Sydney: Here is good news for those suffering from Hepatitis C. A Hepatitis C vaccine developed by Australian scientists is undergoing trials. According to estimates around 200 million people across the world are affected with it.
The infectious liver disease is caused by hepatitis C virus. Its infection can be asymptomatic and can lead to liver scarring and leading it to cirrhosis. Some cases can lead to liver failure or liver cancer.
Currently, undergoing formal pre-clinical studies, the vaccine is the result of a breakthrough work done by Heidi Drummer, associate professor from Burnet Institute with her team from its virology centre.
Drummer and her team have overcome a major hurdle in HCV vaccine research, developing a vaccine candidate that protects against a number of different HCV strains, according to a Burnet statement.
"Hepatitis C has a great ability to change its structure and evade the immune response. This makes vaccine development challenging," Drummer said.
"Our vaccine is unique as it contains only the most essential, conserved parts of the major viral surface protein, eliciting antibodies that prevent both closely and distantly related hepatitis C viruses from entering cells, thereby preventing infection," Drummer said.
Drummer presented these findings at the prestigious Immunotherapeutics and Vaccine Summit (ImVacS) in Cambridge, Massachussets, US, on August 13.