Austrian Researchers Test Recombinant Vaccine Using Altered Flu Virus as Vector for HIV Vaccine
Researchers from the Institute of Applied Microbiology in Vienna, Austria, recorded significant immune responses when they injected mice with a recombinant vaccine composed of flu virus "laced" with antigenic HIV, Reuters reports. In a study appearing in the October issue of the Journal of Virology, Dr. Boris Ferko and colleagues said that the mice "appeared to develop an immunity to [HIV] after getting the modified influenza." The researchers plan to conduct further vaccine tests in mice, injecting them with particles of HIV to test the vaccine's response. If those tests are successful, the researchers will then test the vaccine in primates. Ferko said his team is looking to conduct further research as part of an HIV research program funded by the European Union. "We think that recombinant influenza viruses are a promising vaccine candidate to help prevent or control various infectious diseases such as HIV," he said, adding that because the vaccine had been genetically altered it would be safe. More than 90 HIV vaccines have reached the human trial stage, but none have been approved for marketing (Charbonneau, Reuters, 10/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.