HIV vaccines: progress to date.
ABSTRACT The quest for an effective and safe HIV-1 vaccine has been and still is the aspiration of many scientists and clinicians worldwide. Until recently, the hopes for an effective vaccine were thwarted by the disappointing results and early termination in September 2007 of the STEP study, which saw a subgroup of male vaccine recipients at an increased risk of HIV-1 infection, and the failure of earlier trials of vaccines based on recombinant envelope proteins to provide any level of protection. The results of the STEP study raised important questions in the field of HIV vaccines, including the use of recombinant adenovirus vectors as immunogens, the rationale for the development of T-cell-based vaccines and the development pathway for these vaccines, in terms of assessment of immunogenicity and the challenge models used. The study of neutralizing antibodies has demonstrated that the induction of high-titre, broadly neutralizing antibodies in the majority of recipients is likely to be highly problematic. However, the results of the RV144 Thai trial released in September 2009 have brought new optimism to the field. This study employed envelope-based immunogens delivered as a priming vaccination with a recombinant poxvirus vector and boosting with recombinant proteins. This regimen provided modest protection to HIV-1 infection in a low-risk population. Although the correlates of protection are currently unknown, extensive studies are underway to try to determine these. Neutralizing antibodies were not induced in the RV144 study; however, considerable titres of binding antibodies to HIV-1 viral envelope (Env) were. It is speculated that these antibodies may have provided a means of protection by a mechanism such as antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity. In addition, no CD8+ T-cell responses were induced, but robust CD4+ T-cell responses were, and correlates of protection are being sought by analysing the quality of this aspect of the vaccine-induced immune response. The current paradigm for an optimal HIV-1 vaccine is to design immunogens and vaccination protocols that allow the induction of both broadly neutralizing humoral and broadly reactive and effective cell-mediated immunity, to act at sites of possible infection and post-infection, respectively. However, this is challenged by the results of the RV144 trial as neither of these responses were induced but modest protection was observed. Understanding the biology and immunopathology of HIV-1 early following infection, its modes of transmission and the human immune system's response to the virus should aid in the rational design of vaccines of increased efficacy.
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ABSTRACT: Since recent data suggest that nanoparticles and modified vaccinia ankara (MVA) vectors could play a pivotal role in HIV-1 therapeutics and vaccine design, in an ex vivo model of human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MDDCs), we compared two different loading strategies with HIV-1 vaccine vehicles, either viral or synthetic derived. We used polylactic acid (PLA) colloidal biodegradable particles, coated with HIV Gag antigens (p24), and MVA expressing Gag (rMVA-gag and rMVA-gag/trans membrane) or Tat, Nef and Rev genes (rMVA tat+rev and rMVA nef). PLA-p24 captured by MDDCs from HIV-1 individuals induced a slight degree of MDDC maturation, cytokine and chemokine secretion and migration towards a gradient of CCL19 chemokine and highly increased HIV-specific CD8+ T-cell proliferation compared with p24 alone. After complete maturation induction of PLA-p24-pulsed MDDCs, maximal migration towards a gradient of CCL19 chemokine and induction of HIV-specific T-cell proliferation (two-fold higher for CD4+ than CD8+) and cytokine secretion (IFN-γ and IL-2) in the co-culture were observed. Upon exposure to MVA-gag, MDDCs produced cytokines and chemokines and maintained their capacity to migrate to a gradient of CCL19. MDDCs infected with MVA-gag and MVA-gag trans-membrane were able to induce HIV-specific CD8+ proliferation and secretion of IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-6 and TNF-α. We conclude that both HIV antigens loading strategies (PLA-p24 nanoparticles or MVA expressing HIV genes) induce HIV-1-specific T-cell responses, which are able to kill autologous gag-expressing cells. Thus, they are plausible candidates for the development of anti-HIV vaccines.Vaccine 09/2014; · 3.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The therapeutic approach for the treatment of HIV infection is based on the highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), a cocktail of antiretroviral drugs. Notwithstanding HAART has shown different drawbacks like toxic side effects and the emergence of viral multidrug resistance. Nanotechnology offers new tools to improve HIV drug treatment and prevention. In this scenario, gold nanoparticles are an interesting chemical tool to design and prepare smart and efficient drug-delivery systems. Here we describe the preparation and antiviral activity of carbohydrate-coated gold nanoparticles loaded with anti-HIV prodrug candidates. The nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors abacavir and lamivudine have been converted to the corresponding thiol-ending ester derivatives and then conjugated to ~3 nm glucose-coated gold nanoparticles by means of "thiol-for-thiol" ligand place exchange reactions. The drugs-containing glyconanoparticles were characterized and the pH-mediated release of the drug from the nanoparticle has been determined. The antiviral activity was tested by evaluating the replication of NL4-3 HIV in TZM-bl infected cells. The proof-of-principle presented in this work aims to introduce gold glyconanoparticles as a new multifunctional drug-delivery system in the therapy against HIV.Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry 01/2014; 10:1339-46. · 2.80 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: An increasing number of broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (bnMAb) against the HIV-1 envelope (Env) protein has been discovered recently. Despite this progress, vaccination efforts with the aim to re-elicit bnMAbs that provide protective immunity have failed so far. Herein, we describe the development of a mammalian cell based FACS-panning method in which bnMAbs are used as tools to select surface-exposed envelope variants according to their binding affinity. For that purpose, an HIV-1 derived lentiviral vector was developed to infect HEK293T cells at low multiplicity of infection (MOI) in order to link Env phenotype and genotype. For proof of principle, a gp145 Env model-library was established in which the complete V3 domain was substituted by five strain specific V3 loop sequences with known binding affinities to nMAb 447-52D, respectively. Env genes were recovered from selected cells by PCR, subcloned into a lentiviral vector (i) to determine and quantify the enrichment nMAb binders and (ii) to generate a new batch of transduction competent particles. After 2 selection cycles the Env variant with highest affinity was enriched 20-fold and represented 80% of the remaining Env population. Exploiting the recently described bnMAbs, this procedure might prove useful in selecting Env proteins from large Env libraries with the potential to elicit bnMAbs when used as vaccine candidates.PLoS ONE 10/2014; 9(10):e109196. · 3.53 Impact Factor