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"HIV vaccine design shows promise"

A novel protein-sugar vaccine candidate has stimulated an immune response against sugars that form a protective shield around HIV.

It has been tested in an animal model and it is hoped that the molecule could one day become part of a successful HIV vaccine.

Lai-Xi Wang, one of the researchers working on the project, said: “An obstacle to creating an effective HIV vaccine is the difficulty of getting the immune system to generate antibodies against the sugar shield of multiple HIV strains. Our method addresses this problem by designing a vaccine component that mimics a protein-sugar part of this shield.”

The researchers, from the University of Maryland and Duke University, designed a vaccine candidate using an HIV protein fragment linked to a sugar group.

When injected into rabbits, the vaccine candidate stimulated antibody responses against the sugar shield in four different HIV strains.

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