Glucopyranosyl lipid A adjuvant significantly enhances HIV specific T and B cell responses elicited by a DNA-MVA-protein vaccine regimen.
ABSTRACT: Using a unique vaccine antigen matched and single HIV Clade C approach we have assessed the immunogenicity of a DNA-poxvirus-protein strategy in mice and rabbits, administering MVA and protein immunizations either sequentially or simultaneously and in the presence of a novel TLR4 adjuvant, GLA-AF. Mice were vaccinated with combinations of HIV env/gag-pol-nef plasmid DNA followed by MVA-C (HIV env/gag-pol-nef) with HIV CN54gp140 protein (+/-GLA-AF adjuvant) and either co-administered in different muscles of the same animal with MVA-C or given sequentially at 3-week intervals. The DNA prime established a population of B cells that were able to mount a statistically significant anamnestic response to the boost vaccines. The greatest antigen-specific antibody response was observed in animals that received all vaccine components. Moreover, a high proportion of the total mucosal IgG (20 - 50%) present in the vaginal vault of these vaccinated animals was vaccine antigen-specific. The potent elicitation of antigen-specific immune responses to this vaccine modality was also confirmed in rabbits. Importantly, co-administration of MVA-C with the GLA-AF adjuvanted HIV CN54gp140 protein significantly augmented the antigen-specific T cell responses to the Gag antigen, a transgene product expressed by the MVA-C vector in a separate quadriceps muscle. We have demonstrated that co-administration of MVA and GLA-AF adjuvanted HIV CN54gp140 protein was equally effective in the generation of humoral responses as a sequential vaccination modality thus shortening and simplifying the immunization schedule. In addition, a significant further benefit of the condensed vaccination regime was that T cell responses to proteins expressed by the MVA-C were potently enhanced, an effect that was likely due to enhanced immunostimulation in the presence of systemic GLA-AF.
Project description:There remains an urgent need for a prophylactic HIV vaccine. We compared combined MVA and adjuvanted gp140 to sequential MVA/gp140 after DNA priming. We expected Env-specific CD4+ T-cells after DNA and MVA priming, and Env-binding antibodies in 100% individuals after boosting with gp140 and that combined vaccines would not compromise safety and might augment immunogenicity. Forty volunteers were primed three times with DNA plasmids encoding (CN54) env and (ZM96) gag-pol-nef at 0, 4 and 8?weeks then boosted with MVA-C (CN54 env and gag-pol-nef) and glucopyranosyl lipid adjuvant-aqueous formulation (GLA-AF) adjuvanted CN54gp140. They were randomised to receive them in combination at the same visit at 16 and 20?weeks (accelerated) or sequentially with MVA-C at 16, 20, and GLA-AF/gp140 at 24 and 28?weeks (standard). All vaccinations were intramuscular. Primary outcomes included ?grade 3 safety events and the titer of CN54gp140-specific binding IgG. Other outcomes included neutralization, binding antibody specificity and T-cell responses. Two participants experienced asymptomatic ?grade 3 transaminitis leading to discontinuation of vaccinations, and three had grade 3 solicited local or systemic reactions. A total of 100% made anti-CN54gp140 IgG and combining vaccines did not significantly alter the response; geometric mean titer 6424 (accelerated) and 6578 (standard); neutralization of MW965.2 Tier 1 pseudovirus was superior in the standard group (82 versus 45% responders, p?=?0.04). T-cell ELISpot responses were CD4+ and Env-dominant; 85 and 82% responding in the accelerated and standard groups, respectively. Vaccine-induced IgG responses targeted multiple regions within gp120 with the V3 region most immunodominant and no differences between groups detected. Combining MVA and gp140 vaccines did not result in increased adverse events and did not significantly impact upon the titer of Env-specific binding antibodies, which were seen in 100% individuals. The approach did however affect other immune responses; neutralizing antibody responses, seen only to Tier 1 pseudoviruses, were poorer when the vaccines were combined and while T-cell responses were seen in >80% individuals in both groups and similarly CD4 and Env dominant, their breadth/polyfunctionality tended to be lower when the vaccines were combined, suggesting attenuation of immunogenicity and cautioning against this accelerated regimen.
Project description:BACKGROUND:A vaccine against HIV is widely considered the most effective and sustainable way of reducing new infections. We evaluated the safety and impact of boosting with subtype C CN54rgp140 envelope protein adjuvanted in glucopyranosyl lipid adjuvant (GLA-AF) in Tanzanian volunteers previously given three immunizations with HIV-DNA followed by two immunizations with recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara (HIV-MVA). METHODS:Forty volunteers (35 vaccinees and five placebo recipients) were given two CN54rgp140/GLA-AF immunizations 30-71 weeks after the last HIV-MVA vaccination. These immunizations were delivered intramuscularly four weeks apart. RESULTS:The vaccine was safe and well tolerated except for one episode of asymptomatic hypoglycaemia that was classified as severe adverse event. Two weeks after the second HIV-MVA vaccination 34 (97%) of the 35 previously vaccinated developed Env-specific binding antibodies, and 79% and 84% displayed IFN-? ELISpot responses to Gag and Env, respectively. Binding antibodies to subtype C Env (included in HIV-DNA and protein boost), subtype B Env (included only in HIV-DNA) and CRF01_AE Env (included only in HIV-MVA) were significantly boosted by the CN54rgp140/GLA-AF immunizations. Functional antibodies detected using an infectious molecular clone virus/peripheral blood mononuclear cell neutralization assay, a pseudovirus/TZM-bl neutralization assay or by assays for antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) were not significantly boosted. In contrast, T-cell proliferative responses to subtype B MN antigen and IFN-? ELISpot responses to Env peptides were significantly enhanced. Four volunteers not primed with HIV-DNA and HIV-MVA before the CN54rgp140/GLA-AF immunizations mounted an antibody response, while cell-mediated responses were rare. After the two Env subtype C protein immunizations, a trend towards higher median subtype C Env binding antibody titers was found in vaccinees who had received HIV-DNA and HIV-MVA prior to the two Env protein immunizations as compared to unprimed vaccinees (p = 0.07). CONCLUSION:We report excellent tolerability, enhanced binding antibody responses and Env-specific cell-mediated immune responses but no ADCC antibody increase after two immunizations with a subtype C rgp140 protein adjuvanted in GLA-AF in healthy volunteers previously immunized with HIV-DNA and HIV-MVA. TRIAL REGISTRATION:International Clinical Trials Registry PACTR2010050002122368.
Project description:BACKGROUND:We evaluated the safety and immunogenicity of (i) an intradermal HIV-DNA regimen given with/without intradermal electroporation (EP) as prime and (ii) the impact of boosting with modified vaccinia virus Ankara (HIV-MVA) administered with or without subtype C CN54rgp140 envelope protein adjuvanted with Glucopyranosyl Lipid A (GLA-AF) in volunteers from Tanzania and Mozambique. METHODS:Healthy HIV-uninfected adults (N = 191) were randomized twice; first to one of three HIV-DNA intradermal priming regimens by needle-free ZetaJet device at weeks 0, 4 and 12 (Group I: 2x0.1mL [3mg/mL], Group II: 2x0.1mL [3mg/mL] plus EP, Group III: 1x0.1mL [6mg/mL] plus EP). Second the same volunteers received 108 pfu HIV-MVA twice, alone or combined with CN54rgp140/GLA-AF, intramuscularly by syringe, 16 weeks apart. Additionally, 20 volunteers received saline placebo. RESULTS:Vaccinations and electroporation did not raise safety concerns. After the last vaccination, the overall IFN-? ELISpot response rate to either Gag or Env was 97%. Intradermal electroporation significantly increased ELISpot response rates to HIV-DNA-specific Gag (66% group I vs. 86% group II, p = 0.026), but not to the HIV-MVA vaccine-specific Gag or Env peptide pools nor the magnitude of responses. Co-administration of rgp140/GLA-AF with HIV-MVA did not impact the frequency of binding antibody responses against subtype B gp160, C gp140 or E gp120 antigens (95%, 99%, 79%, respectively), but significantly enhanced the magnitude against subtype B gp160 (2700 versus 300, p<0.001) and subtype C gp140 (24300 versus 2700, p<0.001) Env protein. At relatively low titers, neutralizing antibody responses using the TZM-bl assay were more frequent in vaccinees given adjuvanted protein boost. CONCLUSION:Intradermal electroporation increased DNA-induced Gag response rates but did not show an impact on Env-specific responses nor on the magnitude of responses. Co-administration of HIV-MVA with rgp140/GLA-AF significantly enhanced antibody responses.
Project description:Background: A better understanding of the parameters influencing vaccine-induced IgG recognition of individual antigenic regions and their variants within the HIV Envelope protein (Env) can help to improve design of preventive HIV vaccines. Methods: Env-specific IgG responses were mapped in samples of the UKHVC003 Standard Group (UK003SG, n = 11 from UK) and TaMoVac01 (TMV01, n = 17 from Tanzania) HIV vaccine trials. Both trials consisted of three immunizations with DNA, followed by two boosts with recombinant Modified Vaccinia Virus Ankara (MVA), either mediating secretion of gp120 (UK003SG) or the presentation of cell membrane bound gp150 envelopes (TMV01) from infected cells, and an additional two boosts with 5 ?g of CN54gp140 protein adjuvanted with glucopyranosyl lipid adjuvant (GLA). Env immunogen sequences in UK003SG were solely based on the clade C isolate CN54, whereas in TMV01 these were based on clades A, C, B, and CRF01AE. The peptide microarray included 8 globally representative Env sequences, CN54gp140 and the MVA-encoded Env immunogens from both trials, as well as additional peptide variants for hot spots of immune recognition. Results: After the second MVA boost, UK003SG vaccinees almost exclusively targeted linear, non-glycosylated antigenic regions located in the inter-gp120 interface. In contrast, TMV01 recipients most strongly targeted the V2 region and an immunodominant region in gp41. The V3 region was frequently targeted in both trials, with a higher recognition magnitude for diverse antigenic variants observed in the UK003SG (p < 0.0001). After boosting with CN54gp140/GLA, the overall response magnitude increased with a more comparable recognition pattern of antigenic regions and variants between the two trials. Recognition of most immunodominant regions within gp120 remained significantly stronger in UK003SG, whereas V2-region recognition was not boosted in either group. Conclusions: IgG recognition of linear antigenic Env regions differed between the two trials particularly after the second MVA boost. Structural features of the MVA-encoded immunogens, such as secreted, monomeric gp120 vs. membrane-anchored, functional gp150, and differences in prime-boost immunogen sequence variability most probably contributed to these differences. Prime-boosting with multivalent Env immunogens during TMV01 did not improve variant cross-recognition of immunodominant peptide variants in the V3 region.
Project description:Vaccination with DNA is an attractive strategy for induction of pathogen-specific T cells and antibodies. Studies in humans have shown that DNA vaccines are safe, but their immunogenicity needs further improvement. As a step towards this goal, we have previously demonstrated that immunogenicity is increased with the use of an alphavirus DNA-launched replicon (DREP) vector compared to conventional DNA vaccines. In this study, we investigated the effect of varying the dose and number of administrations of DREP when given as a prime prior to a heterologous boost with poxvirus vector (MVA) and/or HIV gp140 protein formulated in glucopyranosyl lipid A (GLA-AF) adjuvant. The DREP and MVA vaccine constructs encoded Env and a Gag-Pol-Nef fusion protein from HIV clade C. One to three administrations of 0.2 ?g DREP induced lower HIV-specific T cell and IgG responses than the equivalent number of immunizations with 10 ?g DREP. However, the two doses were equally efficient as a priming component in a heterologous prime-boost regimen. The magnitude of immune responses depended on the number of priming immunizations rather than the dose. A single low dose of DREP prior to a heterologous boost resulted in greatly increased immune responses compared to MVA or protein antigen alone, demonstrating that a mere 0.2 ?g DREP was sufficient for priming immune responses. Following a DREP prime, T cell responses were expanded greatly by an MVA boost, and IgG responses were also expanded when boosted with protein antigen. When MVA and protein were administered simultaneously following multiple DREP primes, responses were slightly compromised compared to administering them sequentially. In conclusion, we have demonstrated efficient priming of HIV-specific T cell and IgG responses with a low dose of DREP, and shown that the priming effect depends on number of primes administered rather than dose.
Project description:Poxvirus-based human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vaccine candidates are currently under evaluation in preclinical and clinical trials. Modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) vectors have excellent safety and immunogenicity records, but their behavior in human cell cultures remains only partly characterized. We studied here various virological and immunological aspects of the interactions of MVA-HIV, a vaccine candidate developed by the French National Agency for AIDS Research (ANRS), with primary human cells. We report that MVA-HIV infects and drives Gag expression in primary macrophages, dendritic cells (DCs), and epithelial and muscle cells. MVA-HIV-infected DCs matured, efficiently presented Gag, Pol, and Nef antigens, and activated HIV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). As expected with this type of vector, infection was cytopathic and led to DC apoptosis. Coculture of MVA-HIV-infected epithelial cells or myotubes with DCs promoted efficient Gag antigen major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) cross-presentation without inducing direct infection and death of DCs. Antigen-presenting cells (APCs) infected with MVA-HIV also activated HIV-specific CD4(+) T cells. Moreover, exposure of DCs to MVA-HIV or to MVA-HIV-infected myotubes induced type I interferon (IFN) production and inhibited subsequent HIV replication and transfer to lymphocytes. Altogether, these results show that MVA-HIV promotes efficient MHC-I and MHC-II presentation of HIV antigens by APCs without facilitating HIV replication. Deciphering the immune responses to MVA in culture experiments will help in the design of innovative vaccine strategies.
Project description:HIV-1 infection can be controlled by anti-retroviral drug therapy, but this is a lifetime treatment and the virus remains latent and rapidly rebounds if therapy is stopped. HIV-1-infected individuals under this drug regimen have increased rates of cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and autoimmunity due to compromised immunity. A therapeutic vaccine boosting cellular immunity against HIV-1 is therefore desirable and, possibly combined with other immune modulating agents, could obviate the need for long-term drug therapies. An approach to elicit strong T cell-based immunity is to direct virus protein antigens specifically to dendritic cells (DCs), which are the key cell type for controlling immune responses. For eliciting therapeutic cellular immunity in HIV-1-infected individuals, we developed vaccines comprised of five T cell epitope-rich regions of HIV-1 Gag, Nef, and Pol (HIV5pep) fused to monoclonal antibodies that bind either, the antigen presenting cell activating receptor CD40, or the endocytic dendritic cell immunoreceptor DCIR. The study aimed to demonstrate vaccine safety, establish efficacy for broad T cell responses in both primed and naïve settings, and identify one candidate vaccine for human therapeutic development. The vaccines were administered to Rhesus macaques by intradermal injection with poly-ICLC adjuvant. The animals were either i) naïve or, ii) previously primed with modified vaccinia Ankara vector (MVA) encoding HIV-1 Gag, Pol, and Nef (MVA GagPolNef). In the MVA-primed groups, both DC-targeting vaccinations boosted HIV5pep-specific blood CD4+ T cells producing multiple cytokines, but did not affect the MVA-elicited CD8+ T cell responses. In the naive groups, both DC-targeting vaccines elicited antigen-specific polyfunctional CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses to multiple epitopes and these responses were unchanged by a subsequent MVA GagPolNef boost. In both settings, the T cell responses elicited via the CD40-targeting vaccine were more robust and were detectable in all the animals, favoring further development of the CD40-targeting vaccine for therapeutic vaccination of HIV-1-infected individuals.
Project description:The development of an effective Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) vaccine that is able to stimulate both the humoral and cellular HIV-1-specific immune responses remains a major priority challenge. In this study, we described the generation and preclinical evaluation of single and double modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA)-based candidates expressing the HIV-1 clade C membrane-bound gp145(ZM96) trimeric protein and/or the Gag(ZM96)-Pol-Nef(CN54) (GPN) polyprotein that was processed to form Gag-induced virus-like particles (VLPs). In vitro characterization of MVA recombinants revealed the stable integration of HIV-1 genes without affecting its replication capacity. In cells that were infected with Env-expressing viruses, the gp145 protein was inserted into the plasma membrane exposing critical epitopes that were recognized by broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs), whereas Gag-induced VLPs were released from cells that were infected with GPN-expressing viruses. VLP particles as well as purified MVA virions contain Env and Gag visualized by immunoelectron microscopy and western-blot of fractions that were obtained after detergent treatments of purified virus particles. In BALB/c mice, homologous MVA-gp145-GPN prime/boost regimen induced broad and polyfunctional Env- and Gag-specific CD4 T cells and antigen-specific T follicular helper (Tfh) and Germinal Center (GC) B cells, which correlated with robust HIV-1-specific humoral responses. Overall, these results support the consideration of MVA-gp145-GPN vector as a potential vaccine candidate against HIV-1.
Project description:Heterologous prime-boost strategies are of interest for HIV vaccine development. The order of prime-boost components could be important for the induction of T-cell responses. In this phase I/II multi-arm trial, three vaccine candidates were used as prime or boost: MVA HIV-B (coding for Gag, Pol, Nef); HIV LIPO-5 (5 lipopeptides from Gag, Pol, Nef); DNA GTU-MultiHIV B (coding for Rev, Nef, Tat, Gag, Env gp160 clade B). Healthy volunteers (n=92) were randomized to four groups: 1) MVA at weeks (W) 0/8 + LIPO-5 at W20/28 (M/L); 2) LIPO-5 at W0/8 + MVA at W20/28 (L/M); 3) DNA at W0/4/12 + LIPO-5 at W20/28 (G/L); 4) DNA at W0/4/12 + MVA at W20/28 (G/M). Frequency of IFNγ-ELISpot responders at W30 was 33%, 43%, 0% and 74%, respectively. Only MVA-receiving groups were further analyzed. Gene expression profiles of 79 subjects at different timepoints were analyzed by Illumina Whole-Genome Gene Expression BeadChips. Significant whole blood gene expression changes were observed two weeks after the first MVA injection, regardless of its use as prime or boost. An MVA gene signature was identified, including 86 genes mainly related to cell cycle pathways. Three prime-boost strategies led to CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses and to a whole blood gene expression signature primarily due to their MVA HIV-B component.
Project description:A human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) vaccine able to induce long-lasting immunity remains a major challenge. We previously designed a T cell multiepitopic immunogen including protective conserved epitopes from HIV-1 Gag, Pol and Nef proteins (TMEP-B), that induced potent HIV-1-specific CD8 T cells when vectored by DNA and combined with the vaccine candidate modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA)-B. Here, we described the vectorization of TMEP-B in MVA (MVA-TMEP) and evaluated the T cell immunogenicity profile elicited in mice when administered in homologous (MVA/MVA) or heterologous (DNA/MVA) prime/boost vector regimens or using homologous or heterologous inserts. The heterologous vector regimen was superior to the homologous protocol in inducing T cell responses. DNA-TMEP-primed animals boosted with MVA-TMEP or MVA-B exhibited the highest magnitudes of HIV-1-specific CD8, CD4 and T follicular helper (Tfh) cells, with MVA-TMEP significantly expanding Gag-specific CD8 T cell responses. In the homologous vector regimen, all groups exhibited similar HIV-1-specific CD8 and CD4 T cell responses, but both MVA-B/MVA-B and MVA-TMEP/MVA-TMEP combinations elicited higher Gag-Pol-Nef (GPN)-specific CD8 T cell responses compared to MVA-TMEP/MVA-B. Our results revealed an enhanced induction of HIV-1-specific T cell responses by TMEP-B when vectored in both DNA and MVA, and supported their use in combined prime/boost strategies for HIV-1 prevention and/or therapy.