DermaVir is a novel topical immunisation designed to target Langerhans cells (LC), the epidermal precursors of dendritic cells. LC serve as a vehicle to process and transfer antigens from the skin to T cell areas in the lymphoid organs. The HIV DNA delivered by DermaVir to LC expresses most viral regulatory and structural genes and induces T cell-mediated immune responses with broad specificity. In chronically infected macaques, DermaVir administered with antiretroviral drugs, suppressed viral load rebound after treatment interruption and improved survival. DermaVir is a promising antiretroviral treatment approach with a unique mechanism of action for combination with currently used drugs. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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