HIV have complex weapons of attack while the invaded T cells have intricate defence mechanisms that are still far from being completely understood. Three papers in November, Nature Medicine show new mechanisms involved in HIV infection that may be eventually exploited for the production of an effective vaccine against the disease.

Xueni Chena and colleagues from National Institute of Health, Bethesda, USA identified HIV-specific antigenic epitopes that correspond to a range of HIV clades. They found that monkeys injected with these epitopes were protected from developing AIDS after a challenge with simian HIV and had reduced levels of viremia (Nature Med 2001, 7:1225-1231).

In another paper Jean-Charles Grivel and colleagues from National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, USA show that HIV co-infection with the human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) can significantly improve the outcome of HIV infection. HHV-6 suppresses part of HIV-1 replication (CCR5-tropic)...

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