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Hope for combined HIV-HCV vaccine

Thursday April 14th, 2016

British scientists believe it may be possible to create a combined vaccine against HIV and hepatitis C, a conference heard yesterday.

Scientists at Oxford University, UK, told how they tested the combined administration of vaccines currently being investigated against both viruses.

They unveiled their findings at the International Liver Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

The study involved 32 healthy volunteers.

The researchers said their findings showed that "prime boost" vaccination could work.

The technique involves priming the immune system with fragments of viruses in adenovirus vectors - followed by a booster in which the fragments are inserted into an MVA virus.

Researchers Professors Lucy Dorrell and Professor Ellie Barnes told the conference that the vaccination programme successfully generated immune responses from HIV and HCV specific T cells.

Professor Barnes said: "Knowing that it may be possible to vaccinate a single individual against both diseases opens up huge possibilities for rolling back epidemics of disease and co-infection."

The findings were welcomed by Professor Laurent Castera, secretary general of the European Association for the Study of the Liver.

Professor Castera said: "This study shows for the first time that it is possible to generate simultaneous immune response against diseases HCV and HIV, raising the possibility of a combined vaccination."

Tags: Europe | Flu & Viruses | UK News

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