Previous studies of HIV-infected women with high risk behavior have indicated that neither neutralizing antibody nor cellular immunity elicited by an initial HIV-1 infection is associated with protection against superinfection with a different HIV-1 strain. Here, we measured antibody-dependent cell-mediated virus inhibition (ADCVI) antibody activity in the plasma of 12 superinfected cases and 36 singly infected matched controls against 2 heterologous viruses. We found no association between plasma ADCVI activity and superinfection status. ADCVI antibody activity against heterologous virus elicited by the original infection may not contribute to preventing a superinfecting HIV-1.
antibody-dependent cell-mediated virus inhibition; ADCVI; HIV-1; superinfection; primary infection; clade A
Although passive immunization with anti-HIV-1 Env IgG1 neutralizing monoclonal Abs (nmAbs) prevented simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) infection in rhesus monkeys (RMs), IgA nmAbs have not been tested. Here, we sought to determine whether human anti-HIV-1 dimeric (d)IgA1, dIgA2, and IgG1 differ in their ability to prevent mucosal R5 SHIV acquisition in RMs.
DIgA1, dIgA2, and IgG1 versions of nmAb HGN194 were applied intrarectally (i.r.) in three RM groups 30 min before i.r. SHIV challenge.
After a control pharmacokinetic study showed that nmAb concentrations in rectal fluids over time were similar for all HGN194 isotypes, control and nmAb-treated animals were challenged i.r. with an R5 SHIV, and viral loads were monitored.
Unexpectedly, dIgA1 provided the best protection in vivo – although all nmAbs showed similar neutralizing activity in vitro. Five out of the six dIgA1-treated RMs remained virus-free compared to only one out of six animals given dIgA2 (P=0.045 by log rank test) and two out of six RMs treated with IgG1 forms of the nmAb (P=0.12). Protection correlated significantly with virion capture activity by a given nmAb form, as well as inhibition of transcytosis of cell-free virus across an epithelial cell layer in vitro.
Our data imply that dIgA1-mediated capturing of virions in mucosal secretions and inhibition of transcytosis can provide significant prevention of lentiviral acquisition – over and above direct virus neutralization. Vaccine strategies that induce mucosal IgA, especially IgA1, should be developed as first-line of defense against HIV-1, a virus predominantly transmitted mucosally.
R5 SHIV; immunoglobulin A isotypes; mucosal transmission; transcytosis; virion capture; HIV neutralization
Salicylidene acylhydrazide compounds have been shown to inhibit bacterial pathogens, including Chlamydia and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. If such compounds could also target HIV-1, their potential use as topical microbicides to prevent sexually transmitted infections would be considerable. We determined the in vitro anti-HIV-1 activity, cytotoxicity and mechanism of action of several salicylidene acylhydrazides.
Inhibitory activity was assessed using TZMbl cells and primary peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) as targets for HIV-1 infection. Anti-viral activity was measured against cell-free and cell-associated virus and in vaginal fluid and semen simulants. Since the anti-bacterial activity of salicylidene acylhydrazides is reversible by Fe2+, we determined whether Fe2+ and other cations could reverse the anti-HIV-1 activity of the compounds. We also employed real-time PCR to determine the stage affected in the HIV-1 replication cycle.
We identified four compounds with 50% HIV-1 inhibitory concentrations of 1 to 7 μM. In vitro toxicity varied but was generally limited. Activity was similar against three R5 clade B primary isolates and whether targets for virus replication were TZMbl cells or PBMCs. Compounds inhibited cell-free and cell-associated virus and were active in vaginal fluid and semen simulants. Fe2+, but not other cations, reversed the anti-HIV-1 effect. Finally, inhibitory effect of the compounds occurred at a post-integration step.
We identified salicylidene acylhydrazides with in vitro anti-HIV-1 activity in the μM range. The activity of these compounds against other sexually transmitted pathogens makes them potential candidates to formulate for use as a broad-spectrum topical genital microbicide.
Salicylidene acylhydrazides; HIV; microbicide; iron chelation
A key goal for HIV-1 envelope immunogen design is the induction of cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies (nAbs). As AIDS vaccine recipients will not be exposed to strains exactly matching any immunogens due to multiple HIV-1 quasispecies circulating in the human population worldwide, heterologous SHIV challenges are essential for realistic vaccine efficacy testing in primates. We assessed whether polyclonal IgG, isolated from rhesus monkeys (RMs) with high-titer nAbs (termed SHIVIG), could protect RMs against the R5-tropic tier-2 SHIV-2873Nip, which was heterologous to the viruses or HIV-1 envelopes that had elicited SHIVIG.
SHIVIG demonstrated binding to HIV Gag, Tat, and Env of different clades and competed with the broadly neutralizing antibodies b12, VRC01, 4E10, and 17b. SHIVIG neutralized tier 1 and tier 2 viruses, including SHIV-2873Nip. NK-cell depletion decreased the neutralizing activity of SHIVIG 20-fold in PBMC assays. Although SHIVIG neutralized SHIV-2873Nip in vitro, this polyclonal IgG preparation failed to prevent acquisition after repeated intrarectal low-dose virus challenges, but at a dose of 400 mg/kg, it significantly lowered peak viremia (P = 0.001). Unexpectedly, single-genome analysis revealed a higher number of transmitted variants at the low dose of 25 mg/kg, implying increased acquisition at low SHIVIG levels. In vitro, SHIVIG demonstrated complement-mediated Ab-dependent enhancement of infection (C’-ADE) at concentrations similar to those observed in plasmas of RMs treated with 25 mg/kg of SHIVIG.
Our primate model data suggest a dual role for polyclonal anti-HIV-1 Abs depending on plasma levels upon virus encounter.
Macaque model; Heterologous R5 SHIV clade C challenge; SHIVIG; Passive immunization; Enhancement of infection; Non-human primate model
The majority of potent and broadly neutralizing antibodies against HIV-1 have been isolated from untreated patients with acute or chronic infection. To assess the extent of HIV-1 specific antibody response and neutralization after many years of virologic suppression from potent combination ART, we examined antibody binding titers and neutralization of 51 patients with chronic HIV-1 infection on suppressive ART for at least three years. In this cross-sectional analysis, we found high antibody titers against gp120, gp41, and the membrane proximal external region (MPER) in 59%, 43%, and 27% of patients, respectively. We observed significantly higher endpoint binding titers for gp120 and gp41 for patients with >10 compared to ≤10 years of detectable HIV RNA. Additionally, we observed higher median gp120 and gp41 antibody titers in patients with HIV RNA <50 copies/mL for ≤5 years. 22% of patients neutralized a HIV-1 primary isolate (HIV-1JR-FL) and 8% neutralized a HIV-2/HIV-1 MPER chimera. Significantly greater HIV-1JR-FL neutralization was found among patients with >10 years of detectable HIV RNA (8/20 [40.0%] versus 3/31 [9.7%] for ≤10 years, p = 0.02) and a trend toward greater neutralization in patients with ≤5 years of HIV RNA <50 copies/mL (7/20 [35.0%] versus 4/31 [12.9%] for >5 years, p = 0.08). All patients with neutralizing activity mediated successful phagocytosis of VLPs by THP-1 cells after antibody opsonization. Our findings of highly specific antibodies to several structural epitopes of HIV-1 with antibody effector functions and neutralizing activity after long-term suppressive ART, suggest continuous antigenic stimulation and evolution of HIV-specific antibody response occurs before and after suppression with ART. These patients, particularly those with slower HIV progression and more time with detectable viremia prior to initiation of suppressive ART, are a promising population to identify and further study functional antibodies against HIV-1.
The mechanisms by which human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) crosses mucosal surfaces to establish infection are unknown. Acidic genital secretions of HIV-1-infected women contain HIV-1 likely coated by antibody. We found that the combination of acidic pH and Env-specific IgG, including that from cervicovaginal and seminal fluids of HIV-1-infected individuals, augmented transcytosis across epithelial cells as much as 20-fold compared with Env-specific IgG at neutral pH or non-specific IgG at either pH. Enhanced transcytosis was observed with clinical HIV-1 isolates, including transmitted/founder strains, and was eliminated in Fc neonatal receptor (FcRn)-knockdown epithelial cells. Non-neutralizing antibodies allowed similar or less transcytosis than neutralizing antibodies. However, the ratio of total:infectious virus was higher for neutralizing antibodies, indicating that they allowed transcytosis while blocking infectivity of transcytosed virus. Immunocytochemistry revealed abundant FcRn expression in columnar epithelia lining the human endocervix and penile urethra. Acidity and Env-specific IgG enhance transcytosis of virus across epithelial cells via FcRn and could facilitate translocation of virus to susceptible target cells following sexual exposure.
HIV-1 causes a sexually transmitted disease. However, the mechanisms employed by the virus to cross genital tract tissue and establish infection are uncertain. Since cervicovaginal fluid is acidic and HIV-1 in cervicovaginal fluid is likely coated with antibodies, we explored the effect of low pH and HIV-1-specific antibodies on transcytosis, the movement of HIV-1 across tight-junctioned epithelial cells. We found that the combination of HIV-1-specific antibodies and low pH enhanced transcytosis as much as 20-fold. Virus that underwent transcytosis under these conditions was infectious, and infectivity was highly influenced by whether or not the antibody neutralized the virus. We observed enhanced transcytosis using antibody from cervicovaginal and seminal fluids and using transmitted/founder strains of HIV-1. We also found that the enhanced transcytosis was due to the Fc neonatal receptor (FcRn), which binds immune complexes at acidic pH and releases them at neutral pH. Finally, staining of human tissue revealed abundant FcRn expression on columnar epithelial cells of penile urethra and endocervix. Our findings reveal a novel mechanism wherein HIV-1 may facilitate its own transmission by usurping the antibody response directed against itself. These results have important implications for HIV vaccine development and for understanding the earliest events in HIV transmission.
Simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) models for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection have been widely used in passive studies with HIV neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) to test for protection against infection. However, because SHIV-infected adult macaques often rapidly control plasma viremia and any resulting pathogenesis is minor, the model has been unsuitable for studying the impact of antibodies on pathogenesis in infected animals. We found that SHIVSF162P3 infection in 1-month-old rhesus macaques not only results in high persistent plasma viremia but also leads to very rapid disease progression within 12 to 16 weeks. In this model, passive transfer of high doses of neutralizing IgG (SHIVIG) prevents infection. Here, we show that at lower doses, SHIVIG reduces both plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC)-associated viremia and mitigates pathogenesis in infected animals. Moreover, production of endogenous NAbs correlated with lower set-point viremia and 100% survival of infected animals. New SHIV models are needed to investigate whether passively transferred antibodies or antibodies elicited by vaccination that fall short of providing sterilizing immunity impact disease progression or influence immune responses. The 1-month-old rhesus macaque SHIV model of infection provides a new tool to investigate the effects of antibodies on viral replication and clearance, mechanisms of B cell maintenance, and the induction of adaptive immunity in disease progression.
To characterize the correlates of protection from systemic infection in a vaccinated rhesus macaque (RM), RAt-9, which had been challenged sequentially with two related clade C simian-human immunodeficiency viruses (SHIV-Cs) yet remained aviremic for >5 years despite indirect evidence of cryptic infection.
To measure long-term anti-SHIV-C immunity, host genetics and gene-expression patterns for protective correlates.
Long-term immune reactivity was evaluated and identification of virus in RAt-9 was attempted by RT-PCR analysis of concentrated plasma and blood transfer to CD8+ cell-depleted infant macaques. Full MHC genotyping of RAt-9, TRIM5α and KIR3DL allelic expression analysis of PBMC, and microarray gene expression analysis were performed.
All attempts to detect/isolate virus, including blood transfer to CD8+ cell-depleted infant RM, were negative, and the animal maintained normal levels of memory CD4+ T cells in both peripheral blood and gut tissues. However, RAt-9 maintained high levels of anti-SHIV-C humoral and cellular immunity, including reactivity to non-vaccine neoantigens (Nef and Rev), up to 63 months post-initial challenge, suggesting chronic sub-threshold infection. RAt-9 expressed the Mamu A*001 allele but was B*008−B*017−, had a B13 serotype, and had increased expression of killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) previously linked to favorable outcomes of lentiviral infection. Elements of the gene expression profiling coincided with genotyping results. RAt-9 also displayed CD8+ cell noncytotoxic antiviral response (CNAR) activity.
RAt-9 is the first example of a virus-exposed, persistently aviremic animal that has maintained long-term, high-level cellular and humoral antiviral immunity in the absence of an identifiable cryptic reservoir.
AIDS; vaccine; SHIV; clade C; long-term immunity; prevention of viremia
The vast diversity of HIV-1 infections has greatly impeded the development of a successful HIV-1/AIDS vaccine. Previous vaccine work has demonstrated limited levels of protection against SHIV/SIV infection, but protection was observed only when the challenge virus was directly matched to the vaccine strain. As it is likely impossible to directly match the vaccine strain to all infecting strains in nature, it is necessary to develop an HIV-1 vaccine that can protect against a heterologous viral challenge. In this study we investigated the ability of polyvalent and consensus vaccines to protect against a heterologous clade B challenge. Rhesus macaques were vaccinated with ConB or PolyB virus-like particle vaccines. All vaccines were highly immunogenic with high titers of antibody found in all vaccinated groups against SIV Gag. Antibody responses were also observed against a diverse panel of clade B envelopes. Following vaccination nonhuman primates (NHPs) were challenged via the vaginal route with SHIVSF162p4. The PolyB vaccine induced a 66.7% reduction in the rate of infection as well as causing a two log reduction in viral burden if infection was not blocked. ConB vaccination had no effect on either the infection rate or viral burden. These results indicate that a polyvalent clade-matched vaccine is better able to protect against a heterologous challenge as compared to a consensus vaccine.
We used the simian immunodeficiency virus mac251 (SIVmac251) macaque model to study the effect of the dose of mucosal exposure on vaccine efficacy. We immunized macaques with a DNA prime followed by SIV gp120 protein immunization with ALVAC-SIV and gp120 in alum, and we challenged them with SIVmac251 at either a single high dose or at two repeated low-dose exposures to a 10-fold-lower dose. Infection was neither prevented nor modified following a single high-dose challenge of the immunized macaques. However, two exposures to a 10-fold-lower dose resulted in protection from SIVmac251 acquisition in 3 out of 12 macaques. The remaining animals that were infected had a modulated pathogenesis, significant downregulation of interferon responsive genes, and upregulation of genes involved in B- and T-cell responses. Thus, the choice of the experimental model greatly influences the vaccine efficacy of vaccines for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Primary isolates of HIV-1 resist neutralization by most antibodies to the CD4 binding site (CD4bs) on gp120 due to occlusion of this site on the trimeric spike. We describe 1F7, a human CD4bs monoclonal antibody that was found to be exceptionally potent against the HIV-1 primary isolate JR-FL. However, 1F7 failed to neutralize a patient-matched primary isolate, JR-CSF even though the two isolates differ by <10% in gp120 at the protein level. In an HIV-1 cross clade panel (n = 157), 1F7 exhibited moderate breadth, but occasionally achieved considerable potency. In binding experiments using monomeric gp120s of select resistant isolates and domain-swap chimeras between JR-FL and JR-CSF, recognition by 1F7 was limited by sequence polymorphisms involving at least the C2 region of Env. Putative N-linked glycosylation site (PNGS) mutations, notably at position 197, allowed 1F7 to neutralize JR-CSF potently without improving binding to the cognate, monomeric gp120. In contrast, flow cytometry experiments using the same PNGS mutants revealed that 1F7 binding is enhanced on cognate trimeric Env. BN-PAGE mobility shift experiments revealed that 1F7 is sensitive to the diagnostic mutation D368R in the CD4 binding loop of gp120. Our data on 1F7 reinforce how exquisitely targeted CD4bs antibodies must be to achieve cross neutralization of two closely related primary isolates. High-resolution analyses of trimeric Env that show the orientation of glycans and polymorphic elements of the CD4bs that affect binding to antibodies like 1F7 are desirable to understand how to promote immunogenicity of more conserved elements of the CD4bs.
The role of antibodies directed against the hyper variable envelope region V1 of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), has not been thoroughly studied. We show that a vaccine able to elicit strain-specific non-neutralizing antibodies to this region of gp120 is associated with control of highly pathogenic chimeric SHIV89.6P replication in rhesus macaques. The vaccinated animal that had the highest titers of antibodies to the amino terminus portion of V1, prior to challenge, had secondary antibody responses that mediated cell killing by antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), as early as two weeks after infection and inhibited viral replication by antibody-dependent cell-mediated virus inhibition (ADCVI), by four weeks after infection. There was a significant inverse correlation between virus level and binding antibody titers to the envelope protein, (R = -0.83, p 0.015), and ADCVI (R = -0.84 p=0.044). Genotyping of plasma virus demonstrated in vivo selection of three SHIV89.6P variants with changes in potential N-linked glycosylation sites in V1. We found a significant inverse correlation between virus levels and titers of antibodies that mediated ADCVI against all the identified V1 virus variants. A significant inverse correlation was also found between neutralizing antibody titers to SHIV89.6 and virus levels (R = -0.72 p =0.0050). However, passive inoculation of purified immunoglobulin from animal M316, the macaque that best controlled virus, to a naïve macaque, resulted in a low serum neutralizing antibodies and low ADCVI activity that failed to protect from SHIV89.6P challenge. Collectively, while our data suggest that anti-envelope antibodies with neutralizing and non-neutralizing FcγR-dependent activities may be important in the control of SHIV replication, they also demonstrate that low levels of these antibodies alone are not sufficient to protect from infection.
Eliciting neutralizing antibodies is thought to be a key activity of a vaccine against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). However, a number of studies have suggested that in addition to neutralization, interaction of IgG with Fc gamma receptors (FcγR) may play an important role in antibody-mediated protection. We have previously obtained evidence that the protective activity of the broadly neutralizing human IgG1 anti-HIV monoclonal antibody (MAb) b12 in macaques is diminished in the absence of FcγR binding capacity. To investigate antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) as a contributor to FcγR-associated protection, we developed a nonfucosylated variant of b12 (NFb12). We showed that, compared to fully fucosylated (referred to as wild-type in the text) b12, NFb12 had higher affinity for human and rhesus macaque FcγRIIIa and was more efficient in inhibiting viral replication and more effective in killing HIV-infected cells in an ADCC assay. Despite these more potent in vitro antiviral activities, NFb12 did not enhance protection in vivo against repeated low-dose vaginal challenge in the simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV)/macaque model compared to wild-type b12. No difference in protection, viral load, or infection susceptibility was observed between animals given NFb12 and those given fully fucosylated b12, indicating that FcγR-mediated activities distinct from FcγRIIIa-mediated ADCC may be important in the observed protection against SHIV challenge.
Preclinical studies of HIV-1 vaccine candidates have typically shown post-infection virologic control, but protection against acquisition of infection has previously only been reported against neutralization-sensitive virus challenges1–3. Here we demonstrate vaccine protection against acquisition of fully heterologous, neutralization-resistant virus challenges in rhesus monkeys. Adenovirus/poxvirus and adenovirus/adenovirus vector-based vaccines expressing SIVsmE543 Gag, Pol, and Env antigens resulted in a ≥80% reduction in the per-exposure probability of infection4,5 against repetitive, intrarectal SIVmac251 challenges in rhesus monkeys. Protection against acquisition of infection exhibited distinct immunologic correlates as compared with post-infection virologic control and required the inclusion of Env in the vaccine regimen. These data demonstrate the first proof-of-concept that optimized HIV-1 vaccine candidates can block acquisition of stringent, heterologous, neutralization-resistant virus challenges in rhesus monkeys.
We reported previously that while prolonged tenofovir monotherapy of macaques infected with virulent simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) resulted invariably in the emergence of viral mutants with reduced in vitro drug susceptibility and a K65R mutation in reverse transcriptase, some animals controlled virus replication for years. Transient CD8+ cell depletion or short-term tenofovir interruption within 1 to 5 years of treatment demonstrated that a combination of CD8+ cell-mediated immune responses and continued tenofovir therapy was required for sustained suppression of viremia. We report here follow-up data on 5 such animals that received tenofovir for 8 to 14 years.
Although one animal had a gradual increase in viremia from 3 years onwards, the other 4 tenofovir-treated animals maintained undetectable viremia with occasional viral blips (≤ 300 RNA copies/ml plasma). When tenofovir was withdrawn after 8 to 10 years from three animals with undetectable viremia, the pattern of occasional episodes of low viremia (≤ 3600 RNA/ml plasma) continued throughout the 10-month follow-up period. These animals had low virus levels in lymphoid tissues, and evidence of multiple SIV-specific immune responses.
Under certain conditions (i.e., prolonged antiviral therapy initiated early after infection; viral mutants with reduced drug susceptibility) a virus-host balance characterized by strong immunologic control of virus replication can be achieved. Although further research is needed to translate these findings into clinical applications, these observations provide hope for a functional cure of HIV infection via immunotherapeutic strategies that boost antiviral immunity and reduce the need for continuous antiretroviral therapy.
Tenofovir; PMPA; SIV; Functional cure; Antiretroviral; HIV
Maternal HIV-1-specific antibodies are efficiently transferred to newborns; their role in disease control is unknown. We administered non-sterilizing levels of neutralizing IgG, including the human neutralizing monoclonal IgG1b12, to six newborn macaques before oral challenge with SHIVSF612P3. All rapidly developed neutralizing antibodies and had significantly reduced plasma viremia for 6 months. These studies support the use of neutralizing antibodies in enhancing B cell responses and viral control in perinatal settings.
Traditional antibody-mediated neutralization of HIV-1 infection is thought to result from the binding of antibodies to virions, thus preventing virus entry. However, antibodies that broadly neutralize HIV-1 are rare and are not induced by current vaccines. We report that four human anti-phospholipid monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) (PGN632, P1, IS4, and CL1) inhibit HIV-1 CCR5-tropic (R5) primary isolate infection of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with 80% inhibitory concentrations of <0.02 to ∼10 µg/ml. Anti-phospholipid mAbs inhibited PBMC HIV-1 infection in vitro by mechanisms involving binding to monocytes and triggering the release of MIP-1α and MIP-1β. The release of these β-chemokines explains both the specificity for R5 HIV-1 and the activity of these mAbs in PBMC cultures containing both primary lymphocytes and monocytes.
Purpose of review
We summarize current information on Fc receptor-mediated anti-viral activities of antibodies. These activites include FcγR-mediated inhibtion and neutralization of HIV on antigen presenting cells (APCs), antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), antibody-dependent cell-mediated virus inhibition (ADCVI).
An FcγR-mediated mechanism that results in augmented neutralization and may render non-neutralizing antibodies inhibitory has been demonstrated in APC. ADCC antibody activity correlates inversely with HIV disease progression in humans, and higher vaccine-induced ADCC antibody responses are associated with lower acute SIV viremia levels in macaques. Following vaccination with rgp120, ADCVI antibody levels are higher among those with a lower rate of sexually acquired HIV infection. Non-neutralizing SIV immune serum that prevents infection of newborn macaques after oral challenge has potent ADCVI antibody activity. Abrogating the ability of the Fc segment of the broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibody IgG1b12 to bind to FcγRs and to mediate ADCVI substantially reduces IgG1b12’s protective effect in a SHIV vaginal challenge model.
Fc-FcγR interactions play a critical role in the biological function of antibody and are likely to be instrumental in preventing or modulating lentiviral infection. Exploiting antibody responses that depend on Fc-FcγR interactions may help widen the breadth and increase the potency of vaccine-induced antibody. Although the importance of generating optimal Fab-antigen interactions cannot be overestimated, improving Fc-FcγR interactions through adjuvants or other strategies provides another option for improving HIV vaccines and immunotherapies.
Antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC); antibody-dependent cell-mediated virus inhibition (ADCVI); neutralization; Fcγ receptor (FcγR); HIV
The membrane-proximal external region (MPER) of HIV-1, located at the C terminus of the gp41 ectodomain, is conserved and crucial for viral fusion. Three broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (bnMAbs), 2F5, 4E10, and Z13e1, are directed against linear epitopes mapped to the MPER, making this conserved region an important potential vaccine target. However, no MPER antibodies have been definitively shown to provide protection against HIV challenge. Here, we show that both MAbs 2F5 and 4E10 can provide complete protection against mucosal simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) challenge in macaques. MAb 2F5 or 4E10 was administered intravenously at 50 mg/kg to groups of six male Indian rhesus macaques 1 day prior to and again 1 day following intrarectal challenge with SHIVBa-L. In both groups, five out of six animals showed complete protection and sterilizing immunity, while for one animal in each group a low level of viral replication following challenge could not be ruled out. The study confirms the protective potential of 2F5 and 4E10 and supports emphasis on HIV immunogen design based on the MPER region of gp41.
Rare serotype and chimeric recombinant adenovirus (rAd) vectors that evade anti-Ad5 immunity are currently being evaluated as potential vaccine vectors for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 and other pathogens. We have recently reported that a heterologous rAd prime-boost regimen expressing simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) Gag afforded durable partial immune control of an SIV challenge in rhesus monkeys. However, single-shot immunization may ultimately be preferable for global vaccine delivery. We therefore evaluated the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a single immunization of chimeric rAd5 hexon hypervariable region 48 (rAd5HVR48) vectors expressing SIV Gag, Pol, Nef, and Env against a homologous SIV challenge in rhesus monkeys. Inclusion of Env resulted in improved control of peak and set point SIV RNA levels following challenge. In contrast, DNA vaccine priming did not further improve the protective efficacy of rAd5HVR48 vectors in this system.
A recombinant adenovirus serotype 5 (rAd5) vector-based vaccine for HIV-1 has recently failed in a phase 2b efficacy study in humans1, 2. Consistent with these results, preclinical studies have demonstrated that rAd5 vectors expressing SIV Gag failed to reduce peak or setpoint viral loads following SIV challenge of rhesus monkeys that lacked the protective MHC class I allele Mamu-A*013. Here we show that an improved T cell-based vaccine regimen utilizing two serologically distinct adenovirus vectors afforded substantially improved protective efficacy in this stringent challenge model. In particular, a heterologous rAd26 prime, rAd5 boost vaccine regimen expressing SIV Gag elicited cellular immune responses with augmented magnitude, breadth, and polyfunctionality as compared with the homologous rAd5 regimen. Following SIVmac251 challenge, monkeys vaccinated with the heterologous rAd26/rAd5 regimen exhibited a 1.4 log reduction of peak and a 2.4 log reduction of setpoint viral loads as well as decreased AIDS-related mortality as compared with control animals. These data demonstrate that durable partial immune control of a pathogenic SIV challenge for over 500 days can be achieved by a T cell-based vaccine in Mamu-A*01-negative rhesus monkeys in the absence of a homologous Env antigen. These findings have important implications for the development of next generation T cell-based vaccine candidates for HIV-1.
A window of opportunity for immune responses to extinguish human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) exists from the moment of transmission through establishment of the latent pool of HIV-1-infected cells. A critical time to study the initial immune responses to the transmitted/founder virus is the eclipse phase of HIV-1 infection (time from transmission to the first appearance of plasma virus), but, to date, this period has been logistically difficult to analyze. To probe B-cell responses immediately following HIV-1 transmission, we have determined envelope-specific antibody responses to autologous and consensus Envs in plasma donors from the United States for whom frequent plasma samples were available at time points immediately before, during, and after HIV-1 plasma viral load (VL) ramp-up in acute infection, and we have modeled the antibody effect on the kinetics of plasma viremia. The first detectable B-cell response was in the form of immune complexes 8 days after plasma virus detection, whereas the first free plasma anti-HIV-1 antibody was to gp41 and appeared 13 days after the appearance of plasma virus. In contrast, envelope gp120-specific antibodies were delayed an additional 14 days. Mathematical modeling of the earliest viral dynamics was performed to determine the impact of antibody on HIV replication in vivo as assessed by plasma VL. Including the initial anti-gp41 immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgM, or both responses in the model did not significantly impact the early dynamics of plasma VL. These results demonstrate that the first IgM and IgG antibodies induced by transmitted HIV-1 are capable of binding virions but have little impact on acute-phase viremia at the timing and magnitude that they occur in natural infection.
Developing an immunogen that elicits broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) is an elusive but important goal of HIV vaccine research, especially after the recent failure of the leading T cell based HIV vaccine in human efficacy trials. Even if such an immunogen can be developed, most animal model studies indicate that high serum neutralizing concentrations of bNAbs are required to provide significant benefit in typical protection experiments. One possible exception is provided by the anti-glycan bNAb 2G12, which has been reported to protect macaques against CXCR4-using SHIV challenge at relatively low serum neutralizing titers. Here, we investigated the ability of 2G12 administered intravenously (i.v.) to protect against vaginal challenge of rhesus macaques with the CCR5-using SHIVSF162P3. The results show that, at 2G12 serum neutralizing titers of the order of 1∶1 (IC90), 3/5 antibody-treated animals were protected with sterilizing immunity, i.e. no detectable virus replication following challenge; one animal showed a delayed and lowered primary viremia and the other animal showed a course of infection similar to 4 control animals. This result contrasts strongly with the typically high titers observed for protection by other neutralizing antibodies, including the bNAb b12. We compared b12 and 2G12 for characteristics that might explain the differences in protective ability relative to neutralizing activity. We found no evidence to suggest that 2G12 transudation to the vaginal surface was significantly superior to b12. We also observed that the ability of 2G12 to inhibit virus replication in target cells through antibody-mediated effector cell activity in vitro was equivalent or inferior to b12. The results raise the possibility that some epitopes on HIV may be better vaccine targets than others and support targeting the glycan shield of the envelope.
An effective HIV vaccine should elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies, i.e. antibodies that neutralize a wide spectrum of different HIVs in vitro. A number of human monoclonal antibodies have been isolated with broad neutralization and shown to protect macaques against vaginal HIV challenge. Protection is generally correlated with neutralization and requires relatively high antibody concentrations that may be difficult to achieve by vaccination. Here, we show that one monoclonal antibody (2G12) is unusually potent in protection relative to its neutralizing ability as hinted at by earlier data. Further studies eliminate an unusual ability of 2G12 to be transported to the vagina (site of infection) as a possible explanation for our observations. Although the precise mechanism is unclear, the studies have important implications for HIV vaccine design in general by suggesting that some vaccine targets on HIV may be better than others and, specifically, by suggesting that the sugar coat of HIV may be a particularly rewarding target if appropriate immunogens can be designed.