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Elite control of HIV infection: implications for vaccine design (Summary) Print E-mail

Background: ‘Elite controllers’ are rare HIV-infected individuals who are able to spontaneously control HIV replication without medication, maintaining viral loads that are consistently below the limits of detection by currently available commercial assays.

Objective: To examine studies of elite controllers that may elucidate mechanisms of HIV immune control useful in designing a vaccine.

Methods: Recent literature on HIV controllers and studies that have evaluated aspects of viral and host immunology that correlate with viral control are examined.

Results/conclusions: Although many elements of innate and adaptive immunity are associated with control of HIV infection, the specific mechanism(s) by which elite controllers achieve control remain undefined. Ongoing studies of elite controllers, including those examining host genetic polymorphisms, should facilitate the definition of an effective HIV-specific immune response and guide vaccine design.

Potential Mechanism of Long Term Control of HIV Print E-mail

Australian researchers have evaluated several potential mechanisms that may contribute to conferring long term non-progression in HIV infection. The reasons why some individuals can control HIV progression better than others remain under investigation. Wayne B. Dyer and colleagues in Sydney, Australia, evaluated the blood from a group of study patients with transfusion-acquired HIV infection. Within this group, 13 patients were identified as LTNPs. Over the next 12 years, 5 of the study group members retained their LTNP status even after 23 to 26 years infection, but only 3 retained a status of elite LTNP. The researchers examined multiple potential mechanisms that could have differentiated the delayed progressors from elite LTNPs in this study group.

Handful of 20-year HIV survivors hold key to discovering vaccine Print E-mail

Researchers are looking into the antibodies that provide natural immunity

Kai Brothers contracted HIV in the 80s, but never developed AIDS.In a desperate attempt to reverse 25 years of failure to develop an AIDS vaccine, scientists have a new approach: studying people who have been infected with HIV for many years without any signs of ill-health. The patients' secret? Natural immunity.

The researchers have investigated the virus-fighting antibodies found in the blood of six long-term survivors of HIV whose own immune systems appear to be capable of shrugging off the virus. Results of tests show that a prototype vaccine made from several of the antibodies produced by those long-term survivors can prevent HIV from infecting human cells. The experiments have been successful on human cells growing in a test tube. Now further trials are planned on laboratory animals and human volunteers.

The search for an AIDS vaccine has suffered a series of setbacks over the years. The most recent was the failure of the most promising potential vaccine, in a major clinical trial by the US drug company Merck. The trial, which had involved thousands of volunteers, had to be abandoned at the end of 2007 because of fears that the trial vaccine might in fact make patients more susceptible to AIDS.

Antibodies Present in Long-Term HIV Survivors Could Contribute to Vaccine Development, Study Says Print E-mail
HIV-positive people who do not develop AIDS and do not require antiretroviral medication could provide insight for new strategies in vaccine development, according to a study published Sunday in the journal Nature, London's Independent reports. Michel Nussenzweig — head of Rockefeller University's Laboratory of Molecular Immunology and author of the study — said his research aimed to harness natural mechanisms to target HIV rather than use synthetically produced antibodies, some of which have failed in earlier HIV vaccine trials.
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CROI 2011

  • Wednesday 9th March 2011
    This is our final bulletin from CROI 2011. We hope you have found our news coverage useful. You can find all our coverage at, including the news reports and bulletins.We are always looking for ways of improving and developing our resources – so if you have any comments that you would like
  • Thursday 3rd March 2011
    There is increasing evidence of the transmission of HIV strains with resistance to anti-HIV drugs in low- and middle-income countries. Research in eleven sub-Saharan African countries showed that the chances of detecting transmitted resistance increased by over a third each year that a country had been scaling up HIV treatment. A separate study involving people recently diagnosed
  • Wednesday 2nd March 2011
    A new type of anti-HIV drug that targets the first step in HIV’s entry into cells has done well in a Phase IIa study. Currently known as BMS-663068, the drug was shown to be safe and to work against the virus. HIV cell entry is a three-step process. The virus must first attach to the

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December 30, 2009

Current Breakdown: 505 Elite Controllers 1009 Viremic Controllers 211 Other