Spanish researchers are developing HIV vaccine
Spanish researchers have won a stage in the fight against the previously incurable immune deficiency disease AIDS. A well-tolerated HIV vaccine could prevent the onset of the disease in the future and replace therapy with antiretroviral drugs. However, the scientists emphasize that the HIV vaccine cannot be seen as a cure for AIDS. However, it raises hope for a more effective therapy method for immunodeficiency.
Previous therapy against HIV with strong side effects If an HIV infection is not treated, the affected person's immune system is damaged so severely that the disease progresses to AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). This stage of the disease is mainly characterized by the appearance of so-called opportunistic infections and malignant tumors that are life-threatening. The so-called Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is transmitted through contact with the body fluids blood, sperm, vaginal secretions, breast milk and cerebrospinal fluid.
Antiretroviral drugs have been used successfully for HIV and AIDS for some time, so that the life expectancy of those affected has increased significantly today. Although the combination of different active ingredients often means that the virus is no longer detectable in the blood of the sick, the medication does not cure. However, they prevent the virus from multiplying and must therefore be taken for life. The side effects of antiretroviral therapy (ART) differ individually. They often only appear at the beginning of treatment, but in some cases they have serious health consequences, as the German AIDS Aid reports.
HIV vaccine could prevent AIDS outbreak The new HIV vaccine, developed by a Spanish research team led by Felipe Garcia from the University of Barcelona, is now raising new hopes for a better tolerated and more effective therapy option for immunodeficiency disease. The HIV vaccine is said to strengthen the immune system of those affected and prevent infection of the white blood cells.
“When HI viruses enter the body, the immune system reacts, in which the phagocytes (colloquially known as phagocytes) break up the virus and split it up into small parts. The tiny HIV fragments get into the membranes of the dendritic cells of the immune system. If the infectious fragments sit in the outer cell membrane of the dendritic cells, they can infect the lymphocytes, which are white blood cells. They die instead of starting an immune response like in a healthy state. ” The new HIV vaccine is intended to prevent this process, as the researchers write in the scientific journal Science Translational Medicine.
HIV vaccine awakens the immune defense of the human body In the course of the Spanish study, the dendritic cells of 36 patients with HI viruses were rendered inactive by heating. Subsequently, these dendritic cells were administered to the test subjects as a vaccine. Since the HI viruses were no longer active, they could no longer infect the white blood cells, so that the immune response was started as usual.
As the researchers report, the HIV vaccine has caused the immune system to respond to the HI virus with a clear immune response. With a stronger immune response, the multiplication of the pathogens was suppressed even more. After twelve weeks of use, the researchers were able to determine the greatest effect of the HIV vaccine. 48 weeks after the start of therapy, the immune response of the test subjects was still significantly better than that of the control group, who was given a placebo. However, the effectiveness of the HIV vaccine decreased significantly compared to the twelfth week until the end of the study period.
HIV vaccine is not a cure for AIDS The researchers emphasize that despite the positive study results, the HIV vaccine is by no means a new cure for AIDS. "This proof of feasibility supports further research into new means and / or improved vaccination strategies with the ultimate goal of finding a functional alternative for antiretroviral therapy," the researchers write.
Although it is not yet known how strong the immune response to the HI virus must be to destroy all viruses, the new method shows that the amount of viruses in the blood plasma of the test subjects can be significantly reduced even without antiretroviral therapy. (sb)
Why some do not get AIDS despite HIV
Aids: 17 antibodies against HI viruses discovered
UN warns of rapid spread of AIDS
AIDS: SI virus is considered a precursor to HIV
Why some do not get AIDS despite HIV