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J Infect Dis. 2008 Nov 15;198(10):1482-90. doi: 10.1086/592507.

Broad immunogenicity of a multigene, multiclade HIV-1 DNA vaccine boosted with heterologous HIV-1 recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara.

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Department of Clinical Science and Education, Södersjukhuset, Sweden.



A human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vaccine that limits disease and transmission is urgently needed. This clinical trial evaluated the safety and immunogenicity of an HIV vaccine that combines a plasmid-DNA priming vaccine and a modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) boosting vaccine.


Forty healthy volunteers were injected with DNA plasmids containing gp160 of HIV-1 subtypes A, B, and C; rev B; p17/p24 gag A and B, and RTmut B by use of a needle-free injection system. The vaccine was administered intradermally or intramuscularly, with or without recombinant granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor, and boosted with a heterologous MVA containing env, gag, and pol of CRF01A_E. Immune responses were monitored with HIV-specific interferon (IFN)-gamma and interleukin (IL)-2 ELISpot and lymphoproliferative assays (LPAs).


Vaccine-related adverse events were mild and tolerable. After receipt of the DNA priming vaccine, 11 (30%) of 37 vaccinees had HIV-specific IFN-gamma responses. After receipt of the MVA boosting vaccine, ELISpot assays showed that 34 (92%) of 37 vaccinees had HIV-specific IFN-gamma responses, 32 (86%) to Gag and 24 (65%) to Env. IFN-gamma production was detected in both the CD8(+) T cell compartment (5 of 9 selected vaccinees) and the CD4(+) T cell compartment (9 of 9). ELISpot results showed that 25 (68%) of 37 vaccinees had a positive IL-2 response and 35 (92%) of 38 had a positive LPA response. Of 38 subjects, a total of 37 (97%) were responders. One milligram of HIV-1 DNA administered intradermally was as effective as 4 mg administered intramuscularly in priming for the MVA boosting vaccine.


This HIV-DNA priming-MVA boosting approach is safe and highly immunogenic.


International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial number: ISRCTN32604572 .

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