Health Care

HIV vaccine that can protect people shows promising results

HIV vaccine that can protect people shows promising results”

Scientists have developed a new vaccine that can safely and effectively elicit immune response against a wide variety of HIV strains, an advance which may help prevent the deadly infection in the future.

For the prime vaccine, used to stimulate an initial immune response, participants were injected with Ad26.Mos.HIV, which uses a strain of the common-cold 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.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization and UNAIDS estimated that there were about 36.7 million people who were living with HIV worldwide at the end of 2016.

"The challenges in the development of an HIV vaccine are unprecedented, and the ability to induce HIV-specific immune responses does not necessarily indicate that a vaccine will protect humans from HIV infection", he added.

Currently, there are no licensed prophylactic HIV-1 vaccines available, which the study authors reported as being potential related to the lack of direct compatibility between the preclinical studies and clinical trials.

In a separate study, the same vaccine offered complete protection from infection in two-thirds of 72 trial monkeys each given six injections with an HIV-like virus. The virus is able to mutate to avoid the attack of the human immune system, so we can't develop immunity to it. The human trial participants came from 12 clinics in South Africa, east Africa, Thailand and the United States.

According to a study in The Lancet, a new HIV vaccine is now being tested and developed, showing promising results thus far.

"Based on these data, the mosaic Ad26/Env HIV-1 vaccine has been advanced into a phase 2b clinical efficacy study to determine whether this vaccine will prevent HIV infection in humans in southern Africa", said Barouch.

It is still too early to speculate that it would work with 100 percent success say the researchers but they are hopeful.

The team created a mosaic-style vaccine by taking parts from different HIV viruses and combining them.

An HIV-1 vaccine would be much more effective than a prophylactic medication.

In the meantime, the vaccine will be tested on women in South Africa, who are most at risk of contracting the virus.

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.

Previous HIV-1 vaccine candidates have typically been limited to specific regions of the world.

The most effective version, given to 12 monkeys, managed to provide protection to 8 of them, while the other 4 eventually became infected. Further attempts to infect the subjects of macaques with virus SHIV-SF162P3, which is similar to HIV that showed resistance in 67%. "But the data is promising and we are happy to report the immune response".

The hope is that it could offer much better protection against the nearly unlimited number of HIV strains found across the world.

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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