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Rabies vaccine protects monkeys against HIV

23 December 2009

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Category: Research & medical benefits

how–monkey–marmoset.jpgA vaccine based on the one used to prevent rabies can be used to protect against the monkey form of HIV (SIV), a new study has found.

One strain of the human form of the virus is thought to have originated from the SIV strain. Researchers can now protect monkeys against SIV and hope the finding will help develop a vaccine for AIDS.

The vaccine contains the rabies virus in an attenuated form making it harmless and less virulent. Currently there are two ways of creating the vaccine, using a recombinant form of the rabies virus, where the genetic material of the virus is reorganised to produce a different function.

Both approaches produced neutralising antibodies and an increased white cell response in monkeys which increased protection. Researchers noted the response as a significant antibody reaction against SIV.

Scientists believe the research is of benefit to monkeys and humans in protection against viruses and wish to study the vaccine further.