A vaccine aimed against AIDS, developed at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University, the Emory Vaccine Center, and the Laboratory of Viral Diseases at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will begin a Phase I clinical trial this week.
A total of 30 human volunteers will be enrolled at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of Washington in Seattle, and the San Francisco Department of Public Health. The trial is funded by NIAID and is conducted by the HIV Vaccine Trials Network, located at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Wash.
Developed by virologists Harriet L. Robinson, PhD, James M. Smith, PhD, Bernard Moss, MD, PhD, and Linda Wyatt, PhD, the vaccine strategy employs two different components: two inoculations of a DNA vaccine that primes the immune system to recognize HIV; and a subsequent booster vaccine based on a recombinant poxvirus. Neither component incorporates the actual virus; instead, the vaccine produces the three major proteins expressed by HIV. In essence, the vaccine induces the immune system to respond to the distinguishing features of HIV so the system will respond to the actual virus should it appear.
Holly Korschun | EurekAlert!
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