Poxvirus vectors represent promising human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vaccine candidates and were a component of the only successful HIV vaccine efficacy trial to date. We tested the immunogenicity of a novel recombinant capripoxvirus vector, lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV), in combination with modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA), both expressing genes from HIV-1. Here, we demonstrated that the combination regimen was immunogenic in rhesus macaques, inducing high-magnitude, broad and balanced CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-cell responses, and transient activation of the immune response. These studies support further development of LSDV as a vaccine vector.
The contribution of fungal infections to the morbidity and mortality of HIV-infected individuals is largely unrecognized. A recent meeting highlighted several priorities that need to be urgently addressed, including improved epidemiological surveillance, increased availability of existing diagnostics and drugs, more training in the field of medical mycology, and better funding for research and provision of treatment, particularly in developing countries.
We previously reported that a recombinant pantothenate auxotroph of Mycobacterium bovis BCG expressing human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) subtype C Gag (rBCGpan-Gag) efficiently primes the mouse immune system for a boost with a recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara (rMVA) vaccine. In this study, we further evaluated the immunogenicity of rBCGpan-Gag in a nonhuman primate model. Two groups of chacma baboons were primed or mock primed twice with either rBCGpan-Gag or a control BCG. Both groups were boosted with HIV-1 Pr55(gag) virus-like particles (Gag VLPs). The magnitude and breadth of HIV-specific cellular responses were measured using a gamma interferon (IFN-?) enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISPOT) assay, and the cytokine profiles and memory phenotypes of T cells were evaluated by polychromatic flow cytometry. Gag-specific responses were detected in all animals after the second inoculation with rBCGpan-Gag. Boosting with Gag VLPs significantly increased the magnitude and breadth of the responses in the baboons that were primed with rBCGpan-Gag. These responses targeted an average of 12 Gag peptides per animal, compared to an average of 3 peptides per animal for the mock-primed controls. Robust responses of Gag-specific polyfunctional T cells capable of simultaneously producing IFN-?, tumor necrosis alpha (TNF-?), and interleukin-2 (IL-2) were detected in the rBCGpan-Gag-primed animals. Gag-specific memory T cells were skewed toward a central memory phenotype in both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell populations. These data show that the rBCGpan-Gag prime and Gag VLP boost vaccine regimen is highly immunogenic, inducing a broad and polyfunctional central memory T cell response. This report further indicates the feasibility of developing a BCG-based HIV vaccine that is safe for childhood HIV immunization.
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