Risk behaviour and time as covariates for efficacy of the HIV vaccine regimen ALVAC-HIV (vCP1521) and AIDSVAX B/E: a post-hoc analysis of the Thai phase 3 efficacy trial RV 144
ABSTRACT The Thai phase 3 HIV vaccine trial RV 144 showed modest efficacy of a vaccine against HIV acquisition. Baseline variables of age, sex, marital status, and risk did not modify vaccine efficacy. We did a post-hoc analysis of the trial's data to investigate behavioural risk and efficacy every 6 months after vaccination.
RV 144 was a randomised, multicentre, double-blind, placebo-controlled efficacy trial testing the combination of the HIV vaccines ALVAC-HIV (vCP1521) and AIDSVAX B/E to prevent HIV infection or reduce setpoint viral load. Male and female volunteers aged 18-30 years were recruited from the community. In this post-hoc analysis of the modified intention-to-treat population (16,395 participants), HIV risk behaviour was assessed with a self-administered questionnaire at the time of initial vaccination in the trial and every 6 months thereafter for 3 years. We classified participants' behaviour as low, medium, or high risk. Both the acquisition endpoint and the early viral-load endpoint were examined for interactions with risk status over time and temporal effects after vaccination. Multiple proportional hazards regression models with treatment and time-varying risk covariates were analysed.
Risk of acquisition of HIV was low in each risk group, but 9187 (58·2%) participants reported higher-risk behaviour at least once during the study. Participants classified as high or increasing risk at least once during follow-up were compared with those who maintained low-risk or medium-risk behaviour as a time-varying covariate, and the interaction of risk status and acquisition efficacy was significant (p=0·01), with greater benefit in low-risk individuals. Vaccine efficacy seemed to peak early--cumulative vaccine efficacy was estimated to be 60·5% (95% CI 22-80) through the 12 months after initial vaccination--and declined quickly. Vaccination did not seem to affect viral load in either early or late infections.
Future HIV vaccine trials should recognise potential interactions between challenge intensity and risk heterogeneity in both population and treatment effects. The regimen tested in the RV 144 phase 3 trial might benefit from extended immunisation schedules.
US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and Division of AIDS, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institutes of Health.
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ABSTRACT: The bulk of current HIV vaccine research is conducted within the infectious disease paradigm that has been very successful in developing vaccines against many other viral diseases. Different HIV vaccine concepts, based on the induction of neutralizing antibodies and/or cell mediated immunity, have been developed and clinically tested over the last 30 years, resulting in a few small successes and many disappointments. As new scientific knowledge is obtained, HIV vaccine concepts are constantly modified with the hope that the newly introduced tweaks (or paradigm drifts) will provide the solution to one of the most difficult challenges that modern biomedical research is confronting. Efficacy trials have been critical in guiding HIV vaccine development. However, from the five phase III efficacy trials conducted to date, only one (RV144) resulted in modest efficacy. The results from RV144 were surprising in many ways, including the identified putative correlates of protection (or risk), which did not include neutralizing antibodies or cytotoxic T-cells. The solution to the HIV vaccine challenge may very well come from approaches based on the current paradigm. However, at the same time, out-of-the-paradigm ideas should be systematically explored to complement the current efforts. New mechanisms are needed to identify and support the innovative research that will hopefully accelerate the development of an urgently needed HIV vaccine.Frontiers in Immunology 03/2015; 6:124. DOI:10.3389/fimmu.2015.00124
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ABSTRACT: We performed human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) transmitted/founder (T/F) virus analysis of the VAX003 vaccine efficacy trial participants to characterize the transmission bottleneck and test for vaccine-associated reduction or enhancement of infection in this injection drug user (IDU) cohort. We performed single genome sequencing of plasma vRNA from 50 subjects sampled in early HIV infection. Sequences were analyzed phylogenetically, T/F viruses enumerated, and a sieve analysis performed. Eight of 19 (42%) placebo recipients were productively infected by more than 1 virus (range 1-5, median 1, mean 1.7). This frequency of multiple virus transmission was greater than reported for heterosexual cohorts (19%, P = .03) but not statistically different from vaccine recipients (22.6%, P > .05), where the range was 1-3, median 1, and mean 1.3 (P > .05 for all comparisons). An atypical sieve effect was detected in Env V2 but was not associated with reduction or enhancement of virus acquisition. The number of T/F viruses in IDUs was surprising low, with 95% of individuals infected by only 1-3 viruses. This finding suggests that a successful vaccine or other prevention modality generally needs to protect against only one or a few viruses regardless of risk behavior. T/F analysis identified an atypical genetic sieve in the V2 region of Envelope and found no evidence for vaccine-mediated enhancement in VAX003.09/2014; 1(2):ofu056. DOI:10.1093/ofid/ofu056
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ABSTRACT: Correlates of protection (CoPs) against infection by primate lentiviruses remain undefined. Modest protection against HIV-1 was observed in one human vaccine trial, whereas previous trials and vaccine-challenge experiments in non-human primates have yielded inconsistent but intriguing results. Although high levels of neutralizing antibodies are known to protect macaques from mucosal and intravenous viral challenges, antibody or other adaptive immune responses associated with protection might also be mere markers of innate immunity or susceptibility. Specific strategies for augmenting the design of both human trials and animal experiments could help to identify mechanistic correlates of protection and clarify the influences of confounding factors. Robust protection may, however, require the combined actions of immune responses and other host factors, thereby limiting what inferences can be drawn from statistical associations. Here, we discuss how to analyze immune protection against primate lentiviruses, and how host factors could influence both the elicitation and effectiveness of vaccine-induced responses.Retrovirology 10/2012; 9(1):80. DOI:10.1186/1742-4690-9-80 · 4.77 Impact Factor