Medical

Novel HIV vaccine candidate induces immune responses in humans, monkeys

Novel HIV vaccine candidate induces immune responses in humans, monkeys

"HIV vaccine human trials leave scientists "cautiously pleased", The Independent reports, following the results of a new clinical trial that tested a HIV vaccine in both humans and monkeys. The study found that the vaccine "produced an anti-HIV immune system response in tests on 393 people". Moreover, the vaccine candidate protected against infection with an HIV-like virus in monkeys.

There is a drug - Prep - which is effective at preventing HIV infection.

The developers eagerly preparing a drug to test for HIV people, and hope for success.

Almost 37 million people worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS, with an estimated 1.8 million new cases every year.

The study was conducted in 2015-2016, and in July 2017, scientists told the world about the results. "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". This vaccine is one of the five experimental HIV-1 vaccine concepts that reached such a success in nearly 40 years of HIV pandemic.

"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.

The new vaccine proved to be protective in monkeys, and while antibodies against HIV were generated in humans, it is unclear whether the vaccine will protect against infection.

The human trials participants for the study belonged from 12 clinics across the world, which includes east Africa, South Africa, the United States and Thailand. Scientists must await the results of this trial find out whether the vaccine cannot only provoke an immune response, but actively protect against HIV.




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.

While these results are not ideal, they "represent an important milestone", Harvard professor, Dan Barouch, said. The mosaic approach, where antigens are taken from several strains, could hold the answer to this problem. The combinations in the vaccine were safe to the human body and all produced an anti-HIV response. Despite all the advances we have had with HIV, we need a vaccine.

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.

The UK newspaper headlines were somewhat overoptimistic, as the design of the study means we can not yet say that the vaccine will truly be effective in people. This immune response could protect the humans from the infection.

More than 80% of people who received this version also showed positive signs for 2 other measures of immune response.

HIV mainly is a virus which is causing a deadly disease known as AIDS, Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

In the near four decades since the start of the Aids crisis, this is only the fifth experimental vaccine that has progressed to a stage where it can be tested on humans.


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