HIV Vaccine Candidate Triggers Desired Immune Responses in Humans and Monkeys

Almost 80 million people are estimated to have been infected since the virus was first diagnosed in the early 1980s

With an estimated 1.8 million new cases of HIV every year, a safe and effective vaccine would be an incredible tool in stopping the pandemic.

Its creators believe it will offer significantly better protection. At this level, the vaccine proved to be capable of protecting the participants from the deadly virus. However, he warned: "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".

Also, the vaccine candidate provided 67 percent protection against infection with an HIV-like virus in monkeys, according to the study.

Scientists also carried out a parallel study where they gave monkeys the vaccine to protect them from getting simian-human immunodeficiency virus - a virus similar to HIV that infects monkeys. The participants were treated in clinics in east Africa, South Africa, Thailand, and the United States of America, and either received a placebo or one of seven vaccine combinations.

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In addition to showing successful immune responses in the human patients, the vaccine was also shown to fend off a similarly risky immunodeficiency virus in 67% of monkeys who received the treatment. Last Saturday the research bore fruit when a team of scientists announced that a trial drug has shown immune response in humans and also protected laboratory monkeys from HIV infection. However, because the mosaic vaccine attacks multiple strains of the virus, doctors would be able to administer it on a much broader scale, and it could potentially be a powerful weapon against HIV if all goes well.

"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.

"We expect results in 2021".

The experimental vaccine which is called as HIV 1 vaccine was seemed to be effective among humans, this previous experimental vaccine was having the disadvantage as this was only effective in certain areas of the world.

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Dr. Dan H. Barouch is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research.

In the APPROACH trial of almost 400 participants, researchers conducted a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to assess the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of several vaccine regimens in humans.

Study participants in the APPROACH trial were taken from 12 clinics located in east Africa, South Africa, Thailand and the USA. They received 4 vaccinations through a period of forty-eight weeks.

Five participants reported side-effects such as stomach pain and diarrhoea, dizziness, or back pain.

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HIV has infected around 80 million people worldwide since it was first detected in the 1980's. But there are reasons to be optimistic. It's unclear whether it would provide protection in humans.

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