One of the most promising world researches for the development of an AIDS vaccine is taking place at the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE), in partnership with the University of Paris 5.
In the first phase, entirely developed in Recife, the capital of the Northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco, 18 patients who carried the virus were submitted to three doses of the experimental vaccine. Just one day after immunization, the viral load in these volunteers had dropped on average 80%.
In eight of them, the reduction was as high as 90%. Within two months a group of 40 patients is going to receive a stronger dosage, and a new phase of the history against the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome may start being written.
Made from an inactive HIV virus, the immunizer also uses dendrites from the patient himself. These cells are in charge of showing the body’s defense cells which are the invaders.
The Aids virus normally manages to kill them before they do their job. The objective of this vaccine is to halt this.
It is not, however, a vaccine to avoid contamination by the HIV virus. The objective of the medication is therapeutic, i.e., for the treatment of patients who are already HIV positive.
“Our expectation, in phase two, is to come close to 100% reduction,” stated infectologist Luiz Cláudio Arraes, a professor at the Tropical Medicine Department of the UFPE, during an interview to the Trade Newspaper.
Despite the researcher’s optimism, the arrival of this medication on the market may still take 10 years.
The research being developed in Brazil is the first in the world to present such significant results. India and China also started testing a vaccine, but the success of this research cannot yet be measured.
Other initiatives, however, also showed great interest. At the end of last year, Israeli researchers from the Hadasa University Hospital in Jerusalem and from the Weizman Science Institute developed a medication to strengthen the immune system. The drug proposes to reduce the cracks that are used by so called “opportunist diseases”.
Aids is considered the infectious contagious disease that most kills in the world. The estimate is that in 2004 40 million people were infected by the HIV virus.
In Brazil, between 1980 and 2002, a total of 257,000 cases were registered. In other times, different diseases frightened humanity.
In the 1950’s, for example, 50 million people were infected with cowpox. Today, the disease is considered eradicated worldwide.
Anba – www.anba.com.br