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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
Two Steps Forward in AIDS Vaccine Search
Ezzell, C.
June 20, 1992
Science News (06/20/92) Vol. 141, No. 25, P. 405

Researchers have made two significant advances in their search for an AIDS vaccine. One set of researchers, headed by Lawrence Corey of the University of Washington--Seattle, has found a more readily available alternative to chimpanzees for AIDS research. Corey and colleagues found that the common pigtail macaque of Indoneasia can successfully become infected with HIV-1. About 200 to 300 pigtail macaques are born in U.S. breeding facilities annually, compared to the 24 chimpanzees available for research. Since pigtail macacques are more plentiful than chimpanzees, which is the only other animal to susceptible to HIV-1, Correy et al. say their finding should increase the number of candidate AIDS vaccines that researchers review at any given time, possibly resulting in sooner development of an AIDS vaccine. Another promising study was conducted by Patricia N. Fultz of the University of Alabama--Birmingham, which found that multiple immunizations with several HIV-1 proteins protected three chimpanzees from HIV-1 infection carried by white blood cells. Fultz and colleagues say this is the first time a vaccine has protected against cells carrying HIV. Fultz asserts that the finding indicates the possibility of developing a long-acting human vaccine to protect against HIV particles carried by infected white blood cells.