The uccess of a potential vaccine depends on the ability of the immunogen to bind with cells called B-lymphocytes and to activate them so that they produce antibodies. A team of scientists wrote in a new study published in Science magazine on March 24 that most people have so-called "embryo" precursor cells in their bodies which can generate VRC01 antibodies needed to conquer HIV cells.
The scientists tried to develop a special kind of immunogen which would bind certain B-lymphocytes, potentially responsible for immunity against HIV. The immunogen has to be very unique because the required progenitor cells are very rare among other B-lymphocytes.
"We found that almost everybody has these broadly neutralizing antibody precursors, and that a precisely engineered protein can bind to these cells that have potential to develop into HIV broadly neutralizing antibody-producing cells, even in the presence of competition from other immune cells," said the study's lead author, TSRI professor William Schief.
In a recent article published in Scientific Reports magazine, genetic scientists wrote that CRISPR/Cas9 technology is able to remove HIV virogenes from infected T-lymphocytes which the virus usually attacks. The finding may help to develop new methods of therapy for people with AIDS.