A phase I clinical trial for a new hepatitis C vaccine that has shown to
be safe in humans shows promise in ongoing public health efforts to
control the disease, especially for people who can’t afford treatment.
The first clinical trial of a hepatitis C vaccine in humans
has demonstrated safety and unprecedented immune responses, according to
research published this week in Science Translational
B-cells produce antibodies that go after specific invaders.
With the hepatitis C virus constantly changing (much like HIV) and having
multiple genotypes, it is challenging for scientists to get B-cells to work
effectively in a hepatitis C vaccine.
Using “helper” T-cells instead of B-cells that target
specific intruders, the new vaccine provokes the immune system to go after the
virus with its own defenses. About 15 to 25 percent of people who become
infected with hepatitis C clear the virus spontaneously, according to the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Researchers have known that a
powerful T-cell response plays a role in the body’s ability to do so.
Labels: GSK, HCV vaccine, Okairos, Research and Discoveries