Immunogenicity of hybrid DNA vaccines expressing hepatitis B core particles carrying human and simian immunodeficiency virus epitopes in mice and rhesus macaques

Deborah Heydenburg Fuller, Tim Shipley, Todd M. Allen, James T. Fuller, Mary S. Wu, Helen Horton, Nancy Wilson, Georg Widera, David I. Watkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

An effective HIV vaccine will likely need to induce broad and potent CTL responses. Epitope-based vaccines offer significant potential for inducing multi-specific CTL, but often require conjugation to T helper epitopes or carrier moieties to induce significant responses. We tested hybrid DNA vaccines encoding one or more HIV or SIV CTL epitopes fused to a hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg) carrier gene as a means to improve the immunogenicity of epitope-based DNA vaccines. Immunization of mice with a HBcAg-HIV epitope DNA vaccine induced CD8+ T cell responses that significantly exceeded levels induced with DNA encoding either the whole HIV antigen or the epitope alone. In rhesus macaques, a multi-epitope hybrid HBcAg-SIV DNA vaccine induced CTL responses to 13 different epitopes, including 3 epitopes that were previously not detected in SIV-infected macaques. These data demonstrate that immunization with hybrid HBcAg-epitope DNA vaccines is an effective strategy to increase the magnitude and breadth of HIV-specific CTL responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-255
Number of pages11
JournalVirology
Volume364
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cytotoxic T lymphocyte response
  • Epitope
  • Hepatitis B core antigen
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Hybrid vaccine
  • nonhuman primate
  • Simian immunodeficiency virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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