Title

Scientists closer to an AIDS vaccine

Database

Electronic Media Monitoring Service 

Date

13-11-2010 08:24 AM

Source

ABC Canberra 666

Parl No.

 

Channel Name

ABC Canberra 666

Start

13-11-2010 08:24 AM

Abstract

 
End

13-11-2010 08:59 AM

Cover date

2010-11-13 08:24:08

Citation Id

330325

Enrichment

 
Reporter

JACKSON, Elizabeth

Speaker

 

URL

Open Item 

Parent Program URL
Text online

No

Media Deleted

False

System Id

emms/emms/330325

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Scientists closer to an AIDS vaccine -

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Researchers say they have created what could become the first effective vaccination against
HIV/AIDS. Scientists from South Australia's Flinders University say their initial animal study has
shown promising results. It's not the first time a potential vaccine has been tested, but this time
researchers have taken a different approach.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Researchers say they've created what could become the first effective
vaccination against HIV/AIDS. Scientists from South Australia's Flinders University say their
initial animal study has shown some promising results.

It's not the first time a potential vaccine has been tested, but this time researchers say they've
taken a very different approach.

Caroline Winter reports.

(Sounds from grim reaper TV advertisement)

CAROLINE WINTER: It's been more than 20 years since the grim reaper appeared on Australian
television screens, warning about the potential devastation of the HIV/AIDS virus.

(Excerpt from advertisement)

ACTOR (Voiceover): That in three years, 2,000 of us will be dead (sound of bowling ball).

CAROLINE WINTER: The campaign helped educate the public about the issue, but still 6,700
Australians and 25 million people globally have died from AIDS-related illnesses.

Today more than 33 million people live with HIV; 20,000 in Australia. While antiretroviral
medication is available for those infected, the goal remains to find a cure or create a vaccine.

Professor Nikolai Petrovsky is a researcher from Flinders University in Adelaide.

NIKOLAI PETROVSKY: HIV is a constantly mutating virus, so it isn't like a typical virus; it's much
more adaptable and that means it's much harder to make a vaccine to protect against all the
different variants of the HIV virus.

CAROLINE WINTER: A number of previous vaccine trials have been unsuccessful. Using his knowledge of
influenza vaccines, Professor Petrovsky says his team, along with an American biomedical company,
have taken a different approach in a recent mice trial.

NIKOLAI PETROVSKY: Both infections actually infect people through mucosal surfaces, and so what we
need to do is induce antibodies in people's secretions, which is quite challenging, but we know
that it works in protecting against influenza and we have good reason to believe that will also
work in HIV.

CAROLINE WINTER: The multipronged approach combines three vaccines; a DNA injection, followed by a
nasal spray and a protein shot.

NIKOLAI PETROVSKY: We were able to generate extremely good immunity against the HIV virus, so we're
able to generate both antibodies that block the virus, but also T cells that destroy cells that are
infected by the virus, so that's certainly very promising.

CAROLINE WINTER: As the number of people diagnosed with HIV continues to grow, so too does the
urgency for immunity.

Don Baxter is the executive director of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations.

DON BAXTER: Well we've had 15 years of disappointing years of results and vaccines. We need a
conceptual breakthrough; a Nobel Prize-winning breakthrough. We need really out-of-the-box thinking
and this has the signs of that.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: That's Don Baxter from the Federation of AIDS Organisations, ending that report
from Caroline Winter.