A new HIV vaccine shows positive results in human trails

10 Julio, 2018, 04:55 | Author: Earnest Bishop
  • New HIV infections globally in 2013 Sub Saharan Africa continues to have the greatest numbers of new infections

More than three decades after the identification of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), scientists are still working to develop a preventative vaccine that could finally put an end to the epidemic for which there are almost two million new infections each year.

While the researchers say these results are a step in the right direction, a new round of testing must occur to prove the drug is effective in staving off the disease in humans.

Study leader Dan Barouch, a Harvard Medical School professor said that the results till now are "promising" but it is best to be "cautious". Further, Barouch, the Director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, added, "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". The results from the upcoming trials on humans are expected to arrive by around 2021 or 2022.

Only one so far, RV144, yielded some protection. According to the study authors, the vaccine produced "robust (high levels of) immune responses" in the participants.

The participants were randomly given one of seven vaccine combinations or a placebo "dummy" alternative. In 48 weeks, they received four vaccinations. Despite all the advances we have had with HIV, we need a vaccine.

"This study demonstrates that the mosaic Ad26 prime, Ad26 plus gp140 boost HIV vaccine candidate induced robust immune responses in humans and monkeys with comparable magnitude, kinetics, phenotype, and durability and also provided 67 per cent protection against viral challenge in monkeys", said Barouch.

While previous experimental HIV-1 vaccines have usually been limited to specific regions of the world, this vaccine combines different HIV viruses. Only five of the recipients of the vaccine reported side effects such as dizziness, diarrhoea, stomach pain, low back pain etc.

Susan Buchbinder, MD, of the University of California San Francisco, one of the co-chairs of the ongoing phase IIb efficacy trial for this vaccine, explained that the results of the non-human primate study were used to help select the most appropriate candidate for the vaccine in humans.

In the meantime, you can reduce your risk of contracting HIV by using a condom for all types of sex and by never sharing a needle if you're an injecting drug user.

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Approached for comment on the study, which he was not involved in, Venter urged caution.

"This one is novel in many ways, so it is exciting, but we have a long way to go".

Creating an effective HIV-1 vaccine has been a huge challenge for researchers.

There are 37 million across the globe who live with AIDS or HIV.

Barouch disclosed support from the NIH, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Janssen Vaccines & Prevention BV, and is a co-inventor on HIV-1 vaccine antigen patents that have been licensed to Janssen Vaccines & Prevention BV.

About 35 million have died.

For now, people infected with HIV rely on lifelong virus-suppressing anti-retroviral treatment (ART) to stay healthy.

Since it is a huge discovery so the researcher needs more testing to determine if the immune response produced can prevent HIV infection in people.


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