Use of predictive markers of HIV disease progression in vaccine trials.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Vaccine, Volume 27, Issue 14, p.1997-2015 (2009)


2009, AIDS Vaccines, Animals, Biological Markers, Clinical Trials as Topic, DISEASE PROGRESSION, HIV Infections, HIV-1, Humans, RNA, Viral, T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Institute, Viral Load


Generating broadly neutralizing antibodies with candidate vaccines has remained an elusive goal. Consequently, vaccine candidates developed have aimed at eliciting cell-mediated immune effector activities (CMI) that could delay disease progression, and maybe also limit secondary transmission, by controlling virus replication. There is considerable discussion about what types of endpoints would constitute definable standardized clinical benefit to the individual that would result in licensure of these candidate vaccines. Identifying biomarkers that can be used as surrogates for clinical endpoints in randomized clinical trials would be useful, because it would shorten studies and reduce costs. Biological markers associated with disease progression and secondary transmission and that may be used as prognosis markers and surrogate endpoints in HIV vaccine trials have emerged from analyses of data from studies on natural history of HIV infection. Extensive literature is cited to support the use of plasma viral load as a primary endpoint for supporting licensure decisions. Overall, a significant result on viral load in a vaccine trial should be considered as a significant breakthrough for vaccines and be aggressively pursued with the caveat that such a result should rapidly be followed by well-defined studies to verify durable virological and immunological vaccine benefit, as well as ultimate clinical benefit. The review also provides perspectives on magnitude of viral load reduction, durability of viral load reduction for reduced progression of HIV disease.