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Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2013 Jun;9(6):1254-62. doi: 10.4161/hv.24043. Epub 2013 Feb 22.

Immunogenicity and safety of different formulations of an adjuvanted glycoprotein D genital herpes vaccine in healthy adults: a double-blind randomized trial.

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  • 1Center for Vaccinology; Ghent University and Hospital; Ghent, Belgium.


Herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 2 (HSV-2) is the main cause of genital and neonatal herpes and is highly prevalent worldwide. Previous phase I and II studies showed the immunogenicity and safety of the candidate prophylactic HSV-2 glycoprotein D-based subunit vaccine (gD2-AS04), containing aluminum hydroxide and 3-O-deacylated monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL) as adjuvant (AS04), in healthy adults. The primary objective of the study presented here was to compare the immunogenicity and safety of five different vaccine formulations: 3 different antigen doses [20, 40 or 80 μg of truncated glycoprotein D from HSV-2 strain (gD-2t)], different aluminum salts [AlPO₄ or Al(OH)₃], different preservatives or different volumes of vaccine (0.5 or 1 ml). One hundred and fifty healthy men and women aged 18-45 years, with negative serological markers for HSV-1 and HSV-2 infection, were vaccinated with one of 5 formulations of the gD2-AS04 candidate vaccine according to a 0-, 1-, 6-month schedule. No statistically significant difference was observed in humoral or cellular immune responses between different antigen doses or the different aluminum salts, preservatives or volumes of vaccine. The gD2-AS04 vaccine was well tolerated by study participants for the duration of the study period. Local symptoms were more frequently reported than general symptoms, with muscle stiffness and/or injection site redness being the most frequently reported. Overall, the incidence of adverse events was comparable in all groups. Based on these results the gD2-AS04 formulation, containing 20 μg of gD-2t, was selected for evaluation of prophylactic efficacy in further clinical trials.


HSV vaccine; adjuvant; glycoprotein D herpes virus; herpes simplex virus; immunogenicity; protein subunit vaccine; safety

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