[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rift Valley Fever virus (RVFV) causes recurrent outbreaks of acute life-threatening human and livestock illness in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. No licensed vaccines are currently available for humans and those widely used in livestock have major safety concerns. A ‘One Health’ vaccine development approach, in which the same vaccine is co-developed for multiple susceptible species, is an attractive strategy for RVFV. Here, we utilized a replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus vaccine platform with an established human and livestock safety profile, ChAdOx1, to develop a vaccine for use against RVFV in both livestock and humans. We show that single-dose immunization with ChAdOx1-GnGc vaccine, encoding RVFV envelope glycoproteins, elicits high-titre RVFV-neutralizing antibody and provides solid protection against RVFV challenge in the most susceptible natural target species of the virus-sheep, goats and cattle. In addition we demonstrate induction of RVFV-neutralizing antibody by ChAdOx1-GnGc vaccination in dromedary camels, further illustrating the potency of replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus vaccine platforms. Thus, ChAdOx1-GnGc warrants evaluation in human clinical trials and could potentially address the unmet human and livestock vaccine needs.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2016 · Scientific Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. Mosquito-bite controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) models have been widely used to assess efficacy of pre-erythrocytic
vaccine candidates in small proof-of-concept Phase IIa clinical trials. Efficacy testing of blood-stage vaccines, however,
has generally relied on larger-scale Phase IIb field trials in endemic populations. We report the use of a blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum CHMI model to assess blood-stage vaccine candidates using impact on the parasite multiplication rate (PMR) as the primary
Methods. Fifteen healthy UK adult volunteers were vaccinated with FMP2.1, a protein vaccine, based on the 3D7 clone sequence of apical
membrane antigen 1 (AMA1), and formulated in AS01. Twelve vaccinees, and fifteen infectivity controls, subsequently underwent
blood-stage CHMI. Parasitemia was monitored by quantitative real-time PCR, and PMR was modelled from these data.
Results. The FMP2.1/AS01 vaccine elicited anti-AMA1 T cell and serum antibody responses. Purified IgG showed functional growth inhibition
activity against P. falciparum in vitro. There were no vaccine- or CHMI-related safety concerns. All volunteers developed blood-stage parasitemia, with no impact
of the vaccine on PMR.
Conclusions. FMP2.1/AS01 demonstrated no efficacy after blood-stage CHMI. However, the model induced highly reproducible infection in
all volunteers, and will accelerate proof-of-concept testing of future blood-stage malaria vaccine candidates.
Clinical Trial Registration. NCT02044198.
No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · The Journal of Infectious Diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transmission-blocking vaccines (TBV) target the sexual-stages of the malaria parasite in the mosquito midgut and are widely considered to be an essential tool for malaria elimination. High-titer functional antibodies are required against target antigens to achieve effective transmission-blocking activity. We have fused Pfs25, the leading malaria TBV candidate antigen to IMX313, a molecular adjuvant and expressed it both in ChAd63 and MVA viral vectors and as a secreted protein-nanoparticle. Pfs25-IMX313 expressed from viral vectors or as a protein-nanoparticle is significantly more immunogenic and gives significantly better transmission-reducing activity than monomeric Pfs25. In addition, we demonstrate that the Pfs25-IMX313 protein-nanoparticle leads to a qualitatively improved antibody response in comparison to soluble Pfs25, as well as to significantly higher germinal centre (GC) responses. These results demonstrate that antigen multimerization using IMX313 is a very promising strategy to enhance antibody responses against Pfs25, and that Pfs25-IMX313 is a highly promising TBV candidate vaccine.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Scientific Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malaria, caused by the Plasmodium parasite, remains a serious global public health concern. A vaccine could have a substantial impact on eliminating this disease, alongside other preventative measures. We recently described the development of three novel, viral vectored vaccines expressing either of the antigens PfUIS3, PfLSA1 and PfLSAP2. Each vaccination regimen provided high levels of protection against chimeric parasite challenge in a mouse model, largely dependent on CD8+ T cells. In this study we aimed to further characterize the induced cellular immune response to these vaccines. We utilized both the IFNγ enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay and intracellular cytokine staining to achieve this aim. We identified immunodominant peptide responses for CD4+ and CD8+ T cells for each of the antigens in BALB/c, C57BL/6 and HLA-A2 transgenic mice, creating a useful tool for researchers for subsequent study of these antigens. We also compared these immunodominant peptides with those generated from epitope prediction software, and found that only a small proportion of the large number of epitopes predicted by the software were identifiable experimentally. Furthermore, we characterized the polyfunctionality of the induced CD8+ T cell responses. These findings contribute to our understanding of the immunological mechanisms underlying these protective vaccines, and provide a useful basis for the assessment of these and related vaccines as clinical constructs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Replication defective adenoviruses are promising vectors for the delivery of vaccine antigens. However, the potential of a vector to elicit transgene-specific adaptive immune responses is largely dependent on the viral serotype used. HAdV-5 (Human adenovirus C) vectors are more immunogenic than chimpanzee adenovirus vectors from species Human adenovirus E (ChAdOx1 and AdC68) in mice, though the mechanisms responsible for these differences in immunogenicity remain poorly understood. In this study, superior immunogenicity was associated with markedly higher levels of transgene expression in vivo, particularly within draining lymph nodes. To investigate the viral factors contributing to these phenotypes, we generated recombinant ChAdOx1 vectors by exchanging components of the viral capsid reported to be principally involved in cell entry with the corresponding sequences from HAdV-5. Remarkably, pseudotyping with the HAdV-5 fiber and/or penton RGD loop had little to no effect on in vivo transgene expression or transgene-specific adaptive immune responses despite considerable species-specific sequence heterogeneity in these components. Our results suggest that mechanisms governing vector transduction after intramuscular administration in mice may be different from those described in vitro.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Scientific Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The 2014 west African Zaire Ebola virus epidemic prompted worldwide partners to accelerate clinical development of replication-defective chimpanzee adenovirus 3 vector vaccine expressing Zaire Ebola virus glycoprotein (ChAd3-EBO-Z). We aimed to investigate the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of ChAd3-EBO-Z in Malian and US adults, and assess the effect of boosting of Malians with modified vaccinia Ankara expressing Zaire Ebola virus glycoprotein and other filovirus antigens (MVA-BN-Filo).
Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · The Lancet Infectious Diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA)-vectored vaccines against malaria, influenza, tuberculosis and recently Ebola virus are in clinical development. Although this vector is safe and immunogenic in humans, efforts remain on-going to enhance immunogenicity through various approaches such as using stronger promoters to boost transgene expression. We previously reported that endogenous MVA promoters such as pB8 and pF11 increased transgene expression and immunogenicity, as compared to the conventional p7.5 promoter. Here, we show that both promoters also rivalled the mH5 promoter in enhancing MVA immunogenicity. We investigated the mechanisms behind this improved immunogenicity and show that it was a result of strong early transgene expression in vivo, rather than in vitro as would normally be assessed. Moreover, keeping the TK gene intact resulted in a modest improvement in immunogenicity. Utilizing pB8 or pF11 as ectopic promoters at the TK locus instead of their natural loci also increased transgene expression and immunogenicity. In addition to a reporter antigen, the pF11 promoter was tested with the expression of two vaccine antigens for which cellular immunogenicity was significantly increased as compared to the p7.5 promoter. Our data support the use of the pF11 and pB8 promoters for improved immunogenicity in future MVA-vectored candidate vaccines.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite substantial progress in the control of Plasmodium falciparum infection due to the widespread deployment of insecticide-treated bed nets and artemisinin combination therapies, malaria remains a prolific killer, with over half a million deaths estimated to have occurred in 2013 alone. Recent evidence of the development of resistance to treatments in both parasites and their mosquito vectors has underscored the need for a vaccine. Here, we use a mathematical model of the within-host dynamics of P. falciparum infection, fit to data from controlled human malaria infection clinical trials, to predict the efficacy of coadministering the two most promising subunit vaccines, RTS,S/AS01 and ChAd63-MVA ME-TRAP. We conclude that currently available technologies could be combined to induce very high levels of sterile efficacy, even in immune-naive individuals.
Preview · Article · Oct 2015 · The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Viral vectors used in heterologous prime-boost regimens are one of very few vaccination approaches that have yielded significant protection against controlled human malaria infections. Recently, protection induced by chimpanzee adenovirus priming and modified vaccinia Ankara boosting using the ME-TRAP insert has been correlated with the induction of potent CD8(+) T cell responses. This regimen has progressed to field studies where efficacy against infection has now been reported. The same vectors have been used pre-clinically to identify preferred protective antigens for use in vaccines against the pre-erythrocytic, blood-stage and mosquito stages of malaria and this work is reviewed here for the first time. Such antigen screening has led to the prioritization of the PfRH5 blood-stage antigen, which showed efficacy against heterologous strain challenge in non-human primates, and vectors encoding this antigen are in clinical trials. This, along with the high transmission-blocking activity of some sexual-stage antigens, illustrates well the capacity of such vectors to induce high titre protective antibodies in addition to potent T cell responses. All of the protective responses induced by these vectors exceed the levels of the same immune responses induced by natural exposure supporting the view that, for subunit vaccines to achieve even partial efficacy in humans, "unnatural immunity" comprising immune responses of very high magnitude will need to be induced.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Conclusion:
Vaccination with potent HCV adenoviral vectored vaccines fails to restore T-cell immunity except where there is genetic mismatch between vaccine immunogen and endogenous virus. This highlights the major challenge of overcoming T-cell exhaustion in the context of persistent antigen exposure with implications for cancer and other persistent infections. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The deployment of a safe and effective malaria vaccine will be an important tool for the control of malaria and the reduction in malaria deaths. With the launch of the 2030 Malaria Vaccine Technology Roadmap, the malaria community has updated the goals and priorities for the development of such a vaccine and is now paving the way for a second phase of malaria vaccine development. During a workshop in Brussels in November 2014, hosted by the European Vaccine Initiative, key players from the European, North American and African malaria vaccine community discussed European strategies for future malaria vaccine development in the global context. The recommendations of the European malaria community should guide researchers, policy makers and funders of global health research and development in fulfilling the ambitious goals set in the updated Malaria Vaccine Technology Roadmap.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Enumeration of the absolute count of white blood cell subsets is one of the most frequently performed tests in clinical practice. Recently, elevation in the monocytes:lymphocytes (ML) ratio was linked to increased risk of tuberculosis and malaria disease, and poorer outcomes for many cancers and cardiovascular diseases. We sought to understand the mechanism of these disease associations. We found that the ML ratio reflects the functional capacity of monocytes and that genes that are differentially expressed in monocytes from donors with a high ML ratio are similar to those in other diseases such as HIV and inflammatory bowel disease. Because a specific type of blood-making stem cell regulates the ML ratio, it is plausible that the ratio reflects monocyte function because it is a clue to different monocyte origins. Our findings offer a mechanism for the predictive value of the ML ratio that may help improve its clinical utility.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The development of a highly efficacious and durable vaccine for malaria remains a top priority for global health researchers. Despite the huge rise in recognition of malaria as a global health problem and the concurrent rise in funding over the past ten to fifteen years, malaria continues to remain a widespread burden. The evidence of increasing resistance to anti-malarial drugs and insecticides is a growing concern. Hence, an efficacious and durable preventative vaccine for malaria is urgently needed. Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective tools and have successfully been used in the prevention and control of many diseases, however the development of a vaccine for the Plasmodium parasite has proved difficult. Given the early success of whole sporozoite mosquito-bite delivered vaccination strategies, we know that a vaccine for malaria is an achievable goal, with sub-unit vaccines holding great promise as they are simple and cheap to both manufacture and deploy. However a major difficulty in development of sub-unit vaccines lies within choosing the appropriate antigenic target from the 5000 or so genes expressed by the parasite. Given the liver-stage of malaria represents a bottle-neck in the parasite’s life cycle, there is widespread agreement that a multi-component sub-unit malaria vaccine should preferably contain a liver-stage target. In this article we review progress in identifying and screening P. falciparum liver-stage targets for use in a malaria vaccine.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Frontiers in Microbiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neutrophils form the most abundant leukocyte subset and are central to many disease processes. Technical challenges in transcriptomic profiling have prohibited genomic approaches to date. Here we map expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) in peripheral blood CD16 þ neutrophils from 101 healthy European adults. We identify cis-eQTL for 3281 neutrophil-expressed genes including many implicated in neutrophil function, with 450 of these not previously observed in myeloid or lymphoid cells. Paired comparison with monocyte eQTL demonstrates nuanced conditioning of genetic regulation of gene expression by cellular context, which relates to cell-type-specific DNA methylation and histone modifications. Neutrophil eQTL are markedly enriched for trait-associated variants particularly autoimmune, allergy and infectious disease. We further demonstrate how eQTL in PADI4 and NOD2 delineate risk variant function in rheumatoid arthritis, leprosy and Crohn's disease. Taken together, these data help advance understanding of the genetics of gene expression, neutrophil biology and immune-related diseases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The development of an efficacious Plasmodium falciparum malaria vaccine remains a top priority for global health. Vaccination with irradiated sporozoites is able to provide complete sterile protection through the action of CD8 + T cells at the liver-stage of infection. However, this method is currently unsuitable for large-scale deployment and focus has instead turned to the development of sub-unit vaccines. Sub-unit vaccine efforts have traditionally focused on two well-known pre-erythrocytic antigens, CSP and TRAP, yet thousands of genes are expressed in the liver-stage. We sought to assess the ability of eight alternative P. falciparum pre-erythrocytic antigens to induce a high proportion of CD8 + T cells. We show that all antigens, when expressed individually in the non-replicating viral vectors ChAd63 and MVA, are capable of inducing an immune response in mice. Furthermore, we also developed chimeric P. berghei parasites expressing the cognate P. falciparum antigen to enable assessment of efficacy in mice. Our preliminary results indicate that vectors encoding either PfLSA1 or PfLSAP2 are capable of inducing sterile protection dependent on the presence of CD8 +
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Invasive Salmonella disease, in the form of enteric fever and invasive non-typhoidal Salmonella (iNTS) disease, causes substantial morbidity and mortality in children and adults in the developing world. The study of genetic variations in humans and mice that influence susceptibility of the host to Salmonella infection provides important insights into immunity to Salmonella. In this Review, we discuss data that have helped to elucidate the host genetic determinants of human enteric fever and iNTS disease, alongside data from the mouse model of Salmonella infection. Considered together, these studies provide a detailed picture of the immunobiology of human invasive Salmonella disease.
No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Nature Reviews Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) is a highly attenuated strain of vaccinia virus, which has been used as a recombinant vaccine vector in many vaccine development programmes. The loss of many immunosuppressive and host-range genes resulted in a safe and immunogenic vaccine vector. However it still retains some immunomodulatory genes that may reduce MVA immunogenicity. Earlier reports demonstrated that the deletion of the A41L, B15R, C6L, or C12L open reading frames (ORFs) enhanced cellular immune responses in recombinant MVA (rMVA) by up to 2-fold. However, previously, we showed that deletion of the C12L, A44L, A46R, B7R, or B15R ORFs from rMVA, using MVA-BAC recombineering technology, did not enhance rMVA immunogenicity at either peak or memory cellular immune responses. Here, we extend our previous study to examine the effect of deleting clusters of genes on rMVA cellular immunogenicity. Two clusters of fifteen genes were deleted in one rMVA mutant that encodes either the 85A antigen of Mycobacterium tuberculosis or an immunodominant H2-Kd-restricted murine malaria epitope (pb9). The deletion mutants were tested in prime only or prime and boost vaccination regimens. The responses showed no improved peak or memory CD8+ T cell frequencies. Our results suggest that the reported small increases in MVA deletion mutants could not be replicated with different antigens, or epitopes. Therefore, the gene deletion strategy may not be taken as a generic approach for improving the immunogenicity of MVA-based vaccines, and should be carefully assessed for every individual recombinant antigen.