New approach could outflank the AIDS virus

Like a general whose direct attacks aren’t working, scientists are now trying to outflank the HIV/AIDS virus.

WASHINGTON — Like a general whose direct attacks aren’t working, scientists are now trying to outflank the HIV/AIDS virus.

Unsuccessful at developing vaccines that the cause the body’s natural immune system to battle the virus, researchers are testing inserting a gene into the muscle that can cause it to produce protective antibodies against HIV.

The new method worked in mice and now has proved successful in monkeys, too, they reported Sunday in the online edition of the journal Nature Medicine.

The team is led by Dr. Philip Johnson of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

That doesn’t mean an AIDS vaccine for people is in the wings, Johnson said. Years of work may lie ahead before a product is ready for human use.

Nevertheless, the report was welcomed by Dr. Beatrice Hahn, an AIDS researcher the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who was not part of Johnson’s team. “It basically shows there is light at the end of the tunnel,” she said in a telephone interview?

“It shows thinking outside the box is a good idea and can yield results, and we need perhaps more of these non-conventional approaches,” she added.

According to the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, AIDS is one of the most devastating pandemics. More than 20 million people have died so far and about 33 million are living with HIV.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention last year estimated there are about 56,000 new HIV infections annually in the United States.

Most efforts at blocking AIDS have sought to stimulate the body’s immune system to produce antibodies that fight the disease.

This model has worked for diseases such as measles and smallpox. It hasn’t done as well with HIV/AIDS; test vaccines have failed to produce a protective reaction.

Just Posted

Break-in at Red Deer business

Social media reports confirm a business break and enter in Red Deer… Continue reading

‘Rough waters’: Spill raises new questions about fast-growing N.L. oil industry

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador’s ambitious plans to dramatically expand… Continue reading

Trudeau rules out snap election call, national ballot slated for Oct. 21

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there will be no early… Continue reading

Canadian firm says it has found largest diamond ever unearthed in North America

YELLOWKNIFE — A Canadian mining firm says it has unearthed the largest… Continue reading

Man from Olds killed in collision near Sundre

A 39-year-old man from Olds was killed in a collision near Sundre… Continue reading

WATCH: More than 100 protest UN migration pact, carbon tax in Red Deer

Chants of “Trudeau must go” echoed through the streets of downtown Red… Continue reading

Man who demolished landmark house ordered to build replica

SAN FRANCISCO — A man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house… Continue reading

Giuliani: ‘Over my dead body’ will Mueller interview Trump

WASHINGTON — With a number of probes moving closer to the Oval… Continue reading

Quebecers criticize western oil but buying more gasoline, SUVs, bigger homes: report

MONTREAL — Quebec’s premier is quick to reject “dirty” oil from Western… Continue reading

Speaker Geoff Regan opens the door to his apartment in Parliament

OTTAWA — One of the best-kept secrets inside the main building on… Continue reading

Baloo the cat is back at home after being mistakenly shipped to Montreal

HALIFAX — Much to the relief of his loving family, Baloo the… Continue reading

‘It’s what we do’: Famous Newfoundlanders help replace veteran’s stolen guitar

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Two famous Newfoundlanders stepped in to help an… Continue reading

Quebec’s anti-corruption unit blames media coverage for recruiting troubles

MONTREAL — Seven years after it was created, Quebec’s anti-corruption unit is… Continue reading

Former PQ cabinet minister poised to become next Bloc Quebecois leader

MONTREAL — It appears likely that Yves-Francois Blanchet, a former Parti Quebecois… Continue reading

Most Read