Scripps Institute One Step Closer to HIV Vaccine

The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) identify single surface protein site for HIV vaccine.6813396647_614b18c089_b6813396647_614b18c089_b

The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) identify single surface protein site for HIV vaccine.

Following a study on the possibilities of directing a vaccine at a single site on a surface protein of HIV, The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) believes it may be able to develop a vaccination capable of neutralizing nearly all strains of the virus.

Led by TSRI Professor and scientific director of the International AIDS Vaccine initiative Neutralising Antibody Center, Dennis R. Burton, the study targeted a vulnerable site on the virus’ envelope protein. Known as the ‘high-mannose patch’, the study targeted some of the most effective antibodies at this site.

Whilst recent studies have suggested that mutations allow HIV to resist and escape broadly neutralizing antibodies, Burton’s team has determined that their N332-directed antibodies are still effective even when it shifts to N334. By examining the vaccines effect on macaque monkey the results suggest that a surprising number of antibodies directed at N332 or N334 continue to neutralize HIV even when no glycan is present at either site, seemingly because they are able to attach onto other glycans within the high-mannose patch.

It has often been supposed that a successful HIV vaccine would have to target multiple vulnerabilities on the virus, but the TSRI’s study appears to refute this. Targeting the high-mannose patch could potentially neutralize a high proportion of viral isolates and block avenues of viral escape.

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