[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Follicular helper T (Tfh) cells within secondary lymphoid organs control multiple steps of B cell maturation and antibody (Ab) production. HIV-1 infection is associated with an altered B cell differentiation and Tfh isolated from lymph nodes of HIV-infected (HIV+) individuals provide inadequate B cell help in vitro. However, the mechanisms underlying this impairment of Tfh function are not fully defined. Using a unique collection of splenocytes, we compared the frequency, phenotype and transcriptome of Tfh subsets in spleens from HIV negative (HIV-) and HIV+ subjects. We observed an increase of CXCR5+PD-1highCD57-Tfh and germinal center (GC) CD57+ Tfh in HIV+ spleens. Both subsets showed a reduced mRNA expression of the transcription factor STAT-3, co-stimulatory, regulatory and signal transduction molecules as compared to HIV- spleens. Similarly, Foxp3 expressing follicular regulatory T (Tfr) cells were increased, suggesting sustained GC reactions in chronically HIV+ spleens. As a consequence, GC B cell populations were expanded, however, complete maturation into memory B cells was reduced in HIV+ spleens where we evidenced a compromised production of B cell-activating cytokines such as IL-4 and IL-10. Collectively our data indicate that, although Tfh proliferation and GC reactions seem to be ongoing in HIV-infected spleens, Tfh "differentiation" and expression of costimulatory molecules is skewed with a profound effect on B cell maturation.
PLoS ONE 10/2015; 10(10):e0140978. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0140978 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The treatment of AIDS with combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) remains lifelong largely because the virus persists in latent reservoirs. Elimination of latently infected cells could therefore reduce treatment duration and facilitate immune reconstitution. Here we report an approach to reduce the viral reservoir by activating dormant viral gene expression and directing T lymphocytes to lyse previously latent, HIV-1-infected cells. An immunomodulatory protein was created that combines the specificity of a HIV-1 broadly neutralizing antibody with that of an antibody to the CD3 component of the T-cell receptor. CD3 engagement by the protein can stimulate T-cell activation that induces proviral gene expression in latently infected T cells. It further stimulates CD8 T-cell effector function and redirects T cells to lyse these previously latent-infected cells through recognition of newly expressed Env. This immunomodulatory protein could potentially help to eliminate latently infected cells and deplete the viral reservoir in HIV-1-infected individuals.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Designing strategies for targeting antigens to dendritic cells is a major goal in vaccinology. Here, PLGA (poly lactic-co-glycolic acid) microspheres and with several surface modifications that affect to their uptake by human blood primary dendritic cells and monocytes have been evaluated. Higher uptake was found by all the cell types when cationic microspheres (PLGA modified with polyethylene imine) were used. These cationic particles were in vivo evaluated in mice. In addition, MPLA(1) or poly(I:C)(2) and α-GalCer(3) were also encapsulated to address their adjuvant effect. All the microspheres were able to produce humoral immune responses, albeit they were higher for cationic microspheres. Moreover, surface charge seemed to have a role on biasing the immune response; cationic microspheres induced higher IFN-γ levels, indicative of Th1 activation, while unmodified ones mainly triggered IL4 and IL17A release, showing Th2 activation. Thus, we have shown here the potential and versatility of these MS, which may be tailored to needs.
International Journal of Pharmaceutics 10/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.ijpharm.2015.10.037 · 3.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An HIV-1 DNA prime vaccine, with a recombinant adenovirus type 5 (rAd5) boost, failed to protect from HIV-1 acquisition. We studied the nature of the vaccine-induced antibody (Ab) response to HIV-1 envelope (Env). HIV-1-reactive plasma Ab titers were higher to Env gp41 than to gp120, and repertoire analysis demonstrated that 93% of HIV-1-reactive Abs from memory B cells responded to Env gp41. Vaccine-induced gp41-reactive monoclonal antibodies were non-neutralizing and frequently polyreactive with host and environmental antigens, including intestinal microbiota (IM). Next-generation sequencing of an immunoglobulin heavy chain variable region repertoire before vaccination revealed an Env-IM cross-reactive Ab that was clonally related to a subsequent vaccine-induced gp41-reactive Ab. Thus, HIV-1 Env DNA-rAd5 vaccine induced a dominant IM-polyreactive, non-neutralizing gp41-reactive Ab repertoire response that was associated with no vaccine efficacy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The efficacy of current influenza vaccines is limited in vulnerable populations. DNA vaccines can be produced rapidly, and may offer a potential strategy to improve vaccine immunogenicity, indicated by studies with H5 influenza DNA vaccine prime followed by inactivated vaccine boost.
Four sites enrolled healthy adults, randomized to receive 2011/12 seasonal influenza DNA vaccine prime (n=65) or phosphate buffered saline (PBS) (n=66) administered intramuscularly with Biojector. All subjects received the 2012/13 seasonal inactivated influenza vaccine, trivalent (IIV3) 36 weeks after the priming injection. Vaccine safety and tolerability was the primary objective and measurement of antibody response by hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) was the secondary objective.
The DNA vaccine prime-IIV3 boost regimen was safe and well tolerated. Significant differences in HAI responses between the DNA vaccine prime and the PBS prime groups were not detected in this study.
While DNA priming significantly improved the response to a conventional monovalent H5 vaccine in a previous study, it was not effective in adults using seasonal influenza strains, possibly due to pre-existing immunity to the prime, unmatched prime and boost antigens, or the lengthy 36 week boost interval. Careful optimization of the DNA prime-IIV3 boost regimen as related to antigen matching, interval between vaccinations, and pre-existing immune responses to influenza is likely to be needed in further evaluations of this vaccine strategy. In particular, testing this concept in younger age groups with less prior exposure to seasonal influenza strains may be informative.
PLoS ONE 05/2015; 10(5):e0125914. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0125914 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background A novel, swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus was detected worldwide in April 2009, and the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic that June. DNA vaccine priming improves responses to inactivated influenza vaccines. We describe the rapid production and clinical evaluation of a DNA vaccine encoding the hemagglutinin protein of the 2009 pandemic A/California/04/2009(H1N1) influenza virus, accomplished nearly two months faster than production of A/California/07/2009(H1N1) licensed monovalent inactivated vaccine (MIV). Methods 20 subjects received three H1 DNA vaccinations (4 mg intramuscularly with Biojector) at 4-week intervals. Eighteen subjects received an optional boost when the licensed H1N1 MIV became available. The interval between the third H1 DNA injection and MIV boost was 3-17 weeks. Vaccine safety was assessed by clinical observation, laboratory parameters, and 7-day solicited reactogenicity. Antibody responses were assessed by ELISA, HAI and neutralization assays, and T cell responses by ELISpot and flow cytometry. Results Vaccinations were safe and well-tolerated. As evaluated by HAI, 6/20 developed positive responses at 4 weeks after third DNA injection and 13/18 at 4 weeks after MIV boost. Similar results were detected in neutralization assays. T cell responses were detected after DNA and MIV. The antibody responses were significantly amplified by the MIV boost, however, the boost did not increased T cell responses induced by DNA vaccine. Conclusions H1 DNA vaccine was produced quickly, was well-tolerated, and had modest immunogenicity as a single agent. Other HA DNA prime-MIV boost regimens utilizing one DNA prime vaccination and longer boost intervals have shown significant immunogenicity. Rapid and large-scale production of HA DNA vaccines has the potential to contribute to an efficient response against future influenza pandemics.
PLoS ONE 04/2015; 10(4):e0123969. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0123969 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Developing predictive animal models to assess how candidate vaccines and infection influence the ontogenies of Envelope (Env)-specific antibodies is critical for the development of an HIV vaccine. Here we use two nonhuman primate models to compare the roles of antigen persistence, diversity and innate immunity. We perform longitudinal analyses of HIV Env-specific B-cell receptor responses to SHIVAD8 infection and Env protein vaccination with eight different adjuvants. A subset of the SHIVAD8-infected animals with higher viral loads and greater Env diversity show increased neutralization associated with increasing somatic hypermutation (SHM) levels over time. The use of adjuvants results in increased ELISA titres but does not affect the mean SHM levels or CDR H3 lengths. Our study shows how the ontogeny of Env-specific B cells can be tracked, and provides insights into the requirements for developing neutralizing antibodies that should facilitate translation to human vaccine studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Achievement of a cure for HIV infection might need reactivation of latent virus and improvement of HIV-specific immunity. As an initial step, in this trial we assessed the effect of antiretroviral therapy intensification and immune modulation with a DNA prime and recombinant adenovirus 5 (rAd5) boost vaccine.
The Lancet HIV 02/2015; 2(3). DOI:10.1016/S2352-3018(15)00026-0
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background The West African outbreak of Ebola virus disease has caused more than 8500 deaths. A vaccine could contribute to outbreak control in the region. We assessed a monovalent formulation of a chimpanzee adenovirus 3 (ChAd3)-vectored vaccine encoding the surface glycoprotein of Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV), matched to the outbreak strain. Methods After expedited regulatory and ethics approvals, 60 healthy adult volunteers in Oxford, United Kingdom, received a single dose of the ChAd3 vaccine at one of three dose levels: 1×10(10) viral particles, 2.5×10(10) viral particles, and 5×10(10) viral particles (with 20 participants per group). Safety was assessed over the next 4 weeks. Antibodies were measured on enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and T-cell responses on enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISpot) and flow-cytometry assays. Results No safety concerns were identified at any of the dose levels studied. Fever developed in 2 of the 59 participants who were evaluated. Prolonged activated partial-thromboplastin times and transient hyperbilirubinemia were observed in 4 and 8 participants, respectively. Geometric mean antibody responses on ELISA were highest (469 units; range, 58 to 4051; 68% response rate) at 4 weeks in the high-dose group, which had a 100% response rate for T cells on ELISpot, peaking at day 14 (median, 693 spot-forming cells per million peripheral-blood mononuclear cells). Flow cytometry revealed more CD4+ than CD8+ T-cell responses. At the vaccine doses tested, both antibody and T-cell responses were detected but at levels lower than those induced in macaques protected by the same vaccine. Conclusions The ChAd3 monovalent vaccine against EBOV was immunogenic at the doses tested. (Funded by the Wellcome Trust and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02240875 .).
New England Journal of Medicine 01/2015; DOI:10.1056/NEJMoa1411627 · 55.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Chikungunya virus—a mosquito-borne alphavirus—is endemic in Africa and south and southeast Asia and has recently emerged in the Caribbean. No drugs or vaccines are available for treatment or prevention. We aimed to assess the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of a new candidate vaccine.
VRC 311 was a phase 1, dose-escalation, open-label clinical trial of a virus-like particle (VLP) chikungunya virus vaccine, VRC-CHKVLP059-00-VP, in healthy adults aged 18–50 years who were enrolled at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (Bethesda, MD, USA). Participants were assigned to sequential dose level groups to receive vaccinations at 10 μg, 20 μg, or 40 μg on weeks 0, 4, and 20, with follow-up for 44 weeks after enrolment. The primary endpoints were safety and tolerability of the vaccine. Secondary endpoints were chikungunya virus-specific immune responses assessed by ELISA and neutralising antibody assays. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01489358.
25 participants were enrolled from Dec 12, 2011, to March 22, 2012, into the three dosage groups: 10 μg (n=5), 20 μg (n=10), and 40 μg (n=10). The protocol was completed by all five participants at the 10 μg dose, all ten participants at the 20 μg dose, and eight of ten participants at the 40 μg dose; non-completions were for personal circumstances unrelated to adverse events. 73 vaccinations were administered. All injections were well tolerated, with no serious adverse events reported. Neutralising antibodies were detected in all dose groups after the second vaccination (geometric mean titres of the half maximum inhibitory concentration: 2688 in the 10 μg group, 1775 in the 20 μg group, and 7246 in the 40 μg group), and a significant boost occurred after the third vaccination in all dose groups (10 μg group p=0·0197, 20 μg group p<0·0001, and 40 μg group p<0·0001). 4 weeks after the third vaccination, the geometric mean titres of the half maximum inhibitory concentration were 8745 for the 10 μg group, 4525 for the 20 μg group, and 5390 for the 40 μg group.
The chikungunya VLP vaccine was immunogenic, safe, and well tolerated. This study represents an important step in vaccine development to combat this rapidly emerging pathogen. Further studies should be done in a larger number of participants and in more diverse populations.
Intramural Research Program of the Vaccine Research Center, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and National Institutes of Health.
The Lancet 12/2014; 384(9959). DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61185-5 · 45.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background The unprecedented 2014 epidemic of Ebola virus disease (EVD) has prompted an international response to accelerate the availability of a preventive vaccine. A replication-defective recombinant chimpanzee adenovirus type 3-vectored ebolavirus vaccine (cAd3-EBO), encoding the glycoprotein from Zaire and Sudan species that offers protection in the nonhuman primate model, was rapidly advanced into phase 1 clinical evaluation. Methods We conducted a phase 1, dose-escalation, open-label trial of cAd3-EBO. Twenty healthy adults, in sequentially enrolled groups of 10 each, received vaccination intramuscularly in doses of 2×10(10) particle units or 2×10(11) particle units. Primary and secondary end points related to safety and immunogenicity were assessed throughout the first 4 weeks after vaccination. Results In this small study, no safety concerns were identified; however, transient fever developed within 1 day after vaccination in two participants who had received the 2×10(11) particle-unit dose. Glycoprotein-specific antibodies were induced in all 20 participants; the titers were of greater magnitude in the group that received the 2×10(11) particle-unit dose than in the group that received the 2×10(10) particle-unit dose (geometric mean titer against the Zaire antigen, 2037 vs. 331; P=0.001). Glycoprotein-specific T-cell responses were more frequent among those who received the 2x10(11) particle-unit dose than among those who received the 2×10(10) particle-unit dose, with a CD4 response in 10 of 10 participants versus 3 of 10 participants (P=0.004) and a CD8 response in 7 of 10 participants versus 2 of 10 participants (P=0.07). Conclusions Reactogenicity and immune responses to cAd3-EBO vaccine were dose-dependent. At the 2×10(11) particle-unit dose, glycoprotein Zaire-specific antibody responses were in the range reported to be associated with vaccine-induced protective immunity in challenge studies involving nonhuman primates. Clinical trials assessing cAd3-EBO are ongoing. (Funded by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health; VRC 207 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02231866 .).
New England Journal of Medicine 11/2014; DOI:10.1056/NEJMoa1410863 · 55.87 Impact Factor