Hepatitis C, a chronic liver disease, is the target of an experimental vaccine in the first phases of human clinical trials in the UK.
The study findings were published online in the January 4th issue of Science Translational Medicine by researchers at the University of Oxford. Results are promising for the disease, which currently has no vaccine and infects approximately 170 million people globally.
Hepatitis C is somewhat unpredictable, with some patients experiencing liver damage while others seem to have more immunity. The results of the trial show that the vaccine produces stronger immune responses, such as those who have more natural immunity.
Another aspect that makes Hepatitis C challenging is that it is always slightly changing, making it difficult for researchers to focus on specific targets of the disease. In this study the researchers decided to go after an internal part of the disease and one that is unlikely to change over time.
Much more needs to be done before we have an effective vaccine but the study is very promising. For more information about this study please visit http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/239982.php