Hiv-1 Essay

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HIV-1’s ability to mutate rapidly has hindered researchers to finding an effective vaccine. The characteristics of bNAbs show that it can target the surface of the virus to reduce the chance of an infection. A recent finding of calves being able to produce antibodies similar to bNAbs when exposed to the virus has provided a glimpse of hope, however further trials will still need to be carried out to initiate the same response in humans. Nonetheless, government funding has helped researchers to find a cure against HIV-1 by incorporating bNAbs into a vaccine.
Human immunodeficiency virus (most commonly known as HIV) is a virus that damages the cells in your immune system, affecting the body’s natural defence system against …show more content…

This ability allows HIV to infect and destroy CD4 cells, which have an important role in the immune system and consequently weakens the host’s immunity.

The main target of bNAbs is the glycoproteins on the viral envelope on the surface of the virus; they can be distinguished from the envelope-spiked shapes. The surface of the virus membrane is made from host-lipids, making it indistinguishable for the immune system (Hake and Pfeifer, 2017). Each spike consists of two viral envelope glycoproteins; gp41 that controls host cell fusion and gp120 that is essential for cell entry (Image 2). If the neutralizing antibody successfully binds onto a spike, viral entry is prevented and so is the chance of an infection.
Problems with VRC01
The particular bNAb that has this ability is the antibody VRC01, which is able to attach to the CD4 binding site on the gp120 protein. The initial source of VRC01 was from a donor who had HIV and survived without medication for over 15 years. VRC01 has been tested on HIV-1 and is capable of neutralizing approximately 90% of known HIV-1 identities (K.J.Bar et al., 2016). However, a study at the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases tested 10 participants who had been on Antiretroviral therapy (ART) for an average of 10.6 years. All participants received infusions of VRC01 3 days prior to

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