Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Another step closer

I don't know if this study (BBC - Scientists expose HIV weak spot) is in any way related to the vaccine being tested in Africa, but it seems to indicate that there could be real hope of finding a vaccine for HIV at some point in the future.
Developing a vaccine for HIV has proved extremely difficult.

The virus is able to mutate rapidly to avoid detection by the immune system, and is also swathed by a near-impenetrable cloak of sugary molecules which block access by antibodies.

But certain parts of the virus must remain relatively unchanged so that it can continue to bind to and enter human cells.

A protein, gp120, that juts out from the surface of the virus and binds to receptors on host cells, is one such region, making it a target for vaccine development.
Hopefully one of these vaccine will eventually pan out.

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