In a promising, hope-inducing medical development that could potentially help those with the HIV virus and AIDS, scientists have created a vaccine that lets HIV-infected monkeys ward off the disease for more than a year, according to the Daily Mail.
Oregon National Primate Research Centre researchers, whose study appears in the journal Nature, protected more than half of the infected monkeys, who received the test vaccine, from showing any "signs" of the virus in later tests. Those subjects who didn't receive the vaccine developed the symptoms and indicators associated with a primate version of AIDS.
Human test subjects are next.
The possible miracle drug is called Cytomegalovirus -- CMV -- and it works by "priming the immune system to quickly attack the HIV virus when it first enters the body, a point at which the virus is most vulnerable, The Mail says.
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This means doctors will tweak the vaccine over the next few years so it can hopefully allow the human immune system to be hyper vigilant against the alert of HIV.
Although the experiment is still in its early stages, and must still be conducted on humans, the breakthrough represents considerable hope to "remove all traces of the disease from sufferers for the rest of their lives," according to researchers.
‘The breakthrough here is in using a viral-delivered vaccine that persists -- essentially using an engineered virus to thwart a pathogenic virus,’ Robin Shattock, a professor of mucosal infection and immunity at Britain’s Imperial College not involved in the research, told the Daily Mail. ‘Before this, scientists had pretty much given up on the idea of a vaccine that could control HIV replication. This puts it firmly back on the agenda.’
Dr Louis Picker of the Oregon National Primate Research Centre said he thinks it will be "possible to have a vaccine ready to test in people within three years."
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According to the Daily Mail: The findings suggest the vaccine could be effective enough to rid the body of immunodeficiency virus completely, according to the scientists writing in the journal Nature. Researchers used different versions of the vaccine against a monkey form of the Aids virus, SIV (Simian Immunodeficiency Virus) with outstanding results. More than half the rhesus macaques treated responded to the point where even the most sensitive tests detected no signs of SIV. To date, most of the animals have maintained control over the virus for more than a year, gradually showing no indication that they had ever been infected."
‘What’s exciting about these findings is that for the first time a vaccine candidate has been able to fully control the virus in some animals,’ said Dr Wayne Koff, chief scientific officer at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), which helped fund the research.
To read more about this medical development at the Daily Mail, visit here.