These findings need to be reproduced in vivo, but they do offer new hope for a vaccine against AIDS. Exposing healthy individuals to HIV-1 proteins before they are infected with the virus might train their immune system to respond to the virus and prevent them from developing AIDS.
The study was conducted by Pedro Reche and Derin Keskin from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, USA and other colleagues from Dana-Farber and Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA. They used bioinformatics techniques to predict which HIV-1 protein fragments – or ‘epitopes’ - were likely to trigger a response from immune system cells called cytotoxic T lymphocytes. They identified 37 epitopes. Reche, Keskin et al. then predicted which of these 37 epitopes were likely to be recognised by most people’s immune systems, taking into account genetic differences in immune system genes, called HLA genes, depending on ethnic origin. They identified 25 epitopes, which they combined into five pools with which to test immune responses. They predicted that only 5 of these epitopes would be recognised by over 95% of people’s immune systems.
The authors exposed cultured lymphocytes from HIV-1 infected patients to the epitope pools, and repeated the experiment with cultured lymphocytes from healthy donors. They assessed the response to the epitopes by measuring the levels of interferon gamma (IFN gamma) produced by the cultured T lymphocytes – IFN gamma is produced by responsive T lymphocytes upon activation by pathogenic or viral proteins and helps to destroy infectious organisms.
Reche, Keskin et al.’ s results show that only a small proportion of cells from HIV-1infected patients recognised the epitopes and mounted an adequate immune response: cells from only 31-45% of patients produced IFN gamma, and in small quantities. By contrast, cells from all healthy donors responded and produced IFN gamma in large quantities. The authors also demonstrate that these exposed lymphocytes from uninfected individuals could kill HIV-1 infected cells.
Juliette Savin | alfa
Nesting aids make agricultural fields attractive for bees
20.07.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
The Kitchen Sponge – Breeding Ground for Germs
20.07.2017 | Hochschule Furtwangen
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....
A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...
Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision
Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
20.07.2017 | Information Technology
20.07.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy