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Eur J Immunol. 2012 Nov;42(11):3038-48. doi: 10.1002/eji.201242696. Epub 2012 Oct 1.

NYVAC immunization induces polyfunctional HIV-specific T-cell responses in chronically-infected, ART-treated HIV patients.

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Division of Immunology and Allergy, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland.


We report the results of the Theravac-01 phase I trial, which was conducted to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of a poxvirus-based vector, NYVAC, expressing Gag, Pol, Nef, and Env from an HIV clade B isolate. NYVAC-B vaccine was injected intra-muscularly into ten HIV-infected patients successfully treated with antiretroviral therapy, twice on day 0 and again at week 4. Safety and immunogenicity were monitored for 48 weeks. HIV-specific T-cell responses following immunization were quantitatively analyzed using an IFN-γ ELISPOT assay and qualitatively characterized for their functional profile (including multiple cytokines secretion plus cytotoxic and proliferation capacity) by polychromatic flow cytometry. Our results indicate that the NYVAC-B vaccine is safe and highly immunogenic, as indicated by increased HIV-specific T-cell responses in virtually all vaccinees. Interestingly, both an expansion of preexisting T-cell responses, and the appearance of newly detected HIV-specific CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-cell responses were observed. Furthermore, immunization mostly induced an increase in Gag-specific T-cell responses. In conclusion, NYVAC-B immunization induces broad, vigorous, and polyfunctional HIV-specific T-cell responses, suggesting that poxvirus-based vaccine regimens may be instrumental in the therapeutic HIV vaccine field.

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