October 28, 2008
Research presented Saturday at the 48th Annual Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in Washington indicates that the third-generation smallpox vaccine IMVAMUNE is safe and effective for HIV-infected patients.
In the study, the vaccine was administered to HIV-positive and HIV-negative patients. No significant differences in safety or vaccine response were noted. The vaccine was well tolerated, though all patients reported mild to moderate injection site pain and redness.
"This is the first US trial systematically evaluating the safety and immunogenicity of a smallpox vaccine in HIV patients that has long-term data [six-month follow-up]," said lead investigator Dr. Richard N. Greenberg of the University of Kentucky School of Medicine.
The finding has national security implications. "If smallpox is ever used as a weapon, IMVAMUNE will be an important vaccine for those who are immunocompromised or with atopic [allergic] skin reactions," Greenberg said.
10.27.2008; Anthony J. Brown, M.D.