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Vaccine. 2009 Jul 16;27(33):4468-74. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.05.018. Epub 2009 May 29.

Recombinant Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) effectively boosts DNA-primed HIV-specific immune responses in humans despite pre-existing vaccinia immunity.

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  • 1Karolinska Institutet and Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, Stockholm, Sweden.


The presence of vector-specific immune responses may hamper the induction of responses to a foreign antigen encoded by the vector. We evaluated the impact of pre-existing immunity to vaccinia virus on the induction of HIV-specific responses after immunization of healthy volunteers with a HIV-1 DNA prime-MVA boost vaccine. Following three priming immunizations with HIV-1 DNA plasmids, the volunteers were boosted with a single injection of recombinant MVA encoding HIV-1 proteins. Pre-existing immunity to vaccinia virus did not reduce the proportion of individuals who responded to HIV-1, but did lower the magnitude of responses. Our results suggest that vaccinia-based vectors can be used to efficiently induce immune responses to vectored HIV-1 antigens, even in individuals with pre-existing immunity to vaccinia virus.

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