The considerable diversity of HIV worldwide represents a critical challenge for designing an effective HIV vaccine.
Now, it appears that a vaccine optimized for immunologic coverage of global HIV diversity, called a mosaic vaccine and designed by Bette Korber and her team at Los Alamos National Laboratory, may confer protection from infection.
“This is the first time the mosaic antigen inserts were used in a challenge study. In a challenge study, vaccine-elicited protection from infection is tested, versus testing a vaccine for its ability to stimulate good immune responses,” Korber said.
These vaccines are specifically designed to present the most common forms of parts of the virus that can be recognized by the immune system. This new insight regarding a mosaic vaccine’s ability to protect from infection is the result of work by a scientific team led by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), and including Los Alamos researchers. The study, which was conducted in monkeys, is newly published in the journal Cell.