Designing chimeric virus-like particle-based vaccines for human papillomavirus and HIV: Lessons learned

Yoshiki Eto, Narcís Saubi, Pau Ferrer, Joan Joseph*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Virus-like particles (VLPs) are a type of subunit vaccine which resembles viruses but do not contain any genetic material so that they are not infectious. VLPs maintain the same antigenic conformation to the original virus, and they could be a better vaccine candidate than live-attenuated and inactivated vaccines. In addition, compared to other subunit vaccines such as soluble protein, VLPs can stimulate both innate and adaptive immune responses effectively and safely against several pathogens by the closer morphology to its native virus. They have already been licensed as vaccines against Hepatitis B virus, human papillomavirus (HPV), and several veterinary diseases. Moreover, it has been investigated to prevent other viral infections including HIV. While HIV VLP-based vaccines have been studied over 35 years, none of them has been successful enough to reach even Phase III clinical trials. In this review, we summarize: (i) general features of VLPs; (ii) epidemiological data and current status of vaccine research and development on HPV and HIV; and (iii) previous studies held on HPV VLPs, HIV VLPs, and chimeric HPV/HIV VLPs including production methods and different animal immunization assays. Furthermore, we review present state of human clinical trials with VLPs and consider the potential to develop a successful preventive HIV vaccine using HPV VLP models. Finally, we discuss the benefits, limitations, and challenges of developing chimeric VLP-based HPV/HIV vaccines with recent findings, critical issues to improve VLP-based vaccines, and hot topics for the next 5 years to join the global effort to fight against these two pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-232
Number of pages15
JournalAIDS Reviews
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Chimeric
  • HIV
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Vaccine
  • Virus-like particle


Dive into the research topics of 'Designing chimeric virus-like particle-based vaccines for human papillomavirus and HIV: Lessons learned'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this