Progress on new vaccine strategies against chronic viral infections

J Clin Invest. 2004 Aug;114(4):450-62. doi: 10.1172/JCI22674.


Among the most cost-effective strategies for preventing viral infections, vaccines have proven effective primarily against viruses causing acute, self-limited infections. For these it has been sufficient for the vaccine to mimic the natural virus. However, viruses causing chronic infection do not elicit an immune response sufficient to clear the infection and, as a result, vaccines for these viruses must elicit more effective responses--quantitative and qualitative--than does the natural virus. Here we examine the immunologic and virologic basis for vaccines against three such viruses, HIV, hepatitis C virus, and human papillomavirus, and review progress in clinical trials to date. We also explore novel strategies for increasing the immunogenicity and efficacy of vaccines.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Vaccines / immunology
  • AIDS Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV Infections / therapy*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / immunology
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Models, Biological
  • Papillomaviridae / immunology
  • Papillomavirus Infections / immunology
  • Papillomavirus Infections / therapy*
  • Viral Hepatitis Vaccines / immunology
  • Viral Hepatitis Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Viral Vaccines / immunology*


  • AIDS Vaccines
  • Viral Hepatitis Vaccines
  • Viral Vaccines