Lessons from failure--preparing for future HIV-1 vaccine efficacy trials.
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ABSTRACT: Recent findings have brought optimism that development of a successful human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) vaccine lies within reach. Studies of early events in HIV-1 infection have revealed when and where HIV-1 is potentially vulnerable to vaccine-targeted immune responses. With technical advances in human antibody production, clues about how antibodies recognize HIV-1 envelope proteins have uncovered new targets for immunogen design. A recent vaccine regimen has shown modest efficacy against HIV-1 acquisition. However, inducing long-term T and B cell memory and coping with HIV-1 diversity remain high priorities. Mediators of innate immunity may play pivotal roles in blocking infection and shaping immunity; vaccine strategies to capture these activities are under investigation. Challenges remain in integrating basic, preclinical and clinical research to improve predictions of types of immunity associated with vaccine efficacy, to apply these insights to immunogen design, and to accelerate evaluation of vaccine efficacy in persons at-risk for infection.Immunity 10/2010; 33(4):542-54. DOI:10.1016/j.immuni.2010.09.011 · 19.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The native HIV-1 Tat protein was chosen as vaccine candidate for phase I clinical trials in both uninfected (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00529698) and infected volunteers (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00505401). The rationale was based on the role of Tat in the natural infection and AIDS pathogenesis, on the association of Tat-specific immune responses with the asymptomatic stage and slow-progression rate as well as on its sequence conservation among HIV clades (http://www.hiv1tat-vaccines.info/). The parallel conduction in the same clinical centers of randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled phase I studies both in healthy, immunologically competent adults and in HIV-infected, clinically asymptomatic, individuals represents a unique occasion to compare the vaccine-induced immune response in both the preventive and therapeutic setting. In both studies, the same lot of the native Tat protein was administered 5 times, every four weeks, subcute (SC) with alum adjuvant or intradermic (ID), in the absence of adjuvant, at 7.5 microg, 15 microg or 30 microg doses, respectively. The primary and secondary endpoints of these studies were the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine candidate, respectively. The study lasted 52 weeks and monitoring was conducted for on additional 3 years. The results of both studies indicated that the Tat vaccine is safe and well tolerated both locally and systemically and it is highly immunogenic at all the dosages and by both routes of administration. Vaccination with Tat induced a balanced immune response in uninfected and infected individuals. In particular, therapeutic immunization induced functional antibodies and partially reverted the marked Th1 polarization of anti-Tat immunity seen in natural infection, and elicited a more balanced Th1/Th2 immune response. Further, the number of CD4 T cells correlated positively with anti-Tat antibody titers. Based on these results, a phase II study is ongoing in infected drug-treated individuals (http://www.hiv1tat-vaccines.info/).Reviews on Recent Clinical Trials 09/2009; 4(3):195-204. DOI:10.2174/157488709789957529 · 1.07 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) surface envelope glycoprotein (Env) complex, a homotrimer containing gp120 surface glycoprotein and gp41 transmembrane glycoprotein subunits, mediates the binding and fusion of the virus with susceptible target cells. The Env complex is the target for neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) and is the basis for vaccines intended to induce NAbs. Early generation vaccines based on monomeric gp120 subunits did not confer protection from infection; one alternative approach is therefore to make and evaluate soluble forms of the trimeric Env complex. We have directly compared the immunogenicity in rabbits of two forms of soluble trimeric Env and monomeric gp120 based on the sequence of HIV-1(JR-FL). Both protein-only and DNA-prime, protein-boost immunization formats were evaluated, DNA-priming having little or no influence on the outcome. One form of trimeric Env was made by disrupting the gp120-gp41 cleavage site by mutagenesis (gp140(UNC)), the other contains an intramolecular disulfide bond to stabilize the cleaved gp120 and gp41 moieties (SOSIP.R6 gp140). Among the three immunogens, SOSIP.R6 gp140 most frequently elicited neutralizing antibodies against the homologous, neutralization-resistant strain, HIV-1(JR-FL). All three proteins induced NAbs against more sensitive strains, but the breadth of activity against heterologous primary isolates was limited. When antibodies able to neutralize HIV-1(JR-FL) were detected, antigen depletion studies showed they were not directed at the V3 region but were targeted at other, undefined gp120 and also non-gp120 epitopes.Virology 05/2007; 360(2):329-40. DOI:10.1016/j.virol.2006.10.032 · 3.28 Impact Factor