Scientists have discovered a potent antibody that is effective in combating 98% of HIV strains.

The antibody was discovered by The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in the US.

Its ability to block a wide variety of strains is rare, and so it could be used to form the basis of a new vaccine against HIV.

Called N6, the antibody 10 times more potent than VRC01, which came to the edge of breaking through to a cure.

“The discovery and characterisation of this antibody with exceptional breadth and potency against HIV provides an important new lead for the development of strategies to prevent and treat HIV infection,” said Anthony S. Fauci from the US NIAID.