Gene Tests Yield Results in AIDS Fight

Antibodies prevent HIV from spreading in monkeys
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted May 18, 2009 3:01 AM CDT
Scientists successfully injected a gene in lab monkeys that produced antibodies to protect them against AIDS.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
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(Newser) – A back-door approach to battling AIDS that could revolutionize treatment has succeeded in monkeys, AP reports. Scientists inserted a gene that produces protective antibodies into the muscles of six monkeys, then injected them with SIV—the animal equivalent of HIV. None developed AIDS, and most still had high amounts of the antibodies a year later.

The "leapfrog strategy" brings hope to the battle against AIDS, say scientists. AIDS research has long focused on the search for a vaccine that boosts immunity against the virus. "It shows thinking outside the box can yield results, and we need perhaps more of the nonconventional approaches," said a doctor. Still, it may be years before human trials begin.