS / HIV - Treatment
Encyclopedia section of medindia explains in brief about the treatment for AIDS/HIV...
AIDS/HIV
"AIDS is an epidemic disease, a potentially preventable, deadly infection for which there is no cure...
AIDS/HIV - Clinical Features
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general info about HIV Clinical Features...
AIDS/HIV - Epidemiology
AIDS or HIV is an epidemic disease, a potentially deadly infection that can be prevented with preca...
AIDS/HIV - Health Education
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general info about AIDS information and health education....
AIDS/HIV - Prevention And Transmission
Encyclopedia section of medindia explains in brief about the prevention for AIDS/HIV...
Drug Toxicity
Drug toxicity is an adverse reaction of the body towards a drug that results as a side effect of a d...
Oral Health And AIDS
AIDS has taken on massive proportions in modern times. It is estimated that over 15 million people a...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use