Soon the AIDS could stop making fear. A team of South African and American researchers has made ​​a fundamental discovery that brings us one step away from the synthesis of a vaccine effective against HIV. Scientists have identified a mechanism that allows the immune system to block the virus that causes terrible disease and that could likely be used as a basis for the development of a drug immunizing.

Continue to die of AIDS and the spread of the disease, although slower, is constant, especially in poor areas of the world such as Africa. A vaccine would therefore be a hope for millions of people, which would be protected from contagion, and could eventually lead to eradication of the disease.

immune-system

The discovery made ​​by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Columbia University, the Centre for the AIDS Programmer of Research in South Africa and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in Johannesburg is critical because for the first time you have identified a mechanism by which the immune system itself tries to stop the HIV virus, hitting him in his Achilles’ heel. It is powerful antibodies able to attack the v1v2 region of the virus, considered one of the most vulnerable. The area called v1v2 is also one of the few to remain unchanged during the rapid mutation of the AIDS virus and this has led scientists to think that if it were possible to develop a vaccine that triggers antibodies that specifically address in that region , you could get an effective immunization against HIV infection.

The researchers were able to observe the action of these antibodies, called CAP256-VRC26, in a sample of blood taken from a volunteer infected with the virus in the previous weeks, that had developed naturally. Comparing various blood samples of the subject, carried out between 15 weeks and 4 years after infection, the scientists saw as is the evolution of the antibodies in the course of the mutation of the AIDS virus and identified the stages of the interaction between virus and antibody which causes the CAP256-VRC26 develop in their final form and more powerful, able to counteract HIV.

The scientists also observed that, after a few mutations, an intermediate version of the antibodies is already able to block many of the known strains of the virus that causes’ AIDS . The members of the research team that conducted the study are now optimistic about the possibility of developing a vaccine that stimulates the production of antibodies directed to the region v1v2 about HIV and its effectiveness in neutralizing the virus.