Researchers may have finally answered the question of why many antibodies that target the HIV envelope are still unable to stop the virus from spreading -- a troublesome stumbling block in the protracted search for an effective vaccine.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus
Image: Wikimedia commons,
Slight variations in how those antibodies interact with their target on the HIV envelope cause conformational changes in the target molecule that render the antibodies ineffective, according to a study published this week in Science. This research "helps us to understand the molecular level details of [how certain antibodies bind] with better clarity than before," said viral immunologist linkurl:David Montefiore; of Duke University, who was not involved in the work. "Understanding the atomic level [detail] that they [describe] here is very helpful for designing immunogens to elicit the right kinds of antibodies we want vaccines to elicit." In the hunt for an effective HIV...

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