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Genetic Fossils Used As Vaccine Targets for HIV

Because HIV infection activates naturally-dormant endogenous retroviruses (ERV) in human cells, Jonah Sacha will target T cells against these ERV antigens. Such targeting to eliminate HIV infected cells could be the basis for new host-directed vaccines. In this project's Phase I research, Sacha and collaborators demonstrated that ERV-specific antibodies are specifically triggered by infection with an exogenous retrovirus like SIV or HIV. In Phase II, Sacha, now at the Oregon Health & Science University in the U.S., will investigate whether ERV-specific antibodies can block transmission of AIDS viruses in animal models, leading to their potential use as a therapeutic and prophylactic vaccine.

More information about Create New Vaccines for Diarrhea, HIV, Malaria, Pneumonia, and Tuberculosis (Round 3)

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View the Grand Challenges partnership network

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is part of the Grand Challenges partnership network. Visit www.grandchallenges.org to view the map of awarded grants across this network and grant opportunities from partners.