Product(s) used in this publication: PepMix™ Peptide Pools
We assessed safety and immunogenicity of HIV-DNA priming using Zetajet™, a needle-free device intradermally followed by intramuscular HIV-MVA boosts, in 24 healthy Mozambicans. Volunteers were randomized to receive three immunizations of 600 µg (n = 10; 2 x 0.1mL) or 1200 µg (n = 10; 2 x 0.2mL) of HIV-DNA (3 mg/mL), followed by two boosts of 10⁸ pfu HIV-MVA. Four subjects received placebo saline injections. Vaccines and injections were safe and well tolerated with no difference between the two priming groups. After three HIV-DNA immunizations, IFN-γ ELISpot responses to Gag were detected in 9/17 (53%) vaccinees, while none responded to Env. After the first HIV-MVA, the overall response rate to Gag and/or Env increased to 14/15 (93%); 14/15 (93%) to Gag and 13/15 (87%) to Env. There were no significant differences between the immunization groups in frequency of response to Gag and Env or magnitude of Gag responses. Env responses were significantly higher in the higher-dose group (median 420 vs 157.5 SFC/million PBMC, p=0.014). HIV-specific antibodies to subtype C gp140 and subtype B gp160 were elicited in all vaccinees after the second HIV-MVA, without differences in titers between the groups. Neutralizing antibody responses were not detected. Two (13%) of 16 vaccinees, one in each of the priming groups, exhibited antibodies mediating antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity to CRF01_AE. In conclusion, HIV-DNA vaccine delivered intradermally in volumes of 0.1-0.2 mL using Zetajet™ was safe and well tolerated. Priming with the 1200 µg dose of HIV-DNA generated higher magnitudes of ELISpot responses to Env.