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Scripps Research Institute Scientists Find Promising Vaccine Targets on Hepatitis C Virus

A team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute has found antibodies that can prevent infection from widely differing strains of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in cell culture and animal models.

HCV’s very high rate of mutation normally helps it to evade its host’s immune system. The newly discovered antibodies, however, attach to sites on the viral envelope that seldom mutate. One of the new antibodies, AR4A, shows broader HCV neutralizing activity than any previously reported anti-HCV antibody.

“These antibodies attach to sites on the viral envelope that were previously unknown, but now represent promising targets for an HCV vaccine,” said Mansun Law, an assistant professor at Scripps Research. Law is the senior author of the new report, which appears online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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