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HIV vaccine trial breaks ground for future research

e high-risk and the non-white groups. The authors suggested two plausible explanations, one for each group. Those with high-risk behavior may have been exposed frequently to HIV and a primed immune response, probably cellular or humoral, could have worked with the vaccine and caused a greater ability to resist the virus. For the non-white group, the authors suggest that biological differences in immune response or genetic markers of resistance to infection could have made the vaccine more effective.

Also examined in the trial were the immune responses to the vaccine. The vaccine was able to generate antibody responses in virtually all participants, and, in general, those with a higher response had a lower rate of infection than the placebo group. In an editorial accompanying the two papers, Barney Graham and John Mascola of the Vaccine Research Center of the National Institutes for Health commented that more research is needed to be sure whether a high vaccine antibody response is related to a lower incidence of HIV infection. Citing the possible slight vaccine efficacy for non-white and high-risk participants of the trial, they urged that future vaccines be studied in a wide range of racial, ethnic, and diverse risk-level groups. They concluded that the landmark study will inform future studies, and an HIV vaccine will be found only through robust public and private investment as well as a well-informed public and scientific community.


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Contact: Steve Baragona
sbaragona@idsociety.org
703-299-0412
Infectious Diseases Society of America
3-Feb-2005


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