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Genes determine AIDS vaccine effectiveness

Genes determine AIDS vaccine effectiveness
Photo: Genes determine AIDS vaccine effectiveness
Researchers have found the AIDS vaccine is more effective in some people than others, with their genetic make-up the key.

The effectiveness of the AIDS vaccine is linked to genetics and responds differently in separate cases, according to an article published in the magazine, Science Translational Medicine.

The phenotype, or observable traits of genetic structure of each person, determines whether a vaccine will be effective or not on that individual.

This could lead to a huge breakthrough in the development of vaccines against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS.

Genetics are "almost certainly" relevant to determine how well vaccination works, but "vaccine designers have so far sought a single vaccine for all, for the most part," said study co-author Daniel Geraghty on Wednesday.
Geraghty, who works in the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, said the search of a single product "isn't going to work for a lot of vaccines."

The study analysed results of a vaccine trial, performed on several people in Thailand in 2009, which was effective in protecting against the virus in 31 per cent of the cases.

These cases corresponded with people who had a specific genetic variant, while in the rest, without that genetic variant the vaccine increased the risk of infection.

"The gene identified in this study is one of those that has long been known to be directly involved in the immune response to infection," said Geraghty.

The study was led by the US Military HIV Research Program.

According to some experts, the new study that links phenotype and vaccine effectiveness could lead to development of specific vaccines depending on individual genetic structure.


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