Special Issue "Novel Advances in Vaccines against HCV"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2021).
Interests: virology; vaccines; adaptive immunity, immunoadjuvants; delivery systems; virus assembly and maturation; hepatitis C virus; emerging and re-emerging viruses
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major global disease burden, and the leading cause of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma in those infected. Despite the recent approval of antiviral therapeutics, a preventative vaccine is recognized as the most effective means to control HCV globally, particularly in at-risk and developing country populations.
However, there are major challenges in the development of an effective HCV vaccine. These challenges include high sequence variability across the seven major genotypes and subtypes leading to viral evasion of both innate and adaptive immune responses, lack of in vitro systems and immunocompetent small animal models that facilitate determination of protective immunity, and vaccine immunoadjuvant and delivery systems capable of inducing robust humoral and cellular immune responses. It is generally accepted that an effective vaccine will need to produce strong and broadly cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) and HCV-specific T cell responses (CD4+ and CD8+) to prevent or clear HCV infection. Approaches to elicit humoral immunity have focused on the envelope glycoproteins, E1 and E2, with a principal focus on the E1E2 heterodimer to induce bNAbs. Protective immunity against autologous virus challenge has been demonstrated in chimpanzees immunized with an E1E2-based vaccine, and limited success with heterologous challenge strains. Corresponding human studies have shown moderate immunogenicity with limited cross-neutralization across genotypes. Therefore, the design of the envelope glycoproteins to focus the immune response on conserved domains associated with broadly neutralizing antibodies is an active area of investigation. In addition, the generation of effective cellular and T-cell memory responses will be necessary for protective immunity and control of HCV infection. Therefore, the use of novel adjuvant and delivery systems for the induction of humoral and cellular responses will be of key importance.
This Special Issue will focus on existing vaccines in development, and recent novel advances in developing B and T cell-based vaccines. This, coupled with insights from deep sequencing, surrogate neutralization assays, and animal model systems, and other technological advances, is advancing research toward rationally designed vaccines that preferentially elicit responses toward conserved epitopes of interest that are associated with viral neutralization and clearance.
Prof. Thomas Fuerst
Manuscript Submission Information
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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- Hepatitis C virus
- B cell response
- T cell response
- neutralization antibodies
- human monoclonal antibodies
- viral escape
- epitope mapping
- antigenic domains
- vaccine development
- vector delivery systems.