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Non-human primate studies reveal promising vaccine approach for HIV

Research conducted at Oregon Health & Science University's Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute (VGTI) has developed a vaccine candidate in non-human primates that may eventually lead to a vaccine against Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Details of this advance are published in the advance online edition of the journal Nature. The paper will also be published in an upcoming print addition of the journal.

The research team, led by Louis Picker, M.D., associate director of the OHSU VGTI and director of the VGTI’s vaccine program, produced a vaccine candidate that programs the immune system of non-human primates to respond more swiftly to the presence of a primate version of HIV than it normally would. The team also included researchers from the National Cancer Institute-Frederick and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.

The VGTI researchers tested their vaccine candidate in rhesus macaque monkeys at the Oregon National Primate Research Center using a monkey form of HIV called Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV). Of the monkeys that received the vaccine candidate, just more than half controlled replication of the virus to the extent that even the most sensitive tests could not detect signs of SIV.

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