• Vaccination

Vaccination (Photo : Reuters)

Stimulating the human immune system with a vaccine could help in flushing out the HIV hiding in the white blood cells (WBC), said the researchers from the University College London (UCL), the University of Oxford and the University of North Carolina.

According to the researchers, the vaccine would stimulate a chemical kick out of the dormant HIV hiding in the WBC thereby enabling the boosted immune system to identify and kill the viruses.

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The researchers proposed the "kick and kill" strategy based on a single patient study, according to Daily Mail. A 59-year-old patient in London with both myeloma and HIV was considered for the study by the investigators. It was observed that the patient's immune system was severely impaired during the bone marrow transplantation.

After a two-week transplantation, the immune system fought back again reducing the count of viruses from 28,000 copies per ml to 50 copies per ml in six weeks. The researchers found out that the immune system functioned efficiently than most potential treatments available for HIV.

Based on the results, "the immune system can be as powerful as the most potent combination drug cocktails," said the co-author of the study Dr. Ravi Gupta.

Moreover, Gupta noted that providing potential cure for HIV is miles away since an effective vaccine needs to be developed and tested. However, the study provides an insight on the type of immune response that could be induced by an efficient vaccine.

Deenan Pillay of UCL said that "by measuring the strength of the immune system required to keep this virus under control in this rare individual, we have a better idea of the requirements for successful future treatment."