Scientists form Oregon Health and Science University developed a vaccine that may be able to fight HIV.
Their new study suggests that a vaccine for the monkey equivalent of HIV appears to eradicate the virus.
Research published in the journal Nature has shown that vaccinated monkeys can eradicate equivalent of HIV infection, which is called Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) and is 100 times more deadly then HIV, from their bodies.
Infected monkeys usually die within two years but in nine of the 16 inoculated monkey the virus did not take hold thanks to the vaccine.
Rhesus macaque monkeys were firstly vaccinated and then exposed them to SIV. The researchers found that at first the infection began to establish and spread, but then the monkeys’ bodies started to respond, searching out and destroying all signs of the virus. The nine monkey that successfully responded to the vaccine were still clear of infection between one-and-a-half and three years later.
The researchers now want to use a similar approach to test a vaccine for HIV in humans.
Prof Louis Picker, from the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute at Oregon Health and Science University, said:
“It’s always tough to claim eradication – there could always be a cell which we didn’t analyse that has the virus in it. But for the most part, with very stringent criteria… there was no virus left in the body of these monkeys.”