Research ArticleHepatitis C Virus

Modeling of patient virus titers suggests that availability of a vaccine could reduce hepatitis C virus transmission among injecting drug users

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Science Translational Medicine  11 Jul 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 449, eaao4496
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aao4496

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Hampering hepatitis C virus transmission

No hepatitis C virus (HCV) vaccine is currently available, and evidence from studies in nonhuman primates suggests that any future human HCV vaccine would be unlikely to induce complete immunity against the virus. Major et al. examined whether lowered HCV titers potentially resulting from an imperfect vaccine might still stem HCV transmission in people who inject drugs. The authors measured the HCV RNA from infected human plasma retained in contaminated needles and syringes. Their mathematical model combining these measurements with published HCV viral kinetics data suggested that a partially effective vaccine could reduce the HCV transmission risk among individuals who share contaminated needles and syringes.