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J Virol. 2003 Dec;77(23):12764-72.

Immunogenicity of multiple gene and clade human immunodeficiency virus type 1 DNA vaccines.

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  • 1Vaccine Research Center, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-3005, USA.


The ability to elicit an immune response to a spectrum of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) gene products from divergent strains is a desirable feature of an AIDS vaccine. In this study, we examined combinations of plasmids expressing multiple HIV-1 genes from different clades for their ability to elicit humoral and cellular immune responses in mice. Immunization with a modified Env, gp145DeltaCFI, in combination with a Gag-Pol-Nef fusion protein plasmid elicited similar CD4(+) and CD8(+) cellular responses to immunization with either vector alone. Further, when mice were immunized with a mixture of Env from three clades, A, B, and C, together with Gag-Pol-Nef, the overall potency and balance of CD4(+)- and CD8(+)-T-cell responses to all viral antigens were similar, with only minor differences noted. In addition, plasmid mixtures elicited antibody responses comparable to those from individual inoculations. These findings suggest that a multigene and multiclade vaccine, including components from A, B, and C Env and Gag-Pol-Nef, can broaden antiviral immune responses without immune interference. Such combinations of immunogens may help to address concerns about viral genetic diversity for a prospective HIV-1 vaccine.

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