Mutation reported with AIDS vaccine

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Researchers in the field not surprised

Researchers are working feverishly to develop an effective vaccine against the AIDS virus. Various vaccines have been tested. One of the more promising vaccine trials involved eight monkeys. When one of the monkeys died because of an AIDS virus mutation that overwhelmed the monkey’s immune system, some people were dismayed. However, researchers in the field note that such mutations are not uncommon. In fact, Norman Letvin, principal investigator of the study published in the Jan. 17, 2002, issue of Nature and Harvard Medical School professor of medicine, said, “This is exactly what we anticipated.”