In the seemingly hopeless world of finding a vaccine against human immunodeficiency virus or HIV, a silver lining was finally discovered.
SIV and HIV
The SIV has been generally regarded by most scientists all over the world as a virus that is akin to the structure of SIV. SIV was originally contracted by monkeys, but eventually the virus affecting them became what we now know as HIV in humans.
The study which showed some glimmer of hope in finding a vaccine for HIV was conducted by US-bases scientists and experts. The results of their study showed that giving vaccination to monkeys which has some characteristics of the virus boosted their protection against it by a whopping 50 percent and had also bestowed them the capacity to really protect themselves against the threats of tuberculosis.
First Proof of HIV Treatment
The study is the first ever proof that the virus that causes AIDS in humans can actually be eradicated from the body. Lead researcher Louis Picker of Oregon Health and Science University however said that the study is still pending to be applied to humans, but he assured that what the study reveals is ‘promising.’ The impressive results of this five-year long study were all shown at the Aids Vaccine Conference in Barcelona, Spain. In this yearly gathering of experts, he said that the mere fact that the study showed that the virus was completely eliminated from half of their monkey samples was encouraging enough.
Using Monkeys as Subjects
The monkeys that were under study then were injected with what Picker and his group call the SIV-protein-expressing rhesus cytomegalovirus (RhCMV/SIV) vectors. The monkeys were then bombarded with SIV carriers and SIV traces after being injected with the compound. The researchers then eventually discovered that an impressive 50% of the monkeys that were injected with the SIV-protein-expressing rhesus cytomegalovirus (RhCMV/SIV) vectors were given diagnosis that they are free from infection just within the first two to three years after getting infected.
The earlier results of the group’s research also revealed that the vaccine contains a shielding factor fending off tuberculosis. This means that the vaccine helps the monkey’s bodies to develop a much stronger immune response as compared to the regular vaccine against tuberculosis. This is called the BCG which is used everywhere in the world.
However, researchers could not fully cross out what they call the residual virus below the level of detectability. The most recent findings suggested some robust proof that the monkeys’ immune system became very much able to eliminate the virus—the very same thing that the antiretrovirals or ARVs in humans cannot do.
Other Related Findings
Aside from the big news that the said researchers found new hope for HIV vaccine, they confirmed that ARVs or antiretrovirals are capable of pulling the viral load to a zero, but it cannot completely eradicate the human body of HIV. Lead researcher Picker reckoned that the latest research revealed that memory T-Cells, the body’s army which fights off infection before it reaches the human cells, can shut down the production of SIV infection.
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