More than 25 million dead and 33 million people are carriers of the , is responsible for a global started about thirty years ago. Its properties make this virus an impossible entity to eradicate once it has invaded target cells. The only means of control then consists of protection against infection. Preventive solutions exist such as wearing a , monitoring transfused blood … but is increasing every year, especially in poor countries. The ultimate protection, , so far seemed unthinkable. However, two publications in the journal suggest happy prospects.: the virus , or
The difficulty in finding an HIVconsists in the variability of the virus: it is able to mutate very quickly and therefore to escape . It is also for this reason that multiple strains of the virus exist around the world. To successfully identify capable of targeting several strains, the researchers developed a new technique, based on the biological properties of the virus.
The particles of HIV are contained in an envelope where certain viralare anchored , the famous peaks on the surface of the virus. The gp120 is one of them and is used to bind the virus to the receptor of human cells, called CD4. The gp120-CD4 interaction is therefore essential for infection and its would help fight against new infections.
Two research teams from thehave built a modified version of the gp120 protein with traits common to all strains. They then reacted this protein with B (immune cells secreting antibodies) extracted from the blood of a patient with HIV. The B lymphocytes activated by the modified gp120 protein were individualized, in order to determine the specific antibodies which they secreted.