B cells could play key role in new AIDS vax

Researchers at Duke University have offered up a key insight that could help researchers develop a new AIDS vaccine. They found that the immune system is quick to eliminate critical B cells that the body could use to fight off the virus that causes AIDS. Finding a pathway around that obstacle, so that the B cells can do their work, would be a big step toward the development of an effective vaccine.

"This work may mean that we need to think and act very differently in envisioning how a successful vaccine may work," says study author Laurent Verkoczy, an assistant professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center.

The team reached its conclusion after creating a new mouse model that was able to produce high levels of B cells containing a potent antibody that could block HIV infections. But their immune systems eradicated most of the cells before they could mature.

- here's the Duke release
- check out the story from HealthDay