Vaccine against HIV infection is closer to reality
Progress toward vaccinating people against HIV infection has been announced by Adelaide researchers.
A team from the University of Adelaide and the Basil Hetzel Institute at Adelaide's Queen Elizabeth Hospital used a combined vaccination approach, researcher Dr Branka Grubor-Bauk explained.
She said a common-cold virus was employed to introduce the vaccine to the body, and a DNA-based vaccine injected to help the immune system work at the most common sites of HIV infection, the gut and body cavities.
"You need to get protection where your body encounters the virus first and you need to stop that virus from either entering, or you need to stop it from replicating and stop it from spreading," she said.
Testing on laboratory mice achieved a "considerable reduction" in infection, the team said.
"We're hoping our discovery is definitely pointing us in the right direction," Dr Grubor-Bauk said.
"After a long four years of study, we were able to create this common cold virus that encoded proteins of HIV and we vaccinated mice and we were successful in creating immunity in mucosal surfaces.
She said it was now vital more research was done.
"It's a glimpse in the right direction and we're hoping to get more funding to take this research further … before we can implement phase-1 clinical trials," Dr Grubor-Bauk said.
"We also have a DNA vaccine we administered intradermally, like the influenza vaccine, and we found by administering this vaccine we were able to get a systemic immunity throughout the whole body."
The findings have been outlined in Nature's journal, Scientific Reports.