Novel HIV vaccine found safe, effective

Grant Boone
July 9, 2018

However, some other researchers have cautioned that the new vaccine's ability to induce an HIV specific immune response does not actually mean that it would prevent the humans from the infection itself.

The mosaic vaccine HIV-1 vaccine produced comparable immune responses in both humans and rhesus monkeys, a phase I/IIa trial found.

Only four vaccine concepts have made it to testing in humans, and only one provided any evidence of protection in an efficacy trial, but the effect was considered too low to make it available for use.

Researchers have since launched a phase two trial involving 2,600 participants in southern Africa to continue testing how safe and effective the HIV-1 vaccine is.

This study was funded by Janssen Vaccines & Prevention BV, US National Institutes of Health, Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, Henry M Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, US Department of Defense, and International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.

Dr Brady added that in the meantime there were already tools that were effective for preventing the disease from spreading, such as contraception and treatments for HIV-positive people that prevent them from passing on the virus.

The vaccine generated robust immune responses against HIV in healthy adults.

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The vaccine could have the potential to protect people around the world from the threat of the virus.

A new study has given the researchers a ray of light in the battle to safeguard people from the most widespread virus, HIV-1.

In addition to showing successful immune responses in the human patients, the vaccine was also shown to fend off a similarly unsafe immunodeficiency virus in 67% of monkeys who received the treatment.

The mosaic vaccine combination that showed the most promise in humans was found to protect 67% of the 72 monkeys from getting the disease.

"I can not emphasise how badly we need to have a get rid of HIV in the next generation altogether", said Francois Venter of the University of the Witwatersrand Reproductive Health and HIV Institute in South Africa. Thousands of people are still contracting HIV every year in the US - an estimated 38,500 people became infected with the virus in 2015 alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest statistics. The team tested this new agent on 393 healthy, HIV-free adults from East Africa, South Africa, Rwanda, Uganda, United States and Thailand between ages of 18 and 50 years.

A vaccine has proven elusive as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) mutates easily and can hide away in cells, evading the immune system, only to re-emerge and spread years later. The participants were randomly assigned one of seven combinations of a vaccine, while one group was given a placebo. They were administered 4 injections over a period of 48 weeks and their immune system response was noted. Thus, an HIV vaccine is needed badly. It's unclear whether it would provide protection in humans.

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