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Thread: HIV vaccine

  1. #1 HIV vaccine 
    Forum Freshman Eldritch's Avatar
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    May 2013
    School started. I was reading my science textbook, the chapter was the immune system, and, naturally, the last chapter was diseases of the immune system. Though HIV was touched on, the chapter focused primarily on cancer and carcinogens.
    Still... I wondered if you could stimulate the T cells and B cells into extremely rapid growth, and increase the variance of the antibodies for each B and T cell. With a huge swell of the immune system's fighters, and an increase in antibody diversity, it would increase the possibility that the immune system would be able to attack the HIV virus.
    Now, I strongly doubt I'm the first person to think of this. Has this been attempted before, and if so, to what end? How do HIV vaccine attempts work, usually? The same as a normal vaccine?

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  3. #2  
    Forum Professor river_rat's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    South Africa
    Rapid growth of T and B cells sounds like lymphoma. The problem with trying to create any HIV vaccine is that very little of the HI virus is genetically stable so there are few unique proteins to try and target.

    As is often the case with technical subjects we are presented with an unfortunate choice: an explanation that is accurate but incomprehensible, or comprehensible but wrong.
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  4. #3  
    Forum Masters Degree mat5592's Avatar
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    Mar 2013
    West Virginia
    A problem with just introducing a large number of WBCs into a person is the possibility of a cytokine release syndrome, but I think this can be suppressed with some immunomodulating drugs for the most part. The challenge isn't getting a load of lymphocytes into the patient's body, though; it's getting the immune cells to specifically and efficiently attack the virus and infected cells. Just because you have a ton of cells that fight infection doesn't mean they'll necessarily get rid of the virus. Remember: the virus attacks immune cells. The syndrome of AIDS is defined by when the CD4+ to CD8+ ratio drops from 2:1 to 1:2. I would guess the newly introduced cells would suffer the same fate the previous helper T cells did unless they were modified in some way.
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  5. #4  
    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    Vaccines are not targeting killing the virus. They are targeting disabling it. So that AIDS never occurs. They are also focusing on preventing seroconversion (transmission from one person to another).

    I imagine this has already been tried, but to me it seems simpler to find a way to destroy the virus within the infected person. At this point, there are drugs that cripple it, neuter it, make it retarded or deformed, or confuse it. But none that actually kill it. And the drugs only affect the "offspring" of the original viruses. So it means that the newly "hatched" viruses will be born without parts that are necessary for infecting cells or injecting their dna code. I think there are also some drugs that act as protein blockers. It sort of hides the t cells by attaching something to the "external" proteins (sorry the words in quotes are the best words I can think of, i can't remember the specific terms) that the viruses look for on t cells in order to attach and infect.

    Hiv is a tricky virus that is like the worst root kit you can get on your computer, it knows how to mutate, copy itself, hide and transmit itself to new victims very efficiently.
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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