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Published On: Wed, Mar 5th, 2014

South Africa announces discovery to neutralise HIV

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The Centre for AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), on Tuesday announced the discovery of potent antibodies that could neutralize and kill multiple strains of HIV.

South African Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi said, in Johannesburg, that research had shown how a South African woman’s body responded to her HIV infection by making potent antibodies, broadly called neutralizing antibodies.

He said the study, which has now been published in the scientific journal, ‘Nature’, describes how the team found and identified the antibodies in her blood and then duplicated them by cloning the antibodies in the laboratory.

Motsoaledi said that the cloned antibodies were then used in a series of experiments in the laboratory to elucidate the pathway followed by her immune system to make it potent antibodies.

The minister said South African consortium, worked jointly with U.S. partners based at the Vaccine Research Center of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health and Columbia University in New York.

He said, “We are a step closer to the day where we eventually have a viable vaccine because of what has been announced today. “This announcement tells us a little more about HIV, these studies illustrate the importance of research and need for patience and dedication.”

Motsoaledi thanked the HIV community for participating in the studies, and stressed the need to support scientists in their devotion to find a vaccine that could stop people from being infected and finding a cure for the HIV infected.

He noted that the South African Department of Health (SADH) had more interest in this development than anyone else in the world, as 30 percent of all people on treatment in the whole world are in South Africa.

 

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