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Double vaccine against Human Immunodeficient virus

A vaccine against HIV infections is the most reliable way to stop the AIDS epidemic. A lot of researchers in various countries have been working for more than 20 years to cope with this task. However, the vaccine development is complicated by the fact that human immunodeficiency virus is very changeable, it is able to “hide” from the immune system and causes heavy immunopathologies.

The Novosibirsk researchers have developed a vaccine that is able to cause both humoral and cellular immunity, it means that under the influence of this vaccine, activated cells of the immune system will both form virus antibodies and devour the cells infected by the virus.

The vaccine per se is an artificial virus-like particle. Its capsule consists of the TBI (T- and B cell epitopes containing immunogen) protein constructed by the researchers, the TBI protein being combined with the polyglucin protein. This protein contains 9 participants stimulating different cells of the immune system – both the ones that produce antibodies and the ones that devour the newcomer. The DNA coding the TCI (T-cell immunogen) protein is contained inside the protein coat. The protein contains more than 80 HIV proteins fragments selected in the optimal way, which should activate the immune system.

The researchers have selected only conservative fragments, i.e. the ones that remain constant in the course of all major changes of HIV-1 and will certainly be noticed by the immunize organism. As a matter of fact, the coat and the filling of the particle represent independent vaccines, which cause specific cellular and humoral immune response. In the assembled form, the combiHiVvac vaccine is a particle 40 to 100 nanometers in diameter, approaching in size to the HIV-1 virus.

The antibodies, which are formed by immunized mice under the action of vaccine, recognize the real HIV-1 proteins and neutralize the virus. This was shown by the experiments on the cell culture infected by the virus and processed by mice’s antibodies. Preclinical trial findings allow to hope that the combiHIVvac vaccine will fight efficiently even against modified HIV-1 variants.

The new vaccine is nontoxic. Its single injection to mice even in the fivefold dose does not cause derangements to the organs, and repeated injections reinforce inflammatory processes in the liver, but only in the case if the liver is already out of order. The combiHIVvac vaccine does not cause autoimmune diseases or anaphylactic reactions, it does not weaken the organism’s tolerance to infections either.

The scientists emphasize that as the combiHIVvac vaccine not only stimulates antibody production but also destroys the cells infected by the virus, this vaccine can be considered not only a prophylactic one but also as a therapeutic one. In the Novosibirsk researchers’ opinion, the vaccine they developed is ready for clinical trials.

Nadezda Markina | alfa
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