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HIV vaccination

Jul 4, 2006

Can you please explain why the induction of HIV antibodies is not used for HIV prevention? Enabling immune response by injecting dead or nearly dead virus should be a good way of HIV vaccination as the same method works well for other deceases. What is special about HIV so this prevention method does not work?

Response from Dr. Pierone

Hello and thanks for posting.

The induction of HIV antibodies with a simple killed or attenuated viral vaccine is not used because it is not sufficient for the prevention of HIV infection. Antibodies (mucosal and neutralizing in particular) have some impact on HIV, but generally don't prevent infection. Prevention and control of HIV infection is more dependent on cell-mediated immunity like natural killer cells, CD4 and CD8 anti-HIV specific responses. This is why vaccine development has been so slow coming, but progress is being made. Here is a link to a report on some of immunologic aspects of HIV control.

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