Broad and Potent Cellular and Humoral Immune Responses After a Second Late HIV-Modified Vaccinia Virus Ankara Vaccination in HIV-DNA-Primed and HIV-Modified Vaccinia Virus Ankara-Boosted Swedish Vaccinees

Nilsson et al., AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses (2013) - PMID: 24090081

Product(s) used in this publication: PepMix™ Peptide Pools


We have previously shown that an HIV vaccine regimen including three HIV-DNA immunizations and a single HIV-modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) boost was safe and highly immunogenic in Swedish volunteers. A median 38 months after the first HIV-MVA vaccination, 24 volunteers received 10(8) plaque-forming units of HIV-MVA. The vaccine was well tolerated. Two weeks after this HIV-MVA vaccination, 18 (82%) of 22 evaluable vaccinees were interferon (IFN)-γ enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISpot) reactive: 18 to Gag and 10 (45%) to Env. A median minimal epitope count of 4 to Gag or Env was found in a subset of 10 vaccinees. Intracellular cytokine staining revealed CD4(+) and/or CD8(+) T cell responses in 23 (95%) of 24 vaccinees, 19 to Gag and 19 to Env. The frequency of HIV-specific CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell responses was equally high (75%). A high proportion of CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell responses to Gag was polyfunctional with production of three or more cytokines (40% and 60%, respectively). Of the Env-specific CD4(+) T cells 40% were polyfunctional. Strong lymphoproliferative responses to Aldrithiol-2 (AT-2)-treated subtype A, B, C, and A_E virus were demonstrable in 21 (95%) of 22 vaccinees. All vaccinees developed binding antibodies to Env and Gag. Neutralizing antibodies were detected in a peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC)-based assay against subtype B and CRF01_AE viruses. The neutralizing antibody response rates were influenced by the vaccine dose and/or mode of delivery used at the previous HIV-MVA vaccination. Thus, a second late HIV-MVA boost induced strong and broad cellular immune responses and improved antibody responses. The data support further exploration of this vaccine concept.

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