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This is still very early research, but it's worth passing along.

An international team of scientists has reported impressive results in their first animal trial of a new vaccine that might be applicable to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. In monkeys, the equivalent virus is called SIV (Simian Immunodeficiency Virus) and it's a close cousin to HIV, the human version.

Using a surprisingly simple formulation (or actually three similar formulations), French and Chinese researchers were able to prevent SIV infection in 23 of 24 macaques getting the vaccine, for at least four years. In the control group, all 24 monkeys were infected.

The vaccine works by deliberately suppressing a portion of the immune system, the part that triggers a response by CD4 T-cells. The CD4 cells are the target of the HIV virus (and the SIV virus), and when an infection occurs the resulting spike in CD4-T production just provides the virus a lot more hosts to infect. The CD4 trigger is suppressed in part by including standard "good" bacteria in the vaccine, of the kind seen in probiotics found in any health food store. Somehow, this allows the virus to escape the notice of the CD4 triggering mechanism.

Instead, the vaccine stimulates a minor player in the immune system, the CD8 T-cell.

The full story is here.

Original research is here.

Updated to correct errors in news article (and how predictable is that ... )

Originally posted to The Numerate Historian on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 02:59 PM PDT.

Also republished by HIV AIDS Action.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hopeful news, I remember the scourge that was (8+ / 0-)

    HIV disease in my community with deaths happening so quickly and with so many people that we could not attend all the funerals in one week.  The HIV is still terrible in certain populations where poverty, and poor medical care is part of the problem.  Now we also have Ebola and I hope that this news continues to be positive and HIV will be on the way out too.

    •  That must have been awful... (6+ / 0-)

      especially with evil bastards on the 'Christian' right saying God was punishing gays for their sins (shakes head).

      Peace.

      I ride the wild horse .

      by BelgianBastard on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 03:29:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We sometimes called it the trial by blood, virus (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BelgianBastard, Deja, jessical, G2geek

        and kill the gays Christians.  We also rose up to care, suffer and organize together and ultimately paid the blood price for our freedom while laying the groundwork for the present gay rights movements.

        •  For which you deserve all our thanks. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deja, jessical, G2geek

          That's probably a small consolation, though.

          I ride the wild horse .

          by BelgianBastard on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 04:09:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  and small consolation to those of us who... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BelgianBastard

            ... were scared out of having any kind of sex life on the basis that "tonight could be your death sentence."  

            All the more so when being sexually active is a de-facto requirement for finding any kind of lifetime partner.  And condoms were of little consolation since they could, after all, break, and even one broken condom could be sufficient.

            Given the choice between risking death by something akin to slow-motion radiation sickness, and remaining single, the latter was at least safe.

            But don't doubt for one minute that there are a lot of us around here who would have gladly strangled with our bare hands (past-tense therefore not bannable), those who went around smugly clucking that we were going to hell while they effectively blockaded a) medical research that would have saved lives and b) legally-recognized monogamy (marriage) that would also have saved lives.  

            AIDS was the Gay Holocaust With Added Plausible Deniability.

            GOTV as if your life depends on it, because somebody's life does.

            by G2geek on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 08:10:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Let's hope this is good news. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fcvaguy, Deja, FG

    But I don't know how applicable this is to humans as SIV is usually non-pathogenic, so clearly there are some immunological differences between us and them that might make this not work (more so than the general animal=/=human thing).

    I realize, of course that Rhesus Macaques are Asian, whereas SIV only occurs in African primates, so hopefully I'm wrong.

    If anyone can inform me, go for it!

    I ride the wild horse .

    by BelgianBastard on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 03:19:18 PM PDT

    •  Okay, so you bring up some really good points! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BelgianBastard

      I am ignorant to everything you bring up, except that your points sound quite relevant to the topic - you at least sound like you know what you're talking about (no offense).

      Especially the fact that the monkeys being used in this experiment are Asian, and that SIV only occurs in African primates.

      That seems more than a little "wrong" when it comes to science - kind of like how birth control pills for females were only tested on males back in the early days.

      Hoping someone with some more insight can add to this!

      "The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out." Thomas Babington Macaulay

      by Deja on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 04:40:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, it's actually a good thing... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deja

        African primates are largely immune to SIV as far as it becoming a disease is concerned, so testing on them would not be very useful. Chimpanzees and at least forty species of African monkey are known to get SIV; I'm not sure if Gorillas get it. For whatever reason, humans didn't become essentially immune, presumably because they weren't exposed until 'recently' (a hundred years ago?) or the populations that were died out. Asian primates are not immune either, and they get SAIDS - Simian AIDS, when infected by SIV. So it's much better to test on Asian monkeys than African ones. My point is more that monkeys may be inherently different from us in some way that might mean this result isn't as hopeful as it might seem. Again, I hope I'm wrong, and I'm certainly no expert, hence the ask for anyone who knows more to comment.

        I ride the wild horse .

        by BelgianBastard on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 05:06:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I did some checking... (0+ / 0-)

          And Gorillas do get SIV, and have apparently transferred a strain of HIV to humans, though it's not clear whether the Gorillas were infected by Chimpanzees and then passed it on to humans or have their own SIV. I can't find any information about Gorillas getting SAIDS though.

          I'll just add that all strains of HIV were SIV's that jumped the species barrier. HIV-1 came from Chimps, HIV-2 from Sooty Mangebeys (yeah, I had to look that up).

          I ride the wild horse .

          by BelgianBastard on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 05:23:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Its Very Cool, Not Clear If It Will Work In Humans (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BelgianBastard, jessical, DavidMS

    This sort of thing is very subtle where we try to tweak the immune system by suppressing the suppression (anergy) caused by the overstimulation of the T-cells.  But that's how the immune system rolls, and it's very hard to make it behave in precidtable ways.

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 05:53:53 PM PDT

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