An experimental vaccine protects some monkeys against getting infected with that species’ version of the virus that causes AIDS and appears to make the disease more manageable in those that aren’t protected, researchers reported Wednesday.
Those findings, in a study published in the journal Nature, are further evidence that after decades of disappointment, scientists are making slow progress toward an AIDS vaccine.
The best-performing vaccine — which used two different strains of adenovirus that normally causes colds — reduced a monkey’s chance of becoming infected by 80 percent (although with enough exposure, infection was inevitable).
“We think this is both a theoretical advance as well as a practical one,” said Dan A. Barouch of Harvard Medical School, who led the research.
“As far as animal trials go, this is a solid step in trying to track down the of immunity,” said Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, which provided partial funding of the study.