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Expert Rev Vaccines. 2016 Dec;15(12):1535-1544. Epub 2016 Jun 13.

Hepatitis C virus vaccine candidates inducing protective neutralizing antibodies.

Author information

a Inserm, U1110 , Institut de Recherche sur les Maladies Virales et Hépatiques , Strasbourg , France.
b Université de Strasbourg , Strasbourg , France.
c Department of Pathology , Stanford University School of Medicine , Stanford , CA , USA.
d Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research , University of Maryland , Rockville , MD , USA.
e Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire, Pôle Hépato-digestif , Hôpitaux Universitaires de Strasbourg , Strasbourg , France.


With more than 150 million chronically infected people, hepatitis C virus (HCV) remains a substantial global health burden. Direct-acting antivirals have dramatically improved viral cure. However, limited access to therapy, late stage detection of infection and re-infection following cure illustrate the need for a vaccine for global control of infection. Vaccines with induction of neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) have been shown to protect successfully against infections by multiple viruses and are currently developed for HCV. Areas covered: Here we review the progress towards the development of vaccines aiming to confer protection against chronic HCV infection by inducing broadly nAbs. The understanding or viral immune evasion in infected patients, the development of novel model systems and the recent structural characterization of viral envelope glycoprotein E2 has markedly advanced our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of virus neutralization with the concomitant development of several vaccine candidates. Expert commentary: While HCV vaccine development remains challenged by the high viral diversity and immune evasion, marked progress in HCV research has advanced vaccine design. Several vaccine candidates have shown robust induction of nAbs in animal models and humans. Randomized clinical trials are the next step to assess their clinical efficacy for protection against chronic infection.


Hepatitis C; antibodies; immunity; vaccine

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of Interests T Baumert acknowledges grant support from the European Union (ERC-2008-AdG-HEPCENT, ERC-AdG-2014-HEPCIR, FP7 HepaMab, EU H2020 HEPCAR, and Interreg IV FEDERHepato-Regio-Net 2012), the Agence Nationale de Recherche sur le SIDA (ANRS), and the Direction Générale de l’Offre de Soins (A12027MS). CC Colpitts is supported by a fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (201411MFE-338606-245517). This work has been published under the framework of the LABEX ANR-10-LABX-0028_HEPSYS and benefits from funding from the state managed by the French National Research Agency as part of the Investments for the Future Programme. Research reported in this publication was also supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number U19AI123862. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. The authors have no other relevant affiliations or financial involvement with any organization or entity with a financial interest in or financial conflict with the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript apart from those disclosed.

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