Using The Common Cold To Tackle HIV

Scientists have used the common cold virus and a DNA-based vaccine to stimulate protection against HIV in the gut and bodily cavities of mice.

AsianScientist (Nov. 24, 2016) – By combining two vaccines—one introduced by the common cold virus via the nose and the other by injection—researchers were able to protect mice from HIV in the lab. These results have been published in Scientific Reports.

“With sexual activity being one of the primary methods of HIV transmission, it’s necessary to try to protect those parts of the body that are most likely to encounter the virus first,” says senior author Dr. Branka Grubor-Bauk, from the University of Adelaide.

“A possible reason why previous HIV vaccine trials have not been successful is because of this lack of a frontline protection.”

In an attempt to stimulate a response in the mucosal tissue lining the gut and bodily cavities, researchers used the common cold virus (rhinovirus) that had been modified to include HIV proteins. At the same time, they also injected the mice with a DNA-based vaccine.

“This approach resulted in very specific responses in the immune system,” Grubor-Bauk said. “Importantly, this vaccine approach encompasses two different arms of the immune system: white blood cells that attack the HIV virus, and specific antibodies that recognize and shut down HIV-positive cells.”

“Overall, we found that infection was considerably reduced in the mice we studied,” said study co-author Professor Eric Gowans. “The findings of our work now support the need for further testing of this targeted approach to an HIV vaccine.”

The article can be found at: Tomusange et al. (2016) Mucosal Vaccination with a Live Recombinant Rhinovirus Followed by Intradermal DNA Administration Elicits Potent and Protective HIV-specific Immune Rsponsesa.


Source: University of Adelaide; Photo: Shutterstock.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

Asian Scientist Magazine is an award-winning science and technology magazine that highlights R&D news stories from Asia to a global audience. The magazine is published by Singapore-headquartered Wildtype Media Group.

Related Stories from Asian Scientist