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AIDS virus in cats might help human vaccine effort

Cats may hold a key to developing an HIV vaccine for people, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that a protein from the virus that causes AIDS in cats triggered an immune response in blood from HIV-infected people. The virus that causes AIDS in people is called the human immunodeficiency virus while the one that affects cats is called the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).

The findings, reported in the October issue of the Journal of Virology suggest that further research with FIV could lead to an HIV vaccine for people, the University of Florida and University of California, San Francisco investigators said.

"One major reason why there has been no successful HIV vaccine to date is that we do not know which parts of HIV to combine to produce the most effective vaccine," study corresponding author Janet Yamamoto, a professor of retroviral immunology at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine, said in a university news release.
 
 

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