Robust antibody and cellular responses induced by DNA-only vaccination for HIV.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUNDHVTN 098, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, evaluated the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of PENNVAX-GP HIV DNA vaccine, administered with or without plasmid IL-12 (pIL-12), via intradermal (ID) or intramuscular (IM) electroporation (EP) in healthy, HIV-uninfected adults. The study tested whether PENNVAX-GP delivered via ID/EP at one-fifth the dose could elicit equivalent immune responses to delivery via IM/EP and whether inclusion of pIL-12 provided additional benefit.METHODSParticipants received DNA encoding HIV-1 env/gag/pol in 3 groups: 1.6 mg ID (ID no IL-12 group, n = 20), 1.6 mg ID + 0.4 mg pIL-12 (ID + IL-12 group, n = 30), 8 mg IM + 1 mg pIL-12 (IM + IL-12 group, n = 30), or placebo (n = 9) via EP at 0, 1, 3, and 6 months. Results of cellular and humoral immunogenicity assessments are reported.RESULTSFollowing vaccination, the frequency of responders (response rate) to any HIV protein based on CD4+ T cells expressing IFN-? or IL-2 was 96% for both the ID + IL-12 and IM + IL-12 groups; CD8+ T cell response rates were 64% and 44%, respectively. For ID delivery, the inclusion of pIL-12 increased CD4+ T cell response rate from 56% to 96%. The frequency of responders was similar (?90%) for IgG binding antibody to gp140 consensus Env across all groups, but the magnitude was higher in the ID + IL-12 group compared with the IM + IL-12 group.CONCLUSIONPENNVAX-GP DNA induced robust cellular and humoral immune responses, demonstrating that immunogenicity of DNA vaccines can be enhanced by EP route and inclusion of pIL-12. ID/EP was dose sparing, inducing equivalent, or in some aspects superior, immune responses compared with IM/EP.TRIAL REGISTRATIONClinicalTrials.gov NCT02431767.FUNDINGThis work was supported by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), U.S. Public Health Service grants, an HIV Vaccine Design and Development Team contract, Integrated Preclinical/Clinical AIDS Vaccine Development Program, and an NIH award.
Project description:<i>Background:</i> Several techniques are under investigation to improve the immunogenicity of HIV-1 DNA vaccine candidates. DNA vaccines are advantageous due to their ease of design, expression of multiple antigens, and safety.<h4>Methods</h4>The HVTN 098 trial assessed the PENNVAX<sup>®</sup>-GP DNA vaccine (encoding HIV <i>env</i>, <i>gag</i>, <i>pol</i>) administered with or without plasmid IL-12 at 0-, 1-, 3-, and 6-month timepoints via intradermal (ID) or intramuscular (IM) electroporation (EP) in healthy, adult participants. We report on safety, tolerability, and acceptability.<h4>Results</h4>HVTN 098 enrolled 94 participants: 85 received PENNVAX<sup>®</sup>-GP and nine received placebo. Visual analog scale (VAS) pain scores immediately after each vaccination were lower in the ID/EP than in the IM/EP group (medians 4.1-4.6 vs. 6-6.5, <i>p</i> < 0.01). IM/EP participants reported greater pain and/or tenderness at the injection site. Most ID/EP participants had skin lesions such as scabs/eschars, scars, and pigmentation changes, which resolved within 6 months in 51% of participants (24/55). Eighty-two percent of IM/EP and 92% of ID/EP participant survey responses showed acceptable levels of discomfort.<h4>Conclusions</h4>ID/EP and IM/EP are distinct experiences; however, HIV-1 DNA vaccination by either route was safe, tolerable and acceptable by most study participants.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Therapeutic vaccination is being studied in eradication and "functional cure" strategies for HIV-1. The Profectus Biosciences multiantigen (MAG) HIV-1 DNA vaccine encodes HIV-1 Gag/Pol, Nef/Tat/Vif, and Envelope, and interleukin-12 (IL-12) and is delivered by electroporation combined with intramuscular injection (IM-EP). METHODS:Sixty-two HIV-1-infected patients on antiretroviral therapy (plasma HIV-1 RNA levels ? 200 copies/mL; CD4(+) T-cell counts ? 500 cells/mm(3)) were randomly allocated 5:1 to receive vaccine or placebo. At weeks 0, 4, and 12, 4 consecutive cohorts received 3000 ?g HIV MAG pDNA with 0, 50, 250, or 1000 ?g of IL-12 pDNA by IM-EP. A fifth cohort received HIV MAG pDNA and 1000 ?g of IL-12 pDNA by standard IM injection. RESULTS:CD4(+) T cells expressing IL-2 in response to Gag and Pol and interferon-? responses to Gag, Pol, and Env increased from baseline to week 14 in the low-dose (50-?g) IL-12 arm vs. placebo (P < 0.05; intracellular cytokine staining). The total increase in the IL-2-expressing CD4 T-cell responses to any antigen was also higher in the low-dose IL-12 arm vs. placebo (P = 0.04). Cytokine responses by CD8 T cells to HIV antigens were not increased in any vaccine arm relative to placebo. CONCLUSIONS:HIV-1 MAG/low-dose IL-12 DNA vaccine delivered by IM-EP augmented CD4(+) but not CD8(+) T-cell responses to multiple HIV-1 antigens.
Project description:Molecular adjuvants are important for augmenting or modulating immune responses induced by DNA vaccination. Promising results have been obtained using IL-12 expression plasmids in a variety of disease models including the SIV model of HIV infection. We used a mouse model to evaluate plasmid IL-12 (pIL-12) in a DNA prime, recombinant adenovirus serotype 5 (rAd5) boost regimen specifically to evaluate the effect of IL-12 expression on cellular and humoral immunity induced against both SIVmac239 Gag and Env antigens. Priming with electroporated (EP) DNA+pIL-12 resulted in a 2-4-fold enhanced frequency of Gag-specific CD4 T cells which was maintained through the end of the study irrespective of the pIL-12 dose, while memory Env-specific CD4+T cells were maintained only at the low dose of pIL-12. There was little positive effect of pIL-12 on the humoral response to Env, and in fact, high dose pIL-12 dramatically reduced SIV Env-specific IgG. Additionally, both doses of pIL-12 diminished the frequency of CD8 T-cells after DNA prime, although a rAd5 boost recovered CD8 responses regardless of the pIL-12 dose. In this prime-boost regimen, we have shown that a high dose pIL-12 can systemically reduce Env-specific humoral responses and CD4T cell frequency, but not Gag-specific CD4+ T cells. These data indicate that it is important to independently characterize individual SIV or HIV antigen immunogenicity in multi-antigenic vaccines as a function of adjuvant dose.
Project description:Strategies to enhance the immunogenicity of DNA vaccines in humans include i) co-administration of molecular adjuvants, ii) intramuscular administration followed by in vivo electroporation (IM/EP) and/or iii) boosting with a different vaccine. Combining these strategies provided protection of macaques challenged with SIV; this clinical trial was designed to mimic the vaccine regimen in the SIV study.Seventy five healthy, HIV-seronegative adults were enrolled into a phase 1, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Multi-antigenic HIV (HIVMAG) plasmid DNA (pDNA) vaccine alone or co-administered with pDNA encoding human Interleukin 12 (IL-12) (GENEVAX IL-12) given by IM/EP using the TriGrid Delivery System was tested in different prime-boost regimens with recombinant Ad35 HIV vaccine given IM.All local reactions but one were mild or moderate. Systemic reactions and unsolicited adverse events including laboratory abnormalities did not differ between vaccine and placebo recipients. No serious adverse events (SAEs) were reported. T cell and antibody response rates after HIVMAG (x3) prime-Ad35 (x1) boost were independent of IL-12, while the magnitude of interferon gamma (IFN-?) ELISPOT responses was highest after HIVMAG (x3) without IL-12. The quality and phenotype of T cell responses shown by intracellular cytokine staining (ICS) were similar between groups. Inhibition of HIV replication by autologous T cells was demonstrated after HIVMAG (x3) prime and was boosted after Ad35. HIV specific antibodies were detected only after Ad35 boost, although there was a priming effect with 3 doses of HIVMAG with or without IL-12. No anti-IL-12 antibodies were detected.The vaccines were safe, well tolerated and moderately immunogenic. Repeated administration IM/EP was well accepted. An adjuvant effect of co-administered plasmid IL-12 was not detected.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01496989.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>We compared safety and immunogenicity of intradermal (ID) vaccination with and without electroporation (EP) in a phase I randomized placebo-controlled trial of an HIV-DNA prime HIV-MVA boost vaccine in healthy Swedish volunteers.<h4>Methods</h4>HIV-DNA plasmids encoding HIV-1 genes gp160 subtypes A, B and C; Rev B; Gag A and B and RTmut B were given ID at weeks 0, 6 and 12 in a dose of 0.6 mg. Twenty-five volunteers received vaccine using a needle-free device (ZetaJet) with (n=16) or without (n=9) ID EP (Dermavax). Five volunteers were placebo recipients. Boosting with recombinant MVA-CMDR expressing HIV-1 Env, Gag, Pol of CRF01_AE (HIV-MVA) or placebo was performed at weeks 24 and 40. Nine of the vaccinees received a subtype C CN54 gp140 protein boost together with HIV-MVA.<h4>Results</h4>The ID/EP delivery was very well tolerated. After three HIV-DNA immunizations, no statistically significant difference was seen in the IFN-? ELISpot response rate to Gag between HIV-DNA ID/EP recipients (5/15, 33%) and HIV-DNA ID recipients (1/7, 14%, p=0.6158). The first HIV-MVA or HIV-MVA+gp140 vaccination increased the IFN-? ELISpot response rate to 18/19 (95%). CD4+ and/or CD8+ T cell responses to Gag or Env were demonstrable in 94% of vaccinees. A balanced CD4+ and CD8+ T cell response was noted, with 78% and 71% responders, respectively. IFN-? and IL-2 dominated the CD4+ T cell response to Gag and Env. The CD8+ response to Gag was broader with expression of IFN-?, IL-2, MIP-1? and/or CD107. No differences were seen between DNA vaccine groups. Binding antibodies were induced after the second HIV-MVA+/-gp140 in 93% of vaccinees to subtype C Env, with the highest titers among EP/gp140 recipients.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Intradermal electroporation of HIV-DNA was well tolerated. Strong cell- and antibody-mediated immune responses were elicited by the HIV-DNA prime and HIV-MVA boosting regimen, with or without intradermal electroporation use.<h4>Trial registration</h4>International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN) 60284968.
Project description:Targeting of different tissues via transcutaneous (TC), intradermal (ID) and intramuscular (IM) injection has the potential to tailor the immune response to DNA vaccination. In this Phase I randomised controlled clinical trial in HIV-1 negative volunteers we investigate whether the site and mode of DNA vaccination influences the quality of the cellular immune responses. We adopted a strategy of concurrent immunization combining IM injection with either ID or TC administration. As a third arm we assessed the response to IM injection administered with electroporation (EP). The DNA plasmid encoded a MultiHIV B clade fusion protein designed to induce cellular immunity. The vaccine and regimens were well tolerated. We observed differential shaping of vaccine induced virus-specific CD4?+?and CD8?+?cell-mediated immune responses. DNA given by IM?+?EP promoted strong IFN-? responses and potent viral inhibition. ID?+?IM without EP resulted in a similar pattern of response but of lower magnitude. By contrast TC?+?IM (without EP) shifted responses towards a more Th-17 dominated phenotype, associated with mucosal and epidermal protection. Whilst preliminary, these results offer new perspectives for differential shaping of desired cellular immunity required to fight the wide range of complex and diverse infectious diseases and cancers.
Project description:This study evaluated the safety and immunogenicity of PENNVAX-B in 12 HIV infected individuals. PENNVAX-B is a combination of three optimized synthetic plasmids encoding for multiclade HIV Gag and Pol and a consensus CladeB Env delivered by electroporation. HIV infected individuals whose virus was effectively suppressed using highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) received PENNVAX-B DNA followed by electroporation with CELLECTRA-5P at study weeks 0, 4, 8, and 16. Local administration site and systemic reactions to PENNVAX-B were recorded after each treatment along with any adverse events. Pain of the treatment procedure was assessed using a Visual Analog Scale. Whole PBMCs were isolated for use in IFN ELISpot and Flow Cytometric assays. PENNVAX-B was generally safe and well tolerated. Overall, the four dose regimen was not associated with any serious adverse events or severe local or systemic reactions. A rise in antigen-specific SFU was detected in the INF? ELISpot assay in all 12 participants. T cells from 8/12 participants loaded with both granzyme B and perforin in response to HIV antigen, an immune finding characteristic of long-term nonprogressors (LTNPs) and elite controllers (ECs). Thus administration of PENNVAX-B may prove useful adjunctive therapy to ART for treatment and control of HIV infection.
Project description:DNA priming has previously been shown to elicit augmented immune responses when administered by electroporation (EP) or codelivered with a plasmid encoding interleukin-12 (pIL-12). We hypothesized that the efficacy of a DNA prime and recombinant adenovirus 5 boost vaccination regimen (DNA/rAd5) would be improved when incorporating these vaccination strategies into the DNA priming phase, as determined by pathogenic simian immunodeficiency virus SIVmac239 challenge outcome. The whole SIVmac239 proteome was delivered in 5 separate DNA plasmids (pDNA-SIV) by EP with or without pIL-12, followed by boosting 4 months later with corresponding rAd5-SIV vaccine vectors. Remarkably, after repeated low-dose SIVmac239 mucosal challenge, we demonstrate 2.6 and 4.4 log reductions of the median SIV peak and set point viral loads in rhesus macaques (RMs) that received pDNA-SIV by EP with pIL-12 compared to the median peak and set point viral loads in mock-immunized controls (P < 0.01). In 5 out of 6 infected RMs, strong suppression of viremia was observed, with intermittent "blips" in virus replication. In 2 RMs, we could not detect the presence of SIV RNA in tissue and lymph nodes, even after 13 viral challenges. RMs immunized without pIL-12 demonstrated a typical maximum of 1.5 log reduction in virus load. There was no significant difference in the overall magnitude of SIV-specific antibodies or CD8 T-cell responses between groups; however, pDNA delivery by EP with pIL-12 induced a greater magnitude of SIV-specific CD4 T cells that produced multiple cytokines. This vaccine strategy is relevant for existing vaccine candidates entering clinical evaluation, and this model may provide insights into control of retrovirus replication.
Project description:DNA-based vaccines have been safe but weakly immunogenic in humans to date.We sought to determine the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of ADVAX, a multigenic HIV-1 DNA vaccine candidate, injected intramuscularly by in vivo electroporation (EP) in a Phase-1, double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial in healthy volunteers. Eight volunteers each received 0.2 mg, 1 mg, or 4 mg ADVAX or saline placebo via EP, or 4 mg ADVAX via standard intramuscular injection at weeks 0 and 8. A third vaccination was administered to eleven volunteers at week 36. EP was safe, well-tolerated and considered acceptable for a prophylactic vaccine. EP delivery of ADVAX increased the magnitude of HIV-1-specific cell mediated immunity by up to 70-fold over IM injection, as measured by gamma interferon ELISpot. The number of antigens to which the response was detected improved with EP and increasing dosage. Intracellular cytokine staining analysis of ELISpot responders revealed both CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses, with co-secretion of multiple cytokines.This is the first demonstration in healthy volunteers that EP is safe, tolerable, and effective in improving the magnitude, breadth and durability of cellular immune responses to a DNA vaccine candidate.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00545987.
Project description:The HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) 087 vaccine trial assessed the effect of increasing doses of pIL-12 (interleukin-12 delivered as plasmid DNA) adjuvant on the immunogenicity of an HIV-1 multiantigen (MAG) DNA vaccine delivered by electroporation and boosted with a vaccine comprising an attenuated vesicular stomatitis virus expressing HIV-1 Gag (VSV-Gag). We randomized 100 healthy adults to receive placebo or 3 mg HIV-MAG DNA vaccine (ProfectusVax HIV-1 gag/pol or ProfectusVax nef/tat/vif, env) coadministered with pIL-12 at 0, 250, 1,000, or 1,500 ?g intramuscularly by electroporation at 0, 1, and 3 months followed by intramuscular inoculation with 3.4 × 107 PFU VSV-Gag vaccine at 6 months. Immune responses were assessed after the prime and boost and 6 months after the last vaccination. High-dose pIL-12 increased the magnitude of CD8+ T-cell responses postboost compared to no pIL-12 (P = 0.02), while CD4+ T-cell responses after the prime were higher in the absence of pIL-12 than with low- and medium-dose pIL-12 (P ? 0.05). The VSV boost increased Gag-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses in all groups (P < 0.001 for CD4+ T cells), inducing a median of four Gag epitopes in responders. Six to 9 months after the boost, responses decreased in magnitude, but CD8+ T-cell response rates were maintained. The addition of a DNA prime dramatically improved responses to the VSV vaccine tested previously in the HVTN 090 trial, leading to broad epitope targeting and maintained CD8+ T-cell response rates at early memory. The addition of high-dose pIL-12 given with a DNA prime by electroporation and boosted with VSV-Gag increased the CD8+ T-cell responses but decreased the CD4+ responses. This approach may be advantageous in reshaping the T-cell responses to a variety of chronic infections or tumors. (This study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under registration no. NCT01578889.).