New prophylactic vaccine cured monkeys of simian immunodeficiency virus or SIV, an HIV and AIDS-like illness for primates, gave experts and researchers new hope for functional HIV cure. Cats' version of HIV aka feline immunodeficiency virus may also unlock further methods to defeat virus causing AIDS.
Monkeys Functional Cure Happened
A study conducted by American scientists resulted in "curing" monkeys with SIV using a new drug which not only gives 50 per cent protection but also potential on shielding them against tuberculosis.
The five-year study was presented at the annual AIDS Vaccine Conference in Barcelona, Spain, led by researcher Louis Picker of Oregon Health and Science University, detailed the factual clearing of the virus from 50 per cent of the monkeys and called it "promising."
However, researchers are unable to completely rule out residual virus below detectable levels, latest data suggested that the immune system gained capability to clear out SIV which antiretroviral drug therapy in humans are unable to do.
"Our results also suggest that an effector memory T-cell-targeted vaccine might contribute to HIV cure strategies. Although the SIV reservoirs that initially develop in RhCMV/SIV vector-vaccinated controllers are smaller in size and possibly different in character from HIV/SIV reservoirs in the setting of ART administration - it is conceivable that the viral-specific T-cells elicited and maintained by these vectors might exert potent immune pressure on cells with any HIV protein," stated by Louis Picker, quote by Independent Online.
Due to the positive results and potency of immune surveillance from the new vaccine, it became a promising candidate for vaccine strategies to prevent and cure HIV/AIDS.
Relations of Immunodeficiency Virus in Cats, Monkeys and Humans
1. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus or FIV cannot infect humans and HIV cannot infect cats. But both viruses are related to one another in terms of effects by destroying the immune system of its host.
2. Simian Immunodeficiency Virus or SIV has been found closely related with HIV especially with the HIV-2 type.
3. Transmission of these viruses is commonly through blood via deep wounds, mucous membranes and sexual intercourse. However, not all species transmit viruses. Some carriers are only carrying the virus but do not suffer any consequences.
4. HIV, FIV and SIV can cause AIDS on their respective hosts and antiretroviral drug therapy may be used as direct intervention.
5. Genetic materials of these viruses are very similar and studying all aspect, characteristics and functions may unlock functional vaccine to each kind.
SIV has been found to have infected primates and apes for at least 32,000 years and scientific evidence also revealed that some species are immune to the effects of the virus. It requires an amount of time for humans to adapt naturally with HIV to become immune to its effects.
The United Nations aim to end AIDS epidemic by 2030 through series of wide distribution of antiretroviral drug therapy, efforts of cost-effect drug treatment and continues research for functional cure or vaccine against HIV.
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