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expert reaction to new strategy for HIV prevention, tested in mice

A Nature paper outlined a new technique that uses gene delivery to produce neutralising antibodies against HIV.

 

Prof Robin Shattock, Professor of Mucosal Infection and Immunity at Imperial College, said:

“This represents a novel strategy for HIV prevention, essentially a gene delivery approach to solve the issue of making humans produce protective antibodies to HIV. While of promise, much work will be needed to ensure safety, acceptability and efficacy of such an approach for human use. Nevertheless this study reinforces the potential of neutralizing antibodies to prevent HIV infection and complements the drive to develop vaccine approaches designed to induce protective antibodies in at risk individuals.”

 

Dr. Wayne Koff, Chief Scientific Officer of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, said:

“The results of this study add further evidence to the concept that broadly neutralizing antibodies could confer high level protection against HIV infection. It builds upon previous work by Phil Johnson who originally showed that vector mediated gene delivery of broadly neutralizing antibodies was an approach that could be applied to prevent retrovirus infection. The gene delivery approach presented here warrants further study. With 2.7 million new HIV infections last year, new approaches including a vaccine are urgently needed to help stop this virus.”

‘Antibody-based protection against HIV infection by vectored immunoprophylaxis’ by Alejandro Balazs et al. published in Nature on November 30th.

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