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Ford T.,Human Immunology Laboratory | Ford T.,Imperial College London | Wenden C.,Human Immunology Laboratory | Wenden C.,Imperial College London | And 11 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2017

Ex vivo functional immunoassays such as ELISpot and intracellular cytokine staining (ICS) by flow cytometry are crucial tools in vaccine development both in the identification of novel immunogenic targets and in the immunological assessment of samples from clinical trials. Cryopreservation and subsequent thawing of PBMCs via validated processes has become a mainstay of clinical trials due to processing restrictions inherent in the disparate location and capacity of trial centres, and also in the need to standardize biological assays at central testing facilities. Logistical and financial requirement to batch process samples from multiple study timepoints are also key. We used ELISpot and ICS assays to assess antigen-specific immunogenicity in blood samples taken from subjects enrolled in a phase II malaria heterologous prime-boost vaccine trial and showed that the freeze thaw process can result in a 3–5-fold reduction of malaria antigen-specific IFNγ-producing CD3+CD4+ effector populations from PBMC samples taken post vaccination. We have also demonstrated that peptide responsive CD8+ T cells are relatively unaffected, as well as CD4+ T cell populations that do not produce IFNγ. These findings contribute to a growing body of data that could be consolidated and synthesised as guidelines for clinical trials with the aim of increasing the efficiency of vaccine development pipelines. © 2017 The Authors


PubMed | Projet San Francisco, Human Immunology Laboratory, University of Tokyo, Emmes Corporation and 3 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The Journal of infectious diseases | Year: 2017

We report the first-in-human safety and immunogenicity assessment of a prototype intranasally administered, replication-competent Sendai virus (SeV)-vectored, human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) vaccine.Sixty-five HIV-1-uninfected adults in Kenya, Rwanda, and the United Kingdom were assigned to receive 1 of 4 prime-boost regimens (administered at 0 and 4 months, respectively; ratio of vaccine to placebo recipients, 12:4): priming with a lower-dose SeV-Gag given intranasally, followed by boosting with an adenovirus 35-vectored vaccine encoding HIV-1 Gag, reverse transcriptase, integrase, and Nef (Ad35-GRIN) given intramuscularly (SAll vaccine regimens were well tolerated. Gag-specific IFN- enzyme-linked immunospot-determined response rates and geometric mean responses were higher (96% and 248 spot-forming units, respectively) in groups primed with SeV-Gag and boosted with Ad35-GRIN (SSeV-Gag primed functional, durable HIV-specific T-cell responses and boosted antibody responses. The prime-boost sequence appears to determine which arm of the immune response is stimulated.NCT01705990.


Claiborne D.T.,Emory University | Prince J.L.,Emory University | Scully E.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Macharia G.,Human Immunology Laboratory | And 26 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2015

HIV-1 infection is characterized by varying degrees of chronic immune activation and disruption of T-cell homeostasis, which impact the rate of disease progression. A deeper understanding of the factors that influence HIV-1-induced immunopathology and subsequent CD4+ T-cell decline is critical to strategies aimed at controlling or eliminating the virus. In an analysis of 127 acutely infected Zambians, we demonstrate a dramatic and early impact of viral replicative capacity (vRC) on HIV-1 immunopathogenesis that is independent of viral load (VL). Individuals infected with high-RC viruses exhibit a distinct inflammatory cytokine profile as well as significantly elevated T-cell activation, proliferation, and CD8+ T-cell exhaustion, during the earliest months of infection. Moreover, the vRC of the transmitted virus is positively correlated with the magnitude of viral burden in naive and central memory CD4+ T-cell populations, raising the possibility that transmitted viral phenotypes may influence the size of the initial latent viral reservoir. Taken together, these findings support an unprecedented role for the replicative fitness of the founder virus, independent of host protective genes and VL, in influencing multiple facets of HIV-1-related immunopathology, and that a greater focus on this parameter could provide novel approaches to clinical interventions. © 2015, National Academy of Sciences. All rights reseved.


PubMed | Projet San Francisco, Zambia Emory HIV Research Project, Medical Research Council Uganda Virus Research Institute, Emory University and 3 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

2013 WHO guidelines recommend starting ART at CD4+ T-cell counts 500 cells/L. We present the T-cell counts from adult Africans with HIV shortly following transmission to their sexual partners.HIV-discordant couples in Zambia, Uganda and Rwanda were followed prospectively and received couples counseling and condoms. HIV uninfected partners were tested for HIV at least quarterly and HIV-infected partners received HIV care and referral for ART per national guidelines. Upon diagnosis of incident HIV infection in the previously HIV-uninfected partner, a blood sample was collected from both partners to measure CD4+ T-cells and perform viral linkage. The estimated date of infection (EDI) of the incident case was calculated based on testing history. EDI was unknown for suspected transmitting partners.From 2006-2011, 4,705 HIV-discordant couples were enrolled in this cohort, and 443 cases of incident HIV infection were documented. Virus linkage analysis was performed in 374 transmission pairs, and 273 (73%) transmissions were linked genetically. CD4 counts in the transmitting partner were measured a median of 56 days after EDI (mean:90.5, min:10, max:396). The median CD4 count was 339 cells/l (mean:386.4, min:15, max:1,434), and the proportion of partners with a CD4+ T-cell count above 500/l was 25% (95% CI:21, 31).In our cohort of discordant couples, 73% of HIV transmissions occurred within the relationship, and the transmitter CD4+ T cell count shortly after the transmission event was frequently higher than the WHO 2013 ART-initiation guidelines.


PubMed | Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Imperial College London, Human Immunology Laboratory, Emory University and 3 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2015

HIV-1 infection is characterized by varying degrees of chronic immune activation and disruption of T-cell homeostasis, which impact the rate of disease progression. A deeper understanding of the factors that influence HIV-1-induced immunopathology and subsequent CD4(+) T-cell decline is critical to strategies aimed at controlling or eliminating the virus. In an analysis of 127 acutely infected Zambians, we demonstrate a dramatic and early impact of viral replicative capacity (vRC) on HIV-1 immunopathogenesis that is independent of viral load (VL). Individuals infected with high-RC viruses exhibit a distinct inflammatory cytokine profile as well as significantly elevated T-cell activation, proliferation, and CD8(+) T-cell exhaustion, during the earliest months of infection. Moreover, the vRC of the transmitted virus is positively correlated with the magnitude of viral burden in naive and central memory CD4(+) T-cell populations, raising the possibility that transmitted viral phenotypes may influence the size of the initial latent viral reservoir. Taken together, these findings support an unprecedented role for the replicative fitness of the founder virus, independent of host protective genes and VL, in influencing multiple facets of HIV-1-related immunopathology, and that a greater focus on this parameter could provide novel approaches to clinical interventions.


PubMed | Projet San Francisco, New York University, Kenya Medical Research Institute, AIDS Vaccine Design and Development Laboratory and 6 more.
Type: | Journal: Virology | Year: 2015

Serum was analyzed from 146 healthy adult volunteers in eastern Africa to evaluate measles virus (MV) and canine distemper virus (CDV) neutralizing antibody (nAb) prevalence and potency. MV plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) results indicated that all sera were positive for MV nAbs. Furthermore, the 50% neutralizing dose (ND50) for the majority of sera corresponded to antibody titers induced by MV vaccination. CDV nAbs titers were low and generally were detected in sera with high MV nAb titers. A mutant CDV was generated that was less sensitive to neutralization by human serum. The mutant virus genome had 10 nucleotide substitutions, which coded for single amino acid substitutions in the fusion (F) and hemagglutinin (H) glycoproteins and two substitutions in the large polymerase (L) protein. The H substitution occurred in a conserved region involved in receptor interactions among morbilliviruses, implying that this region is a target for cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies.


Yue L.,Emory University | Pfafferott K.J.,University of Oxford | Baalwa J.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Conrod K.,University of Oxford | And 18 more authors.
PLoS pathogens | Year: 2015

Control of virus replication in HIV-1 infection is critical to delaying disease progression. While cellular immune responses are a key determinant of control, relatively little is known about the contribution of the infecting virus to this process. To gain insight into this interplay between virus and host in viral control, we conducted a detailed analysis of two heterosexual HIV-1 subtype A transmission pairs in which female recipients sharing three HLA class I alleles exhibited contrasting clinical outcomes: R880F controlled virus replication while R463F experienced high viral loads and rapid disease progression. Near full-length single genome amplification defined the infecting transmitted/founder (T/F) virus proteome and subsequent sequence evolution over the first year of infection for both acutely infected recipients. T/F virus replicative capacities were compared in vitro, while the development of the earliest cellular immune response was defined using autologous virus sequence-based peptides. The R880F T/F virus replicated significantly slower in vitro than that transmitted to R463F. While neutralizing antibody responses were similar in both subjects, during acute infection R880F mounted a broad T cell response, the most dominant components of which targeted epitopes from which escape was limited. In contrast, the primary HIV-specific T cell response in R463F was focused on just two epitopes, one of which rapidly escaped. This comprehensive study highlights both the importance of the contribution of the lower replication capacity of the transmitted/founder virus and an associated induction of a broad primary HIV-specific T cell response, which was not undermined by rapid epitope escape, to long-term viral control in HIV-1 infection. It underscores the importance of the earliest CD8 T cell response targeting regions of the virus proteome that cannot mutate without a high fitness cost, further emphasizing the need for vaccines that elicit a breadth of T cell responses to conserved viral epitopes.


Yue L.,Emory University | Pfafferott K.J.,University of Oxford | Baalwa J.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Conrod K.,University of Oxford | And 18 more authors.
PLoS Pathogens | Year: 2015

Control of virus replication in HIV-1 infection is critical to delaying disease progression. While cellular immune responses are a key determinant of control, relatively little is known about the contribution of the infecting virus to this process. To gain insight into this interplay between virus and host in viral control, we conducted a detailed analysis of two heterosexual HIV-1 subtype A transmission pairs in which female recipients sharing three HLA class I alleles exhibited contrasting clinical outcomes: R880F controlled virus replication while R463F experienced high viral loads and rapid disease progression. Near full-length single genome amplification defined the infecting transmitted/founder (T/F) virus proteome and subsequent sequence evolution over the first year of infection for both acutely infected recipients. T/F virus replicative capacities were compared in vitro, while the development of the earliest cellular immune response was defined using autologous virus sequence-based peptides. The R880F T/F virus replicated significantly slower in vitro than that transmitted to R463F. While neutralizing antibody responses were similar in both subjects, during acute infection R880F mounted a broad T cell response, the most dominant components of which targeted epitopes from which escape was limited. In contrast, the primary HIV-specific T cell response in R463F was focused on just two epitopes, one of which rapidly escaped. This comprehensive study highlights both the importance of the contribution of the lower replication capacity of the transmitted/founder virus and an associated induction of a broad primary HIV-specific T cell response, which was not undermined by rapid epitope escape, to long-term viral control in HIV-1 infection. It underscores the importance of the earliest CD8 T cell response targeting regions of the virus proteome that cannot mutate without a high fitness cost, further emphasizing the need for vaccines that elicit a breadth of T cell responses to conserved viral epitopes. © 2015 Yue et al.


Ahmed T.,University of Oxford | Borthwick N.J.,University of Oxford | Gilmour J.,Human Immunology Laboratory | Gilmour J.,Imperial College London | And 5 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2016

Objective: The specificity of CD8+ T cells is critical for early control of founder/transmitted and reactivated HIV-1. To tackle HIV-variability and escape, we designed vaccine immunogen HIVconsv assembled from 14 highly conserved regions of mainly Gag and Pol proteins. When administered to HIV-1-negative human volunteers in trial HIV-CORE 002, HIVconsv vaccines elicited CD8+ effector T cells which inhibited replication of up to 8 HIV-isolates in autologous CD4+ cells. This inhibition correlated with interferon-γ production in response to Gag and Pol peptide pools, but direct evidence of the inhibitory specificity was missing. Here, we aimed to define through recognition of which epitopes these effectors inhibit HIV-replication. Design: CD8+ T-cells from the 3 broadest HIV-inhibitors out of 23 vaccine recipients were expanded in culture by Gag or Pol peptide restimulation and tested in viral inhibition assay (VIA) using HIV-clade B and A isolates. Methods: Frozen PBMCs were expanded first using peptide pools from Gag or Pol conserved regions and tested on HIV-1-infected cells in VIA or by individual peptides for their effector functions. Single peptide specificities responsible for inhibition of HIV-replication were then confirmed by single-peptide expanded effectors tested on HIV-1-infected cells. Results: We formally demonstrated that the vaccine-elicited inhibitory human CD8+ T cells recognized conserved epitopes of both Pol and Gag proteins. We defined 7 minimum epitopes, of which 3 were novel, presumably naturally subdominant. The effectors were oligofunctional producing several cytokines and chemokines and killing peptide-pulsed target cells. Conclusions: These results implicate the use of functionally conserved regions of Pol in addition to the widely used Gag for T-cell vaccine design. Proportion of volunteers developing these effectors and their frequency in circulating PBMC are separate issues, which can be addressed, if needed, by more efficient vector and regimen delivery of conserved immunogens. © 2016 The Authors.


PubMed | Kumamoto University, Imperial College London, University of Oxford and Human Immunology Laboratory
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Vaccine | Year: 2016

The specificity of CD8(+) T cells is critical for early control of founder/transmitted and reactivated HIV-1. To tackle HIV-1 variability and escape, we designed vaccine immunogen HIVconsv assembled from 14 highly conserved regions of mainly Gag and Pol proteins. When administered to HIV-1-negative human volunteers in trial HIV-CORE 002, HIVconsv vaccines elicited CD8(+) effector T cells which inhibited replication of up to 8 HIV-1 isolates in autologous CD4(+) cells. This inhibition correlated with interferon- production in response to Gag and Pol peptide pools, but direct evidence of the inhibitory specificity was missing. Here, we aimed to define through recognition of which epitopes these effectors inhibit HIV-1 replication.CD8(+) T-cells from the 3 broadest HIV-1 inhibitors out of 23 vaccine recipients were expanded in culture by Gag or Pol peptide restimulation and tested in viral inhibition assay (VIA) using HIV-1 clade B and A isolates.Frozen PBMCs were expanded first using peptide pools from Gag or Pol conserved regions and tested on HIV-1-infected cells in VIA or by individual peptides for their effector functions. Single peptide specificities responsible for inhibition of HIV-1 replication were then confirmed by single-peptide expanded effectors tested on HIV-1-infected cells.We formally demonstrated that the vaccine-elicited inhibitory human CD8(+) T cells recognized conserved epitopes of both Pol and Gag proteins. We defined 7 minimum epitopes, of which 3 were novel, presumably naturally subdominant. The effectors were oligofunctional producing several cytokines and chemokines and killing peptide-pulsed target cells.These results implicate the use of functionally conserved regions of Pol in addition to the widely used Gag for T-cell vaccine design. Proportion of volunteers developing these effectors and their frequency in circulating PBMC are separate issues, which can be addressed, if needed, by more efficient vector and regimen delivery of conserved immunogens.

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