Evaluation of the immunogenicity and impact on the latent HIV-1 reservoir of a conserved region vaccine, MVA.HIVconsv, in antiretroviral therapy-treated subjects:

Gemma Hancock, Sara Morón-López, Jakub Kopycinski, Maria C. Puertas, Eleni Giannoulatou, Annie Rose, Maria Salgado, Emma Jo Hayton, Alison Crook, Catharine Morgan, Brian Angus, Fabian Chen, Hongbing Yang, Javier Martinez-Picado, Tomas Hanke, Lucy Dorrell

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    22 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    © 2017 Hancock G et al; licensee International AIDS Society. Introduction: Vaccines may be key components of a curative strategy for HIV-1. We investigated whether a novel immunogen, HIVconsv, designed to re-direct T cell responses to conserved viral epitopes, could impact the HIV-1 reservoir in chronic antiretroviral therapy (ART)-treated subjects when delivered by modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA). Methods: Nineteen virologically suppressed individuals were randomized to receive vaccinations with MVA.HIVconsv (5.5 × 107 plaque-forming units, pfu, n = 8; 2.2 × 108 pfu, n = 7) or placebo (n = 4) at 0, 4 and 12 weeks. Magnitude, breadth and antiviral function of vaccine-induced T cells, cell-associated HIV-1 DNA in circulating CD4+ T cells and residual viremia in plasma were measured before and after vaccination. Results: 90% of subjects completed the vaccine regimen; there were no serious vaccine-related adverse events. The magnitude of HIVconsv-specific IFN-γ-secreting T cells was not significantly boosted in vaccinees when compared with placebos in ex vivo Elispot assays, due to greater than expected variation in HIV-specific T cell responses in the latter during the observation period. Ex vivo CD8+ T cell viral inhibitory capacity was modest but significantly increased post-vaccination with MVA.HIVconsv at the higher dose (p = 0.004) and was positively correlated with the frequency of HIVconsv-specific CD8+ CD107+ IFN-α± T cells (r = 0.57, p = 0.01). Total HIV-1 DNA and residual viral load did not change significantly from baseline in any group. Conclusions: Homologous prime-boost vaccination with MVA.HIVconsv was safe in HIV-positive ART-treated subjects but showed modest immunogenicity and did not significantly change the size of the viral reservoir. MVA.HIVconsv may be more effective when used in a heterologous prime-boost vaccination regimen and when combined with a latency-reversing agent. Clinical Trials Registration NCT01024842
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number21171
    JournalJournal of the International AIDS Society
    Volume20
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

    Keywords

    • MVA
    • T cells
    • conservation
    • human immunodeficiency virus
    • immunogen design
    • phase I trial
    • therapeutic vaccine
    • viral inhibition assay

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