Source Department of Internal Medicine, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO 63104, USA.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in humans can cause progressive and end-stage liver disease. As such, preventive measures against HCV, including vaccine development, are a priority among researchers in the field. The report from Garrone et al. describes the development of a vaccine platform to generate HCV-neutralizing antibodies that are based on retrovirus-derived virus-like particles (VLPs) pseudotyped with heterologous viral envelope proteins. Immunization with these VLPs induced neutralizing antibodies in mouse and macaque models. These results, when considered in the context of an earlier clinical trial that used recombinant HCV E1/E2 purified protein as a subunit vaccine and additional findings from the VLP strategy, may lead to a new HCV vaccine that induces a neutralizing antibody response.