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Australian scientists a step closer to creating HIV vaccine

By Xinhua in Canberra (China Daily) Updated: 2016-11-22 07:38

Australian scientists say they have taken a step in the "right direction" toward creating a vaccine for HIV.

Researchers from South Australia's University of Adelaide and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital have used a common cold virus to introduce their DNA-based vaccine into the immune system of laboratory mice.

Dr Branka Grubor-Bauk from the University of Adelaide said the team targeted the vaccine in areas in which the HIV infection is most commonly found, and discovered that the testing achieved a "significant reduction" of infection rates in the mice.

"You need to get protection where your body encounters the virus first and you need to stop that virus from either entering, or you need to stop it from replicating and stop it from spreading," Grubor-Bauk told the Australian Broadcasting Corp on Monday.

"We're hoping our discovery is definitely pointing us in the right direction."

She said it was vital that the research continued.

"After a long four years of study, we were able to create this common cold virus that encoded proteins of HIV and we vaccinated mice and we were successful in creating immunity in mucosal surfaces," Grubor-Bauk said.

"That's one of the most difficult things researchers can do in vaccine research for HIV."

She continued: "We're hoping to get more funding to take this research further before we can implement phase-1 clinical trials.

"We also have a DNA vaccine we administered intradermally, like the influenza vaccine, and we found by administering this vaccine we were able to get a systemic immunity throughout the body."

The results of the testing were published in the Scientific Reports journal.

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