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1.  Efficacy Trial of a DNA/rAd5 HIV-1 Preventive Vaccine 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;369(22):2083-2092.
Background
A safe and effective vaccine for the prevention of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection is a global priority. We tested the efficacy of a DNA prime–recombinant adenovirus type 5 boost (DNA/rAd5) vaccine regimen in persons at increased risk for HIV-1 infection in the United States.
Methods
At 21 sites, we randomly assigned 2504 men or transgender women who have sex with men to receive the DNA/rAd5 vaccine (1253 participants) or placebo (1251 participants). We assessed HIV-1 acquisition from week 28 through month 24 (termed week 28+ infection), viral-load set point (mean plasma HIV-1 RNA level 10 to 20 weeks after diagnosis), and safety. The 6-plasmid DNA vaccine (expressing clade B Gag, Pol, and Nef and Env proteins from clades A, B, and C) was administered at weeks 0, 4, and 8. The rAd5 vector boost (expressing clade B Gag-Pol fusion protein and Env glycoproteins from clades A, B, and C) was administered at week 24.
Results
In April 2013, the data and safety monitoring board recommended halting vaccinations for lack of efficacy. The primary analysis showed that week 28+ infection had been diagnosed in 27 participants in the vaccine group and 21 in the placebo group (vaccine efficacy, −25.0%; 95% confidence interval, −121.2 to 29.3; P = 0.44), with mean viral-load set points of 4.46 and 4.47 HIV-1 RNA log10 copies per milliliter, respectively. Analysis of all infections during the study period (41 in the vaccine group and 31 in the placebo group) also showed lack of vaccine efficacy (P = 0.28). The vaccine regimen had an acceptable side-effect profile.
Conclusions
The DNA/rAd5 vaccine regimen did not reduce either the rate of HIV-1 acquisition or the viral-load set point in the population studied. (Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00865566.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1310566
PMCID: PMC4030634  PMID: 24099601
2.  Maternal and Neonatal HSV Infections 
The New England journal of medicine  2009;361(14):1376-1385.
doi:10.1056/NEJMra0807633
PMCID: PMC2780322  PMID: 19797284
3.  Vaccine Prevention of Maternal Cytomegalovirus Infection 
The New England journal of medicine  2009;360(12):1191-1199.
BACKGROUND
Congenital infection with cytomegalovirus (CMV) is an important cause of hearing, cognitive, and motor impairments in newborns.
METHODS
In this phase 2, placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind trial, we evaluated a vaccine consisting of recombinant CMV envelope glycoprotein B with MF59 adjuvant, as compared with placebo. Three doses of the CMV vaccine or placebo were given at 0, 1, and 6 months to CMV-seronegative women within 1 year after they had given birth. We tested for CMV infection in the women in quarterly tests during a 42-month period, using an assay for IgG antibodies against CMV proteins other than glycoprotein B. Infection was confirmed by virus culture or immunoblotting. The primary end point was the time until the detection of CMV infection.
RESULTS
We randomly assigned 234 subjects to receive the CMV vaccine and 230 subjects to receive placebo. A scheduled interim analysis led to a stopping recommendation because of vaccine efficacy. After a minimum of 1 year of follow-up, there were 49 confirmed infections, 18 in the vaccine group and 31 in the placebo group. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that the vaccine group was more likely to remain uninfected during a 42-month period than the placebo group (P = 0.02). Vaccine efficacy was 50% (95% confidence interval, 7 to 73) on the basis of infection rates per 100 person-years. One congenital infection among infants of the subjects occurred in the vaccine group, and three infections occurred in the placebo group. There were more local reactions (pain, erythema, induration, and warmth) and systemic reactions (chills, arthralgias, and myalgias) in the vaccine group than in the placebo group.
CONCLUSIONS
CMV glycoprotein B vaccine has the potential to decrease incident cases of maternal and congenital CMV infection. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00125502.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa0804749
PMCID: PMC2753425  PMID: 19297572
4.  Acyclovir and Transmission of HIV-1 from Persons Infected with HIV-1 and HSV-2 
The New England journal of medicine  2010;362(5):427-439.
BACKGROUND
Most persons who are infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) are also infected with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), which is frequently reactivated and is associated with increased plasma and genital levels of HIV-1. Therapy to suppress HSV-2 reduces the frequency of reactivation of HSV-2 as well as HIV-1 levels, suggesting that suppression of HSV-2 may reduce the risk of transmission of HIV-1.
METHODS
We conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of suppressive therapy for HSV-2 (acyclovir at a dose of 400 mg orally twice daily) in couples in which only one of the partners was seropositive for HIV-1 (CD4 count, ≥250 cells per cubic millimeter) and that partner was also infected with HSV-2 and was not taking antiretroviral therapy at the time of enrollment. The primary end point was transmission of HIV-1 to the partner who was not initially infected with HIV-1; linkage of transmissions was assessed by means of genetic sequencing of viruses.
RESULTS
A total of 3408 couples were enrolled at 14 sites in Africa. Of the partners who were infected with HIV-1, 68% were women, and the baseline median CD4 count was 462 cells per cubic millimeter. Of 132 HIV-1 seroconversions that occurred after randomization (an incidence of 2.7 per 100 person-years), 84 were linked within couples by viral sequencing: 41 in the acyclovir group and 43 in the placebo group (hazard ratio with acyclovir, 0.92, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.60 to 1.41; P = 0.69). Suppression with acyclovir reduced the mean plasma concentration of HIV-1 by 0.25 log10 copies per milliliter (95% CI, 0.22 to 0.29; P<0.001) and the occurrence of HSV-2–positive genital ulcers by 73% (risk ratio, 0.27; 95% CI, 0.20 to 0.36; P<0.001). A total of 92% of the partners infected with HIV-1 and 84% of the partners not infected with HIV-1 remained in the study for 24 months. The level of adherence to the dispensed study drug was 96%. No serious adverse events related to acyclovir were observed.
CONCLUSIONS
Daily acyclovir therapy did not reduce the risk of transmission of HIV-1, despite a reduction in plasma HIV-1 RNA of 0.25 log10 copies per milliliter and a 73% reduction in the occurrence of genital ulcers due to HSV-2. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00194519.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa0904849
PMCID: PMC2838503  PMID: 20089951

Results 1-4 (4)