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Vaccine. 2012 May 2;30(21):3188-95. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.03.001. Epub 2012 Mar 14.

UV-inactivated vaccinia virus (VV) in a multi-envelope DNA-VV-protein (DVP) HIV-1 vaccine protects macaques from lethal challenge with heterologous SHIV.

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  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105, United States.


The pandemic of HIV-1 has continued for decades, yet there remains no licensed vaccine. Previous research has demonstrated the effectiveness of a multi-envelope, multi-vectored HIV-1 vaccine in a macaque-SHIV model, illustrating a potential means of combating HIV-1. Specifically, recombinant DNA, vaccinia virus (VV) and purified protein (DVP) delivery systems were used to vaccinate animals with dozens of antigenically distinct HIV-1 envelopes for induction of immune breadth. The vaccinated animals controlled disease following challenge with a heterologous SHIV. This demonstration suggested that the antigenic cocktail vaccine strategy, which has succeeded in several other vaccine fields (e.g. pneumococcus), might also succeed against HIV-1. The strategy remains untested in an advanced clinical study, in part due to safety concerns associated with the use of replication-competent VV. To address this concern, we designed a macaque study in which psoralen/ultraviolet light-inactivated VV (UV VV) was substituted for replication-competent VV in the multi-envelope DVP protocol. Control animals received a vaccine encompassing no VV, or no vaccine. All VV vaccinated animals generated an immune response toward VV, and all vaccinated animals generated an immune response toward HIV-1 envelope. After challenge with heterologous SHIV 89.6P, animals that received replication-competent VV or UV VV experienced similar outcomes. They exhibited reduced peak viral loads, maintenance of CD4+ T cell counts and improved survival compared to control animals that received no VV or no vaccine; there were 0/15 deaths among all animals that received VV and 5/9 deaths among controls. Results define a practical means of improving VV safety, and encourage advancement of a promising multi-envelope DVP HIV-1 vaccine candidate.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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