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Back to Infectious Disease Articles

 Wednesday, 01January 2003 05:30 PM GMT


Evidence of the virus dropped 50-fold in the blood cells of macaques and 1,000-fold in plasma.


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AIDS disease review
FDA approves New AIDS screening test (OraQuick)


SIV -- the monkey form of AIDS was sharply reduced by a new experimental vaccine although it did not eliminate the virus from the animals' blood completely.

Monkeys that had been infected with SIV were vaccinated using dendritic cells which had been exposed to chemically inactivated SIV. Evidence of the virus in the blood cells of macaques dropped 50-fold and its evidence in plasma fell 1,000-fold in the test that lasted 10 months.

The vaccine is used therapeutically and acts by promoting enhanced immune response against the virus.

This study has opened the possibility of treating AIDS infection in humans using a vaccine. This is not the first time scientists attempt to treat AIDS using a vaccine. In January, researchers at Harvard University, working on an AIDS vaccine for monkeys, reported the virus was able to overcome their vaccine by gene mutation.

Seven of the 10 monkeys that showed response to the vaccine did not show viral gene mutation. However, that maybe why the other 3 monkeys showed diseases progression.

AIDS is a global pandemic that is impacting the developing world and people of color most dramatically.  Worldwide there were 33.4 million persons estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS as of the end of 1998 of which 95% resided in developing countries.

Source of information:

New England Journal of Medicine


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