Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


SFU researchers help discover new HIV vaccine-related tool

A new discovery involving two Simon Fraser University scientists could lead to a little known and benign bacterium becoming a vital new tool in the development of a vaccine against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Ralph Pantophlet, a Faculty of Health Sciences assistant professor, and Kate Auyeung, his senior research assistant and lab manager at SFU, and scientists in Italy have made a breakthrough discovery about Rhizobium radiobacter.

The journal Chemistry & Biology has just published their research in its Feb. 24 issue.

The research team has discovered this harmless bacterium has on its surface sugar molecules that resemble those on the surface of HIV.

This resemblance gives scientists a basis for developing a preventative vaccine, putting our immune system on guard against HIV.

HIV’s sugar molecules act as a cloaking device, preventing our immune system from detecting the virus until it has created several variant generations of itself.

By the time our immune system’s recognition has kicked in, weeks have elapsed, and HIV is several steps ahead of our body’s efforts to eliminate it.

Pantophlet and his colleagues believe the sugar molecules on Rhizobium radiobacter could be used to trigger our immune system to immediately recognize those on HIV, prompting more immediate awareness of the virus’ invasion.

“The irony of our discovery is not lost on us,” says Pantophlet. “We’ve found that a harmless species of a bacteria family that can cause tumours in the roots of legume plants could become a vital tool in the fight against one of the deadliest infectious diseases.”

Before Rhizobium radiobacter can become the basis of an anti-HIV vaccine, the scientists need to find a protein to which they can attach the bacterium’s sugar molecules. The protein is needed to properly trigger our immune system’s development of antibodies to the sugar molecules. Such antibodies would then recognize and target HIV’s sugar molecules because they resemble those on the bacterium.

This method of triggering antibodies’ development has led to the invention of successful sugar-based vaccines against diseases such as meningitis and childhood pneumonia.

“Two known proteins, tetanus toxoid and CRM197, a nontoxic recombinant variant of diphtheria toxin, are commonly used to develop these kinds of vaccines,” explains Pantophlet. “So a lot of the groundwork is there for us to be able to have a vaccine that could be tested in a lab first and then in clinical trials later on.”

Pantophlet and his colleagues are seeking grant funding from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research to continue their research.

If they get the grant, they hope to attach Rhizobium radiobacter’s sugar molecules to a protein and create vaccine candidates for testing within the next one to two years.

Carol Thorbes (SFUPAMR) | EurekAlert!
Further information:

Further reports about: HIV Pantophlet Rhizobium SFU health services immune system sugar molecules

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>