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. In a parallel study in rhesus monkeys infected with a HIV-like virus called SHIV, the mosaic vaccine offered 67 percent protection.
Despite the fact that treatment of HIV with each passing year it becomes more effective still vaccine against this virus and the therapy was only in the dreams of doctors and patients.
About nine years ago, another HIV vaccine, RV144, also showed positive results in initial experiments carried out on 16,000 volunteers in Thailand. All the participants went through a random, double blind kind of trial which is being referred to as "mosaic" vaccine which is basically pieces of various HIV viruses, combined together to induce immune responses against the HIV strains.
There are 37 million across the globe who live with AIDS or HIV.
Now it is necessary to conduct further testing and determine whether it could protect from HIV person.
These people were healthy and considered at low risk of HIV-1 infection (the most common strain of the HIV virus).
Some researchers explain that the vaccine is not a solution to the virus, which even if it induces an immune response to HIV, it can not prevent humans from getting the virus.
He adds: "These results should be interpreted cautiously".
Asked for his opinion, Robert Gallo, MD, co-founder and director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said that there are probably seven or eight studies of HIV vaccines going on right now, and the real question is obviously will be what the efficacy trials of this vaccine will say. They also tried the drug on 72 laboratory monkeys and proceeded to infect them with six injections of HIV like viruses.
A second round of trials is now taking place on a group of 2,600 women in sub-Saharan Africa who are at risk of contracting HIV. In early human trials the vaccine has been found to be safe in humans.
The research was funded by Janssen Vaccines & Prevention, the US National Institutes of Health, the Ragon Institute, the Henry M Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, the US Department of Defense, and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.
Buchbinder said that she hoped "to validate our non-human primate model to see if it works for humans and if we see the same correlates of protection".
Based on the results from this phase 1/2a clinical trial that involved almost 400 healthy adults, a phase 2b trial has been initiated in southern Africa to determine the safety and efficacy of the HIV-1 vaccine candidate in 2,600 women at risk for acquiring HIV.
More than 80% of people who received this version also showed positive signs for 2 other measures of immune response.
The hope is that it could offer much better protection against the nearly unlimited number of HIV strains found across the world. The mosaic is one of five vaccines to ever make it this far in the testing stages, but none of the previous vaccines were successful enough to make it to the next round of testing.