Immunization Scheme Doesn’t Prevent HIV-1 Infection in South Africa – Consumer Health News

WEDNESDAY, March 24, 2021 (HealthDay News) – According to a published study, a canarypox protein HIV vaccination regimen (ALVAC-HIV) plus divalent adjuvant subtype C gp120-MF59 does not prevent HIV-1 infection in adults in South Africa the March 25 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Glenda E. Gray, MB, B.Ch., of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and colleagues randomly assigned 5,404 adults (mean age 24 years; 70 percent women) without HIV-1 infection to canarypox protein HIV to receive vaccine or placebo (2,704 and 2,700 participants, respectively) in a phase 2b-3 study in South Africa. The vaccination schedule included injections of ALVAC-HIV at months 0 and 1, followed by ALVAC-HIV plus adjuvant booster injections of the divalent subtype C gp120-MF59 at months 3, 6, 12 and 18.

The researchers found that an interim analysis in January 2020 met specified criteria for ineffectiveness and subsequently stopped further vaccinations. There was a similar incidence of adverse events in the vaccine and placebo groups. HIV-1 infection was diagnosed in 138 and 133 participants in the vaccine and placebo groups, respectively, during the 24-month follow-up period (hazard ratio 1.02; 95 percent confidence interval 0.81 to 1.30; P = 0.84).

“Despite promising immunogenicity, this HIV vaccination regimen containing canarypox protein was not effective in preventing the acquisition of HIV-1 infection in our trial population in South Africa,” the authors write. “The high incidence of HIV-1 that we observed in our study shows the relentless aspect of the epidemic, especially among young women.”

The study was funded by Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, now part of GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, which also contributed financially to providing pre-exposure prophylaxis for study participants.

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