Here are some fun facts to know & tell:
Did you know that half of the patients with chronic HIV infection produce tons of powerful antibodies to fight the disease? They do, but too late in the disease process to fully neutralize the virus.
And, that this process takes place in individuals with all the different strains of HIV?
Did you know that two amazing scientists working for NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease identified these antibodies and figured out a way for uninfected subjects (so far, just monkeys, mice & guinea pigs) to produce these antibodies?
And that, by binding to vulnerable areas on the virus called epitopes, those antibodies provided test subjects (again, only monkeys, mice, & guinea pigs so far) immunity to 31 of the 208 strains of HIV tested from around the world?
If you did, you were SO RIGHT! And I AM SO HAPPY! The plan now is to “beef up” the antibodies to make them work against a broader range of strains. And, human testing is scheduled to begin in several months!
Who are these Heroes of Modern Healthcare? Dr Peter Kwong and Dr John Mascola!
Epitope-based vaccine design yields fusion peptide-directed antibodies that neutralize diverse strains of HIV-1
- Peter D. Kwong. John Mascola
- Nature Medicine
- volume 24, pages 857–867 (2018)
Mahalo for your interest!