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Sequence of Shots May Lead to Effective HIV Vaccine

Series of immunizations might encourage HIV-fighting antibodies

TUESDAY, June 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) — A sequence of immunizations against HIV might hold the key to a successful vaccine, a new experimental study suggests. The study was published in the June 18 issue of Cell.

In the current study, the researchers attempted to produce HIV antibodies in mice with a sequence of immunizations both early in their immune systems’ initial response to HIV and later on in the process. The authors pointed out that the mice they used were genetically engineered to produce antibodies closely resembling those of people.

The researchers found that by administering specifically tailored antigens at specific times, the immune system’s response can be coached through the process of developing broadly neutralizing antibodies.

“While our results suggest sequential immunizations may make it possible to vaccinate against HIV, we have only just begun to understand how this sequence would work,” study author Pia Dosenovic, of Rockefeller University in New York City, said in a university news release. “We know the beginning and the end, but we don’t know what should happen in the middle.”

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