Product(s) used in this publication: PepMix™ Peptide Pools
Intradermal priming with HIV-1 DNA plasmids followed by HIV-1MVA boosting induces strong and broad cellular and humoral immune responses. In our previous HIVIS-03 trial, we used 5 injections with 2 pools of HIV-DNA at separate sites for each priming immunization. The present study explores whether HIV-DNA priming can be simplified by reducing the number of DNA injections and administration of combined versus separated plasmid pools.
In this phase IIa, randomized trial, priming was performed using 5 injections of HIV-DNA, 1000 μg total dose, (3 Env and 2 Gag encoding plasmids) compared to two "simplified" regimens of 2 injections of HIV-DNA, 600 μg total dose, of Env- and Gag-encoding plasmid pools with each pool either administered separately or combined. HIV-DNA immunizations were given intradermally at weeks 0, 4, and 12. Boosting was performed intramuscularly with 108 pfu HIV-MVA at weeks 30 and 46.
129 healthy Tanzanian participants were enrolled. There were no differences in adverse events between the groups. The proportion of IFN-γ ELISpot responders to Gag and/or Env peptides after the second HIV-MVA boost did not differ significantly between the groups primed with 2 injections of combined HIV-DNA pools, 2 injections with separated pools, and 5 injections with separated pools (90%, 97% and 97%). There were no significant differences in the magnitude of Gag and/or Env IFN-γ ELISpot responses, in CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses measured as IFN-γ/IL-2 production by intracellular cytokine staining (ICS) or in response rates and median titers for binding antibodies to Env gp160 between study groups.
A simplified intradermal vaccination regimen with 2 injections of a total of 600 μg with combined HIV-DNA plasmids primed cellular responses as efficiently as the standard regimen of 5 injections of a total of 1000 μg with separated plasmid pools after boosting twice with HIV-MVA.
World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform PACTR2010050002122368.