Researchers have found that parallel treatment for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the hepatitis C virus (HCV) may be possible in just one vaccine. This could be an important opportunity for people infected with both viruses.
The team from the University of Oxford determined that a vaccine was viable for both of the immune system’s infections, which did not interfere with the each other viruses treatment and showed the response expected, according to the paper presented at the 2016 International Liver Congress in Spain.
The incurable diseases have about 2.3 million people infected with both, HIV and HCV, which could even separately end in the death of the infected person. With both viruses, doctors have to meticulously choose a treatment that would not interfere with each other.
“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,” said Dr. Laurent Castera, secretary general of the European Association for the Study of the Liver.
For the study, the team gathered 32 healthy volunteers and divided them into three groups. To the first group it was given an HCV investigational vaccine at weeks 0 and 8 of the study, to the second it was given an HIV one at the same point in the research and to the third it was given both of the vaccines.
Both vaccines responded as they did in the subjects who were just given one, meaning that the third group had both of the positive reactions of the first and the second group. The team said that this did not appear to impair the immune response to either, as reported by UPI.
A vaccine that could even prevent both
At the conference, two other papers were presented showing possible treatment for the two deadly diseases, which just increases the possibility of a combined treatment of a vaccine to prevent further cases of HIV and HCV.
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 coinfection, commented Dr. Ellie Barnes from the Oxford University.