Antiviral therapy for the sexually transmitted viruses: recent updates on vaccine development

Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol. 2020 Sep 29;1-46. doi: 10.1080/17512433.2020.1814743. Online ahead of print.


Introduction: The sexually transmitted infections (STIs) caused by viruses including human T cell leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-1), human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1), human simplex virus-2 (HSV-2), hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and human papillomavirus (HPV) are major public health issues. These infections can cause cancer or result in long-term health problems. Due to high prevalence of STIs, a safe and effective vaccine is required to overcome these fatal viruses.

Areas covered: This review includes a comprehensive overview of the literatures relevant to vaccine development against the sexually transmitted viruses (STVs) using PubMed and Sciencedirect electronic search engines. Herein, we discuss the efforts directed toward development of effective vaccines using different laboratory animal models including mice, guinea pig or non-human primates in preclinical trials, and human in clinical trials with different phases.

Expert opinion: There is no effective FDA approved vaccine against the sexually transmitted viruses (STVs) except for HBV and HPV as prophylactic vaccines. Many attempts are underway to develop vaccines against these viruses. There are several approaches for improving prophylactic or therapeutic vaccines such as heterologous prime/boost immunization, delivery system, administration route, adjuvants, etc. In this line, further studies can be helpful for understanding the immunobiology of STVs in human. Moreover, development of more relevant animal models is a worthy goal to induce effective immune responses in humans.

Keywords: Clinical trial; Sexually transmitted viruses; preclinical trial; preventive vaccine; therapeutic vaccine.