A team of labs at Caltech and UCLA decided to “short-circuit” the need for a vaccination, or even antibody-producing immune cells:
They created a disarmed adenovirus that contained the genes needed to produce a broadly effective antibody from humans, optimizing the DNA to make sure that the antibody was made in muscle cells, and then secreted into their environment.
The modified virus was then injected into mice that had had their immune systems humanized (the stem cells in their bone marrow were killed off and then repopulated with human cells).
The mice were then exposed to levels of HIV many times higher than are normally present during initial infections. Not all antibodies effectively blocked new infections, but at least one did so consistently. The resistance to new HIV infections persisted for the life of the experiments.
Good news. Of course, it goes without saying that this new approach will take years – with solid progress – to reach any public usage IF it works out that the idea is transferable to human.
Keep your fingers crossed.