Particularly important are questions regarding the effect of the quality, quantity and specificity of the vaccine-induced CD8 T-cell response on post-infection viral load control. These questions could not be addressed without a vaccine approach that actually induced CD8 T-cell responses in most recipients.

The Merck vaccine was the first such candidate, so it is a misleading exaggeration to claim that its failure is a “crisis” for HIV vaccine research. A journal with Nature’s long history is well placed to know how likely first-time successes are in science.

–Richard Jefferys,1 in Correspondence to Nature:
Vaccine failure is not a ‘crisis’ for HIV research
Nature 453, 719-720 (5 June 2008) | doi:10.1038/453719d


  1. See the Michael Palm Basic Science, Vaccines & Prevention Project Weblog[]