The striking efficiency of the powerful antibody, named N6, makes it an ideal candidate for further research to treat or prevent HIV infection, scientists from the National Institutes of Health, the largest biomedical research agency in the world, have stated.
Scientists scrutinized the evolution of N6 over time to understand how exactly it managed to develop the ability to potently neutralize the majority of HIV strains.
Researchers say that identifying broadly neutralizing antibodies against HIV has been a real challenge because the virus rapidly changes its surface proteins to avoid recognition by the immune system.
In 2010, scientists at National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID’s) Vaccine Research Center (VRC) discovered an antibody called VRC01 that can stop up to 90 percent of HIV strains from infecting human cells.
“Like VRC01, N6 blocks infection by binding to a part of the HIV envelope called the CD4 binding site, preventing the virus from attaching …