A team of researchers, led by Louis Picker, M.D., associate director of OHSU’s Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute, has developed a vaccine candidate that has been shown to improve immune response to Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) in non-human primates. Dr. Picker’s findings were published in Nature in May 2011. The vaccine candidate—over ten years in the making—hinges on the discovery that an anti-viral response to SIV is possible within the first few days of infection. The vaccine candidate, which is novel in its use of Cytomegalovirus as a vector, essentially stops SIV in its tracks. Half of the monkeys who received the vaccine candidate tested negative for SIV, while many of those in the control group developed the primate version of AIDS.
So does this vaccine candidate have the potential for treating or preventing HIV in humans? Dr. Picker is cautious but optimistic, saying: “We still have to climb the cliff, but we now have a path to follow.”
- Read the OHSU news release.
- Read the paper about this new vaccine candidate, “Profound early control of highly pathogenic SIV by an effector memory T-cell vaccine,” in Nature online.