Researchers in the United States have identified two powerful antibodies that are strong enough to neutralise more than 90 per cent of all known HIV strains.
In the search for ways to beat HIV/AIDS, researchers have more often than not been thwarted by the viruses' ability to mutate, but scientists led by a team at the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases believe they have managed to solve the problem, ABC Online informs.
"Knowing that it's possible for a human to make this kind of antibody really increases our optimism that it could be elicited by a vaccine," says Gary Nabel, a virologist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases' Vaccine Research Center in Bethesda, Maryland, who is a co-author on the two new Science papers.
The results have been exciting, Weiss adds, because they address lingering concerns that antibodies against HIV-1 may need to be very specific — targeting only a few strains — if they are to be potent. "Our overall thinking has changed in light of these recent papers," he says, Nature.com reports.