Identify guidelines for the development of universal antibodies against HIV
A group of researchers has identified the guidelines to develop universal antibodies with which to neutralize the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which could enable the development of a vaccine that prevents the spread of the disease, specialized media reported today.
The discovery is the work of a group of scientists at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute, which published its findings in the journal Immunity.
The research, led by medical doctor Mattia Bonsignori, offers a solution to one of the main problems when it comes to combating this virus: its capacity for mutation, which allows it to bypass the defenses developed by the human immune system.
This behavior of the virus also makes it especially difficult to establish a pattern of behavior common in all cases, which prevents the development of a universal treatment.
The work of this group of researchers has managed to identify part of these guidelines by analyzing in depth the development of the antibodies of the VRC01 variation.
For years many scientists have considered that this family of antibodies could be the key to the development of a vaccine for its ability to neutralize most strains of HIV.
"There are numerous studies on these antibodies, but until now it has not been possible to go back to the beginning, to the non-mutated ancestors -the origin-, because it was too difficult to go back in sequence due to their many mutations, deletions and changes", explained Bonsignori .
This new study has succeeded in extrapolating the lineage of the original VRC01 and reconstructing its development, which has led it to become one of the most broad-spectrum antibodies.
"That's where we were all stuck in. We knew that if we could figure out how to develop the original antibodies, we would be on the right track," the doctor said.