[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Increasing the breadth of HIV vaccine-elicited immune responses or targeting conserved regions may improve coverage of circulating strains. HVTN 083 tested whether cellular immune responses with these features are induced by prime-boost strategies employing heterologous vectors, heterologous inserts, or a combination of both.
180 participants were randomized to combinations of adenovirus vectors (Ad5 or Ad35) and HIV-1 envelope (Env) gene inserts (clade A or B) in a prime-boost regimen.
T cell responses to heterologous and homologous insert regimens targeted a similar number of epitopes (ratio of means=1.0, 95%CI=[0.6, 1.6], p=0.91), however heterologous insert regimens induced significantly more epitopes that were shared between EnvA and EnvB than homologous insert regimens (ratio of means=2.7, 95%CI=[1.2, 5.7], p=0.01). Participants in the heterologous versus homologous insert groups had T cell responses that targeted epitopes with greater evolutionary conservation (entropy 0.32±0.1 bits, p=0.003) and epitopes recognized by responders provided higher coverage (49%, p=0.035). Heterologous vector regimens had higher numbers of total, EnvA, and EnvB epitopes than homologous vector regimens (p=0.02, 0.044, 0.045 respectively).
These data demonstrate that vaccination with heterologous insert prime-boosting increased T cell responses to shared epitopes while heterologous vector prime-boosting increased the number of T cell epitopes recognized.
No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · The Journal of Infectious Diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Three phase 2b, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized efficacy trials have tested recombinant Adenovirus serotype-5 (rAd5)-vector preventive HIV-1 vaccines: MRKAd5 HIV-1 gag/pol/nef in Step and Phambili, and DNA/rAd5 HIV-1 env/gag/pol in HVTN505. Due to efficacy futility observed at the first interim analysis in Step and HVTN505, participants of all three studies were unblinded to their vaccination assignments during the study but continued follow–up. Rigorous meta-analysis can provide crucial information to advise the future utility of rAd5-vector vaccines.
[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: To define features of the B cell response to HIV that may be translated to vaccine development, we have isolated a panel of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) from HIV-infected patients. These MAbs are all highly reactive to HIV envelope (Env) from multiple clades, and include gp120 and gp41 specificities. Three of the MAbs exhibit substantial homology to previously described VH1-69, VH3-30, and VH4-59 HIV broadly neutralizing antibody lineages. An inherently autoreactive VH4-34 encoded MAb was reactive to diverse Env despite its minimal mutation from germline. Its isolation is consistent with our previous observation of increased VH4-34+antibodies in HIV-infected patients. These results suggest that conserved developmental processes contribute to immunoglobulin repertoire usage and maturation in response to HIV Env and that intrinsically autoreactive VH genes, despite the absence of mutation, could serve as effective templates for maturation and development of protective antibodies. These results also bear significant implications for the development of immunogens.
No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Monoclonal Antibodies in Immunodiagnosis and Immunotherapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In light of the increasing rates of HIV infection in African Americans, it is essential that black faith leaders become more proactive in the fight against the epidemic. The study aim was to engage faith leaders in a sustainable partnership to increase community participation in preventive HIV vaccine clinical research while improving their access to and utilization of HIV/AIDS prevention services.
Leadership Development Seminars were adapted for faith leaders in Rochester, NY, with topics ranging from the importance of preventive HIV vaccine research to social issues surrounding HIV/AIDs within a theological framework. Seminars were taught by field-specific experts from the black community and included the development of action plans to institute HIV preventive ministries. To assess the outcome of the Seminars, baseline and post-training surveys were administered and analyzed through paired sample t Tests and informal interviews.
19 faith leaders completed the intervention. In general, the majority of clergy felt that their understanding of HIV vaccine research and its goals had increased postintervention. A critical outcome was the subsequent formation of the Rochester Faith Collaborative by participating clergy seeking to sustain the collaborative and address the implementation of community action plans.
Providing scientific HIV/AIDS knowledge within the context of clergy members' belief structure was an effective method for engaging black Church leaders in Rochester, NY. Collaborative efforts with various local institutions and community-based organizations were essential in building trust with the faith leaders, thereby building bridges for better understanding of HIV/AIDS prevention efforts, including HIV vaccine research.
No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Progress in Community Health Partnerships Research Education and Action
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Finding an effective human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) vaccine remains a major global health priority. In a phase I/II, placebo-controlled trial, healthy, HIV-1-negative adults were randomized to receive one of 5 vaccine regimens: LIPO-5 (combination of 5 lipopeptides) alone (250 mu g), ALVAC-HIV (vCP1452) alone, or 3 groups of ALVAC-HIV (vCP1452) followed by ALVAC-HIV (vCP1452) plus LIPO-5 (250, 750, and 2,500 mu g). Only 73/174 participants (42%) received all four vaccinations due to a study halt related to myelitis. There were no significant differences in systemic reactions between groups or in local reactogenicity between groups receiving ALVAC-HIV (vCP1452). Significant differences in local reactogenicity occurred between groups receiving LIPO-5 (P <= 0.05). Gag and Env antibodies were undetectable by ELISA 2 weeks after the fourth vaccination for all but one recipient. Antibodies to Gag and Env were present in 32% and 24% of recipients of ALVAC-HIV (vCP1452) alone and in 47% and 35% of ALVAC-HIV (vCP1452) + LIPO recipients, respectively. Coadministration of LIPO-5 did not significantly increase the response rate compared to ALVAC-HIV (vCP1452) alone, nor was there a significant relationship between dose and antibody responses among ALVAC-HIV (vCP1452) + LIPO groups. Over 90% of study participants had no positive gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay (ELISpot) responses to any peptide pool at any time point. The study was halted due to a case of myelitis possibly related to the LIPO-5 vaccine; this case of myelitis remains an isolated event. In general, there was no appreciable cell-mediated immunity detected in response to the vaccines used in this study, and antibody responses were limited.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Men who sleep with men (MSM) and transgender individuals of color, the largest demographic in the House Ball community (HBC) are amongst the group at highest risk for HIV infection in the United States. The HBC have limited access to culturally appropriate HIV education. This study aimed to develop a partnership with HBC leaders to uncover strategies for increasing HIV prevention knowledge, including participation in HIV vaccine trials. To this end a research institution-community-HBC partnership was established. In-depth qualitative and quantitative data were collected from the 14 HBC leaders in western New York, revealing that knowledge of HIV and related vaccine trials was limited. Barriers to increasing HIV knowledge included fear of peer judgment, having inaccurate information about HIV, and lack of education. Among the HBC, community partnerships will further aid in the development of future HIV prevention programs and increase individuals' willingness to participate in future HIV vaccine trials.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The informed consent process (ICP) for HIV vaccine trials poses unique challenges and would benefit from improvements to its historically based structure and format. Here, we propose a theoretical framework that provides a basis for systematically evaluating and addressing these challenges. The proposed framework follows a linear pathway, starting with the precondition of voluntariness, three main variables of valid decision-making (competency, provision of information and understanding) and then the consequential outcome of either refusal or consent to participate. The existing literature reveals that culturally appropriate provision of information and resultant understanding by the vaccine trial participant are among the most significant factors influencing the authenticity of valid decision-making, though they may be overridden by other considerations, such as individual altruism, mistrust, and HIV-related stigma. Community collaborations to foster bidirectional transmission of information and more culturally tailored consenting materials, therefore, represent a key opportunity to enhance the ICP. By providing a visual synopsis of the issues most critical to IC effectiveness in a categorical and relational manner, the framework provided here presents HIV vaccine researchers a tool by which the ICP can be more systematically evaluated and consequently improved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A correlation between in vivo and in vitro virus control mediated by CD8+ T-cell populations has been demonstrated by CD8 T-cell-mediated inhibition of HIV-1 and SIV replication in vitro in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from infected humans and non-human primates (NHPs), respectively. Here, the breadth and specificity of T-cell responses induced following vaccination with replication-defective adenovirus serotype 35 (Ad35) vectors containing a fusion protein of Gag, reverse transcriptase (RT), Integrase (Int) and Nef (Ad35-GRIN) and Env (Ad35-ENV), derived from HIV-1 subtype A isolates, was assessed in 25 individuals. The vaccine induced responses to a median of 4 epitopes per vaccinee. We correlated the CD8 responses to conserved vs. variable regions with the ability to inhibit a panel of 7 HIV-1 isolates representing multiple clades in a virus inhibition assay (VIA). The results indicate that targeting immunodominant responses to highly conserved regions of the HIV-1 proteome may result in an increased ability to inhibit multiple clades of HIV-1 in vitro. The data further validate the use of the VIA to screen and select future HIV vaccine candidates. Moreover, our data suggest that future T cell-focused vaccine design should aim to induce immunodominant responses to highly conserved regions of the virus.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Clade B DNA and recombinant modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) vaccines producing virus-like particles displaying trimeric membrane-bound envelope glycoprotein (Env) were tested in a phase 2a trial in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-uninfected adults for safety, immunogenicity, and 6-month durability of immune responses.
A total of 299 individuals received 2 doses of JS7 DNA vaccine and 2 doses of MVA/HIV62B at 0, 2, 4, and 6 months, respectively (the DDMM regimen); 3 doses of MVA/HIV62B at 0, 2, and 6 months (the MMM regimen); or placebo injections.
At peak response, 93.2% of the DDMM group and 98.4% of the MMM group had binding antibodies for Env. These binding antibodies were more frequent and of higher magnitude for the transmembrane subunit (gp41) than the receptor-binding subunit (gp120) of Env. For both regimens, response rates were higher for CD4(+) T cells (66.4% in the DDMM group and 43.1% in the MMM group) than for CD8(+) T cells (21.8% in the DDMM group and 14.9% in the MMM group). Responding CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells were biased toward Gag, and >70% produced 2 or 3 of the 4 cytokines evaluated (ie, interferon γ, interleukin 2, tumor necrosis factor α, and granzyme B). Six months after vaccination, the magnitudes of antibodies and T-cell responses had decreased by <3-fold.
DDMM and MMM vaccinations with virus-like particle-expressing immunogens elicited durable antibody and T-cell responses.
Preview · Article · Feb 2014 · The Journal of Infectious Diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Potent HIV-1 specific broadly neutralizing antibodies (BNA) are uncommon in HIV infected individuals, and have proven hard to elicit by vaccination. Several, isolated monoclonal BNA are polyreactive and also recognize self-antigens, suggesting a breach of immune tolerance in persons living with HIV (PLWH). Persons with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) often have elevated levels of autoreactive antibodies encoded by the VH4-34 heavy chain immunoglobulin gene whose protein product can be detected by the 9G4 rat monoclonal antibody. We have recently found that levels of these "9G4+" antibodies are also elevated in PLWH. However, the putative autoreactive nature of these antibodies and the relationship of such reactivities with HIV neutralization have not been investigated. We therefore examined the autoreactivity and HIV neutralization potential of 9G4+ antibodies from PLWH. Results show that 9G4+ antibodies from PLWH bound to recombinant HIV-1 envelope (Env) and neutralized viral infectivity in vitro, whereas 9G4+ antibodies from persons with SLE did not bind to Env and failed to neutralize viral infectivity. In addition, while 9G4+ antibodies from PLWH retained the canonical anti-i reactivity that mediates B cell binding, they did not display other autoreactivities common to SLE 9G4+ antibodies, such as binding to cardiolipin and DNA and had much lower reactivity with apoptotic cells. Taken together, these data indicate that the autoreactivity of 9G4+ antibodies from PLWH is distinct from that of SLE patients, and therefore, their expansion is not due to a general breakdown of B cell tolerance but is instead determined in a more disease-specific manner by self-antigens that become immunogenic in the context of, and possibly due to HIV infection. Further studies of 9G4+ B cells may shed light on the regulation of B cell tolerance and interface between the generation of specific autoreactivities and the induction of antiviral immunity in persons living with HIV.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BackgroundA safe and effective vaccine for the prevention of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection is a global priority. We tested the efficacy of a DNA prime-recombinant adenovirus type 5 boost (DNA/rAd5) vaccine regimen in persons at increased risk for HIV-1 infection in the United States. Methods
At 21 sites, we randomly assigned 2504 men or transgender women who have sex with men to receive the DNA/rAd5 vaccine (1253 participants) or placebo (1251 participants). We assessed HIV-1 acquisition from week 28 through month 24 (termed week 28+ infection), viral-load set point (mean plasma HIV-1 RNA level 10 to 20 weeks after diagnosis), and safety. The 6-plasmid DNA vaccine (expressing clade B Gag, Pol, and Nef and Env proteins from clades A, B, and C) was administered at weeks 0, 4, and 8. The rAd5 vector boost (expressing clade B Gag-Pol fusion protein and Env glycoproteins from clades A, B, and C) was administered at week 24. ResultsIn April 2013, the data and safety monitoring board recommended halting vaccinations for lack of efficacy. The primary analysis showed that week 28+ infection had been diagnosed in 27 participants in the vaccine group and 21 in the placebo group (vaccine efficacy, -25.0%; 95% confidence interval, -121.2 to 29.3; P=0.44), with mean viral-load set points of 4.46 and 4.47 HIV-1 RNA log(10) copies per milliliter, respectively. Analysis of all infections during the study period (41 in the vaccine group and 31 in the placebo group) also showed lack of vaccine efficacy (P=0.28). The vaccine regimen had an acceptable side-effect profile. Conclusions
The DNA/rAd5 vaccine regimen did not reduce either the rate of HIV-1 acquisition or the viral-load set point in the population studied. (Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00865566.)
Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · New England Journal of Medicine