New Delhi, Oct 29 (ANI): Researchers have recently discovered a molecule that could someday lead to the creation of the world's first Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) vaccine. The University of Maryland and Duke University researchers who conducted the study on rabbits, have designed a novel protein-sugar vaccine candidate that stimulated an immune response against sugars that form a protective shield around HIV. The team designed a vaccine candidate using an HIV protein fragment linked to a sugar group. When injected into the rabbits, the vaccine candidate stimulated antibody responses against the sugar shield in four different HIV strains. The protein fragment of the vaccine candidate comes from gp120, a protein that covers HIV like a protective envelope. The rare HIV-infected individuals who can keep the virus at bay without medication typically have antibodies that attack gp120. The researchers used a synthetic chemistry method they previously developed to combine the gp120 fragment with a sugar molecule, also shared among HIV strains, to mimic the sugar shield on the HIV envelope.