Class of 2027Los Angeles, CA
- A Theoretical Approach to an HIV Vaccine Targeting CCR5 with mentor Nico (Feb. 12, 2024)
A Theoretical Approach to an HIV Vaccine Targeting CCR5
Started Oct. 19, 2023
Abstract or project description
One of the world’s biggest issues is the spread of bloodborne pathogens. One of such pathogens is the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). HIV weakens the immune system, making it more difficult for patients to fight off infections. CCR5 is a co-receptor found on the surface of many immune cells in the body. While its function is not fully characterized, it is frequently implicated in HIV infection, and is required for HIV to infect CD4+ T-cells. In this paper, we investigated the potential for developing a vaccine against the CCR5 co-receptor so that our immune system can produce antibodies against the receptor and block it so that HIV would be unable to penetrate T-cells. Additionally, we discussed the potential side effects of blocking the CCR5 co-receptor, we described the type of vaccine required to generate such an antibody response, and we evaluated the potential efficacy of such a vaccine in both preventing HIV transmission and potentially curing individuals living with HIV. Finally, we compare this approach to some current medications for HIV and discuss multiple studies that have explored similar CCR5-blocking approaches.