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.
Financial & competing interests disclosure
Eleanor Barnes is funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) UK and the Oxford NIHR Biomedical Research Centre. John Halliday is funded by the MRC UK and Paul Klenerman is funded by the Wellcome Trust UK. The authors are currently working on Phase I HCV vaccine studies using adenoviral vectors in collaboration with an industrial partner Okairos. The authors have no other relevant affiliations or financial involvement with any organization or entity with a financial interest in or financial conflict with the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript apart from those disclosed.
No writing assistance was utilized in the production of this manuscript.
Expert Rev Vaccines. 2011;10(5):659-672. © 2011 Expert Reviews Ltd.
Cite this: Vaccination for Hepatitis C Virus - Medscape - May 01, 2011.