Understanding how an immune system effectively develops antibodies against HIV, even if it belongs to a cow, is valuable information for scientists hoping to develop an HIV vaccine. The new research also provides insight into how to develop new therapies or treatments for viruses that evade the human immune system.
Previously, researchers had a big problems trying to develop a such response in humans. They didn’t understand why people who are infected do not efficiently make antibodies against the virus. (In fact, only about 20% of people who are infected with HIV produce what are called broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs): naturally occurring antibodies that can defend a cell against the virus. Even among people who do produce them, that production typically starts around two years after infection.). The news findings, even based on cows study, could help to force developing a similar response in humans. This is the necessary step to elaborate an HIV vaccine. At this time, “ne of the reasons why it has been so difficult to make an AIDS vaccine is that the virus infects the very cells of the immune system that any vaccine is supposed to induce,” senior author Dr. Guido Silvestri, chief of microbiology and immunology at Yerkes National Primate Research Center said.