Injection Drug Users Can Benefit from a Partially Effective Hepatitis C Vaccine

A hepatitis C virus (HCV) vaccine could dramatically reduce the transmission of the virus among injection drug users, even without achieving sterilizing immunity, according to a recently-published study.
 
Although vaccinations are available for hepatitis A and hepatitis B, HCV does not yet have an effective vaccine on the market.
 
The study, published in Science Translational Medicine, employed mathematical modeling to investigate transmission probabilities relative to HCV RNA titers of needle/syringe-sharing donors. The researchers simulated the sharing of 2 types of syringes fitted with needles that retain either large or small amounts of fluid after expulsion.
 
Using data from individuals who had been infected or reinfected with the virus, the researchers estimated the transmission risk between injection drug users, accounting for syringe type, rinsing, and sharing frequency.
 
According to the findings, an injection drug user who shared a syringe/needle with an individual who was infected with HCV would have a greater than 90% of contracting the virus after 6 months, assuming sharing episodes occurred every 7 days. However, if the user had been vaccinated with an effective HCV vaccine, the transmission risk would decrease between 1% and 25%, the researchers estimated. The percentage of decreased risk would depend on the type of needle used and HCV titer, they noted.
 
“Our findings suggest that a hepatitis C vaccine would be an essential part of a comprehensive prevention strategy to meet the World Health Organization’s goal of eradicating hepatitis C by 2030,” study co-author Scott Cotler, MD, head of Loyola’s division of hepatology and a professor in the department of medicine of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, said in a press release.
 
To eliminate HCV worldwide, the researchers wrote that methods need to combine the use antivirals with an HCV vaccine and harm-reduction measures, such as needle-syringe exchange programs, opioid substitution therapy, and behavioral counseling.
 
The researchers concluded that HCV transmission among individuals sharing syringes could be reduced through vaccination, even if the vaccine is only partially effective.  
 
Reference
 
Major M, Gutfraind A, Shekhtman L, et al. Modeling of patient virus titers suggests that availability of a vaccine could reduce hepatitis C virus transmission among injecting drug users. Science Translational Medicine. 2018. Doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aao4496
 
Hepatitis C vaccine could dramatically reduce transmission in people who inject drugs [news release]. Loyola University Health System. https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-07/luhs-hcv071018.php. Accessed July 12, 2018.
 
 
 
 


Stay up to date on the latest news in specialty pharmacy by getting Specialty Pharmacy Times in your mailbox or inbox for free!

Click here to sign up for free for the bi-monthly Specialty Pharmacy Times print journal delivered to your address.

Click here to sign up for our email newsletters delivered every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, in addition to breaking news alerts.

Click here to follow us on Facebook. 

Click here to follow us on Twitter. 

Click here to join our LinkedIn group. 


Most Popular

Related Articles

Thom Cohn, Chief Strategy Officer, Asembia, discusses special considerations for the launch of a personalized drug.
Bodily fluids may serve as vectors for transmission for transmitting hepatitis C virus RNA in patients with a high viral load.
Atezolizumab (Tecentriq) approved by FDA in combination with bevacizumab (Avastin), carboplatin, and paclitaxel for the first-line treatment of metastatic nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer.
Company Profile >
Contributors >
Industry Guide >
Market News >
Peer Exchange >
Conferences >
Subscribe >
Specialty Times Resources
About Us
Advertise
Careers
Contact Us
Terms & Conditions
Privacy
MJH Associates >
Pharmacy Times
OTCGuide
American Journal of Managed Care
Cure
MD Magazine
ONCLive
Targeted Oncology
Physicians' Education Resource
Pharmacy & Healthcare Communications, LLC
2 Clarke Drive
Suite 100
Cranbury, NJ 08512
P: 609-716-7777
F: 609-716-4747

Copyright Specialty Pharmacy Times 2006-2018
Pharmacy & Healthcare Communications, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
 

$vacMongoViewPlus$