Editor: Liljana Stevceva

Vaccines for Latent Viral Infections

eBook: US $39 Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $96
Printed Copy: US $77
Library License: US $156
ISBN: 978-1-68108-133-5 (Print)
ISBN: 978-1-68108-132-8 (Online)
Year of Publication: 2015
DOI: 10.2174/97816810813281150101

Introduction

Many viruses are known to persist in their host’s cells in a latent state without exhibiting virulence or symptoms of infection, hence, giving rise to the term ‘latent infections’. Vaccines for Latent Viral Infections is a clear and concise monograph which features a review of some well-known viruses that are capable of establishing latent infections in humans. These include herpes simplex virus (HSV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), varicella zoster virus (VZV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).The book also highlights common features of each of these viruses and demonstrates how they are able to evade the host’s immune response. This brief monograph finally proposes a much needed shift in the approach to designing vaccines that will prevent establishment of virus latency.

Vaccines for Latent Viral Infections serves as a handy reference for researchers interested in the basic virology of viruses capable of latent infections, the immune responses to these infections and the development of vaccines to tackle these pathogens.

Preface

I now believe that the first buds about writing this book germinated fifteen years ago when I started seriously looking into the structure and function of the HIV gp120 glycoprotein. I became aware of the unique immunomodulating properties of sulfated polysaccharides during my PhD studies at the Australian National University. As soon as my research shifted to HIV and HIV vaccine development, the similarity of the way the envelope of the HIV was constructed to these compounds attracted my attention and I began wondering how much of the immunomodulating properties do the envelope possess and how the virus uses it. Significant scientific effort was devoted in the past 20 years to dissecting the structure of the HIV envelope glycoproteins but it still appears that our thinking about the HIV envelope did not take into account sufficiently its function and usefulness for the virus. Bearing in mind that all of the known HIV vaccine candidates had envelope component in them, this might have significantly affected their efficacy. As we are now embarking into a new era in HIV vaccine development, perhaps it is pertinent to revisit the basic immunomodulatory role of the HIV glycoproteins and mechanisms of viral escape as they relate to HIV vaccines.

My research interests recently widened to include other viruses that are capable of evading the immune response and establishing a state of latency. As I began embarking deeper into researching these viruses, it soon became very obvious to me that the envelopes of all of them contain similar structures that allow them to modulate the immune response. It also became apparent that any past or present vaccine development effort related to these viruses is directed towards developing vaccine that will prevent clinical manifestation i.e. disease (or what we are able to detect of it) but that there was never an effort to prevent establishment of dormant viral state. Perhaps the reason for this was that until recently, the presence of latent viruses was largely underestimated and that it was widely believed not to cause any harm to the human body as long as the immune system is intact. Novel findings from the human genome sequencing as well as emerging findings on the potential role of CMV infection in immunosenescence are however revealing that this might not be the case. It is time to have a second look at the viruses that are capable of causing latent infection and to shift the scientific taught towards preventing establishment of latency.

Liljana Stevceva,
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
School of Medicine
2102 Treasure Hills Blvd.,
Harlingen TX
USA

DEDICATION:

I would like to dedicate this book to my parents Galaba and Risto Vitanovi who taught me that honesty, hard work and perseverance are the only way to live our lives and to my children Ilija and Risto Stevcev that always inspire me to persist and move forward.

Mom when you were studying late at night after long hours of work and taking care of us, you thought that we were sleeping but I NOTICED. Dad, all the times when you were strict but just to a student, I NOTICED; every time when you put additional effort to understand and help a student, I NOTICED, and every time you turned away any attempt of bribery even at times difficult for our family, I NOTICED. Thank you for teaching me about important things in life. I could not have asked for better parents.

The only way that we will not achieve what we strive for is if we stop trying.

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