Chimp Viruses for Human Vaccines

Chimp Viruses for Human Vaccines

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An adenovirus isolated from chimpanzee feces is proving more effective than human adenoviruses as a vaccine vector for hepatitis C. Collecting stool samples from zoos and animal facilities, Alfredo Nicosia of Okairos in Rome, Italy and his team isolated and characterized almost 30 different chimp adenovirus serotypes from some 1,000 stool samples. They made safe forms of the viruses that were unable to replicate, and tested them for their immune potency in mice. The best ones, generating the biggest cellular immune responses, were chosen for making trial vaccines for a number of diseases, including Ebola, HIV, malaria, and hepatitis C.

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