MVA-B vaccine could potentially treat HIV patients

For years, scientists have been working to curb the potentially deadly result of contracting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and while they've certainly made significant strides, it seems as though they're coming even closer to a treatment.

Researchers from the Spanish Superior Scientific Research Council (CSIC), the Gregorio Marañón Hospital in Madrid and the Clínic Hospital in Barcelona recently completed their phase I clinical trials of a MVA-B vaccine that showed a 90 percent immune response in human test subjects. Additionally, 85 percent of people who had the response kept it for a year. The study's authors are suggesting that this vaccine has the potential to treat those affected with the disease.

The MVA-B has been tested before. In 2008, researchers found that it had similar results in monkeys that were infected with Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). Now, the study's authors are saying that it will proceed to further trials, such as testing volunteers who have HIV.

When used on healthy volunteers, the vaccine teaches their bodies to detect the components that come with the disease, as well as teach the immune system how to fight off the infection. The researchers say that it's almost like showing the body a picture of the disease so that it can be aware should the illness ever come back.

Researchers are hopeful that this most recent development will pave the way to make HIV a disease that can be easily treated.

"If this genetic cocktail passes Phase II and Phase III future clinic trials, and makes it into production, in the future HIV could be compared to herpes virus nowadays," said one of the study's authors.

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