Vaccination for Hepatitis C Virus

Closing in on an Evasive Target

John Halliday; Paul Klenerman; Eleanor Barnes


Expert Rev Vaccines. 2011;10(5):659-672. 

In This Article

Five-year View

There are several promising vaccine trials currently recruiting patients that will undoubtedly further expand our understanding of the complex interplay of HCV and host immunity and our ability to modulate this in favor of the host. New therapeutic HCV vaccine approaches are likely to continue to be explored in combination with standard medical therapy rather than in isolation. The new directly acting viral protease inhibitors that will become available in the next few years will further influence this process. While these drugs will improve treatment outcomes for patients with HCV genotype-1 infection, their high cost will limit availability. Approaches for nongenotype-1 strains also need some consideration given the major genetic divergence of the six major genotypes and their distinct immunoreactivity.

Vaccines that produce substantial antiviral T-cell responses are being developed, but in the absence of a clear correlate of protection, efficacy will need to be demonstrated in well-designed clinical trials. The organization and monitoring of these is a substantial issue for the field, but moves to harmonize studies of at-risk and acutely infected cohorts might accelerate this process.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.