Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

AIDS, Ebola and Flu Viruses Are in Scientists' Crosshairs

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

AIDS, Ebola and Flu Viruses Are in Scientists' Crosshairs

Article excerpt

Dear Reader: Yesterday I talked about a new kind of immunization: passive immunization with neutralizing antibodies. This approach may be effective against different strains. It may also allow large amounts of a vaccine to be stored, ready to nip an exploding epidemic in the bud.

Traditional vaccines against HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) and influenza (flu) virus face a tough problem: The virus keeps changing many (but not all) of its antigens. That makes it harder to vaccine.

With the Ebola virus, there are several strains. They are different enough that scientists have doubted that a vaccine could be made that was effective against all of them.

Several years ago, scientists made an important discovery. During infection with flu virus, HIV and Ebola, the immune system makes antibodies to antigens that do not change. …

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