Novel HIV vaccine candidate induces immune responses in humans, monkeys

09 Juillet, 2018, 21:55 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • AIDS activists light a group of candles placed in the shape of a red ribbon during an event marking World AIDS Day in Manila

"This is only the 5th HIV vaccine concept that will be tested for efficacy in humans in the 35+ year history of the global HIV epidemic".

These combine pieces of different HIV virus types to elicit an immune response - when the body attacks intruder germs - against virus strains from different regions of the world.

"These results represent an important milestone".

Professor Barouch said, "These results should be interpreted cautiously". "We have to acknowledge that developing an HIV vaccine is an unprecedented challenge, and we will not know for sure whether this vaccine will protect humans".

Now it is necessary to conduct further testing and determine whether it could protect from HIV person.

Worldwide, there are more than 37 million people with HIV or AIDS, and every year there are 2 million new cases of infection with the virus.

"Implementation of even a moderately effective HIV vaccine together with the existing HIV prevention and treatment strategies is expected to contribute greatly to the evolving HIV/AIDS response", the editorial continued.

Over the past 30 years, only four vaccines have been good enough to get into large scale human trials.

As a part of this study, the HIV vaccine was tested on three hundred ninety-three people.

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But despite advances in treatment for HIV, a cure or vaccine against the virus has never been found.

The participants were randomly given one of seven vaccine combinations or a placebo "dummy" alternative. Both groups were also given an injection of the common cold virus to boost their immune systems - once at the start of the trial and again 12 weeks in.

The fight against HIV continues, and the HIV vaccine developed by researchers at Harvard brings hope to medical professionals and people all over the world.

All of the vaccine combinations produced an anti-HIV immune system response and were found to be safe. Five participants reported at least one vaccine-related grade 3 adverse event, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, postural dizziness, back pain and malaise. He explained that more data needs to come in from human trials to deem this as safe and protective against HIV infection.

Scientists also carried out a parallel study where they gave rhesus monkeys the vaccine to protect them from getting simian-human immunodeficiency virus - a virus similar to HIV that infects monkeys.

The authors note several limitations, including the fact that that the relevance of vaccine protection in rhesus monkeys to clinical efficacy in humans remains unclear. They also note that there is no definitive immunological measurement that is known to predict protection against HIV-1 in humans.

Condoms are still at the frontline of efforts to prevent infection - mainly through sex and blood contact - though more and more people use ART as prophylaxis.

Comparatively, the new HIV vaccine yielded better immunization rate and virtually no side effects. This is called a "mosaic" of vaccines.

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