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SFU Molecular Biologist Pursues 'Promising' New Way To Fight Disease

failed to produce protective antibodies against AIDS. "There really aren't many other ways (but ours) by which a vaccine can selectively produce protective antibodies."

Scott's vaccine concept, however, isn't the complete answer to coming up with the ideal vaccine against AIDS. "We're really working on only half the overall immune response that could be used to prevent infection," she says. "Protective antibodies can prevent infection, but we haven't even addressed the other part of what the ideal vaccine would do, which is also to train the body's immune cells to attack the tiny amount of virus that might slip past the protective antibodies and infect cells.

"The ideal vaccine would offer two levels of protection by killing the free virus before it can infect cells, and by killing virally-infected cells in their early stages, before they have a chance to produce more virus that can spread to the rest of the body."

Over the next two years, Scott expects that her research will determine whether a vaccine using peptides can enter human vaccine trials against AIDS infection. "We envision our peptide mimics as one component of a vaccine that elicits both antibody and cell-mediated immunity -- a vaccine giving us the best of both worlds."


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Contact: Marianne Meadahl
Marianne_Meadahl
604-291-4323
Simon Fraser University
19-Nov-1998


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