Scientists Find Powerful HIV Antibodies

One kills 91% of strains, raising hopes for a vaccine
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2010 5:04 PM CDT
Scientists have discovered new HIV antibodies.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Scientists have taken a potentially big step toward an AIDS vaccine by identifying an antibody that neutralizes 91% of HIV strains, reports the Wall Street Journal. They discovered the antibody, along with two other powerful ones, in the body of a 60-year-old gay man known as Donor 45. His body produced them naturally, and if they can figure out how to have other people's bodies do the same (the discovery dovetails with separate progress on that front), it could be a major breakthrough.

"We're going to be at this for a while," cautioned the director of the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Another AIDS expert called the discovery part of a "renaissance" into research on HIV, which afflicts about 33 million people around the world. The report in Science comes 10 days ahead of a major AIDS conference in Vienna.

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