Institute of Human Virology Researchers Announce Development of Nigeria-Specific Vaccine
Researchers at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute's Institute of Human Virology have announced the development of the first HIV vaccine "tailored specifically" to fight HIV in Nigeria, Vaccine Weekly reports. Research parasitologist Simon Agwale, a Nigerian native, announced the "experimental vaccine" during the three-day National Workshop on HIV Vaccine Plan for Nigeria, sponsored by UNAIDS and WHO. The research team at IHV combined "innovative vaccine technologies" developed at the institute and bits of specific subtypes of the virus "predominating" the country to create the "first generation Nigerian HIV-1 vaccine." The subtypes were culled from a nationwide analysis of blood samples from HIV-positive individuals in cooperation with the CDC. The vaccine, which can be taken orally and is now entering preclinical animal testing, is "potentially applicable" to all of Africa because developers also included DNA from the C clade variation of HIV-1, which is "rapidly becoming the predominant subtype of HIV-1" in sub-Saharan Africa. Early tests of the vaccine resulted in "strong responses" in mucosal and systemic lymphoid systems that are necessary for "effective protection against sexually transmitted HIV," the most common route of transmission on the continent (Vaccine Weekly, 1/31).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.