[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Induction of a long-term immunological memory, which can expand and defend the host upon pathogen encounter, is the "holy grail" of vaccinology. Here, using a sensitive cultured IFN-gamma ELISPOT assay, we show that 50% (15 out of 30) of healthy, HIV-1/2-uninfected volunteers who received pTHr.HIVA DNA prime-modified vaccinia virus Ankara. HIVA boost vaccine regimen 1 to 3 1/2 years ago had detectable HIV-1-specific T-cell responses. These T cells, predominantly of the CD4(+) subtype, could proliferate and produce multiple cytokines in response to in vitro peptide stimulation. Peptide mapping studies showed that the vaccine-induced CD4(+) T cells were mostly directed toward epitopes targeted in HIV-1-infected individuals. In addition, we used the same assay to re-evaluate 51 volunteers from past vaccine trial IAVI-006 and corrected the previously reported 10% of vaccine responders to 50%. Thus, we confirmed that cultured assays are a valuable tool for studying T-cell memory. These results are discussed in the context of the current state-of-affairs of the HIV-1 vaccine field.
European Journal of Immunology 04/2009; 39(4):975-85. · 4.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The safety of attenuated poxviruses in HIV-1-infected individuals is an important consideration in their application as vaccine vectors, first, because new HIV-1 infections may occur in vaccine trials involving persons at high risk of infection and secondly, therapeutic vaccinations are a potential means to enhance virus-specific immune responses once infection has occurred. We administered a candidate modified vaccinia virus Ankara-vectored HIV-1 vaccine, MVA.HIVA, by intradermal injection to 16 chronically infected adults during highly active antiretroviral therapy. Vaccinations were well tolerated and there were no serious adverse events. No breakthrough viraemia occurred after immunisations or throughout follow-up. These data confirm the safety of MVA.HIVA in HIV-1-infected individuals and provide support for further evaluation of MVA-vectored vaccines in prophylactic and therapeutic immunisation strategies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Virus-specific CD4+ T cells with IL-2-secreting and/or proliferative capacity are detected readily in HIV-1-infected long-term nonprogressors and rarely in persons with untreated progressive infection. The contribution of these cells to viraemia control is uncertain, but this question might be addressed in clinical therapeutic vaccination studies. However, the quality of T helper responses induced by currently available HIV-1 vaccine candidates has not been explored in depth. We determined the effect of vaccination with modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) expressing HIV-1 gag p24/p17 (MVA.HIVA) on HIV-1-specific CD4+ T cell responses in 16 chronically infected, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)-treated subjects using CD8-depleted IFN-gamma ELISPOT assays, intracellular cytokine staining assays for IL-2 and IFN-gamma, and a CFSE-based proliferation assay. Gag-specific CD4+ T cell responses were significantly increased in magnitude and breadth after vaccination and targeted both known and new epitopes, several of which were also recognised by healthy HIV-uninfected volunteers immunised with the same vaccines. The frequencies of CD4+ T cells expressing IL-2 or IFN-gamma, alone or simultaneously, were also augmented. These findings indicate that functional virus-specific T helper cells can be boosted by vaccination in chronic HIV-1 infection. Further evaluation of their role in viraemia control is warranted.
European Journal of Immunology 11/2006; 36(10):2585-94. · 4.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A double-blind randomized phase I trial was conducted in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-negative subjects receiving vaccines vectored by plasmid DNA and modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) expressing HIV-1 p24/p17 gag linked to a string of CD8(+) T-cell epitopes. The trial had two groups. One group received either two doses of MVA.HIVA (2x MVA.HIVA) (n=8) or two doses of placebo (2x placebo) (n=4). The second group received 2x pTHr.HIVA followed by one dose of MVA.HIVA (n=8) or 3x placebo (n=4). In the pTHr.HIVA-MVA.HIVA group, HIV-1-specific T-cell responses peaked 1 week after MVA.HIVA vaccination in both ex vivo gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) ELISPOT (group mean, 210 spot-forming cells/10(6) cells) and proliferation (group mean stimulation index, 37), with assays detecting positive responses in four out of eight and five out of eight subjects, respectively. No HIV-1-specific T-cell responses were detected in either assay in the 2x MVA.HIVA group or subjects receiving placebo. Using a highly sensitive and reproducible cultured IFN-gamma ELISPOT assay, positive responses mainly mediated by CD4(+) T cells were detected in eight out of eight vaccinees in the pTHr.HIVA-MVA.HIVA group and four out of eight vaccinees in the 2x MVA.HIVA group. Importantly, no false-positive responses were detected in the eight subjects receiving placebo. Of the 12 responders, 11 developed responses to previously identified immunodominant CD4(+) T-cell epitopes, with 6 volunteers having responses to more than one epitope. Five out of 12 responders also developed CD8(+) T-cell responses to the epitope string. Induced T cells produced a variety of anti-viral cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor alpha and macrophage inflammatory protein 1 beta. These data demonstrate that prime-boost vaccination with recombinant DNA and MVA vectors can induce multifunctional HIV-1-specific T cells in the majority of vaccinees.
Journal of Virology 06/2006; 80(10):4717-28. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Affordable therapeutic strategies that induce sustained control of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication and are tailored to the developing world are urgently needed. Since CD8(+) and CD4(+) T cells are crucial to HIV-1 control, stimulation of potent cellular responses by therapeutic vaccination might be exploited to reduce antiretroviral drug exposure. However, therapeutic vaccines tested to date have shown modest immunogenicity. In this study, we performed a comprehensive analysis of the changes in virus-specific CD8(+) and CD4(+) T-cell responses occurring after vaccination of 16 HIV-1-infected individuals with a recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara-vectored vaccine expressing the consensus HIV-1 clade A Gag p24/p17 sequences and multiple CD8(+) T-cell epitopes during highly active antiretroviral therapy. We observed significant amplification and broadening of CD8(+) and CD4(+) gamma interferon responses to vaccine-derived epitopes in the vaccinees, without rebound viremia, but not in two unvaccinated controls followed simultaneously. Vaccine-driven CD8(+) T-cell expansions were also detected by tetramer reactivity, predominantly in the CD45RA(-) CCR7(+) or CD45RA(-) CCR7(-) compartments, and persisted for at least 1 year. Expansion was associated with a marked but transient up-regulation of CD38 and perforin within days of vaccination. Gag-specific CD8(+) and CD4(+) T-cell proliferation also increased postvaccination. These data suggest that immunization with MVA.HIVA is a feasible strategy to enhance potentially protective T-cell responses in individuals with chronic HIV-1 infection.
Journal of Virology 06/2006; 80(10):4705-16. · 5.08 Impact Factor