Recombinant MVA-prime elicits neutralizing antibody responses by inducing antigen-specific B cells in the germinal center
The RV144 HIV-1 vaccine trial has been the only clinical trial to date that has shown any degree of efficacy and associated with the presence of vaccine-elicited HIV-1 envelope-specific binding antibody and CD4+ T-cell responses. This trial also showed that a vector-prime protein boost combined vaccine strategy was better than when used alone. Here we have studied three different priming vectors—plasmid DNA, recombinant MVA, and recombinant VSV, all encoding clade C transmitted/founder Env 1086 C gp140, for priming three groups of six non-human primates each, followed by a protein boost with adjuvanted 1086 C gp120 protein. Our data showed that MVA-priming favors the development of higher antibody binding titers and neutralizing activity compared with other vectors. Analyses of the draining lymph nodes revealed that MVA-prime induced increased germinal center reactivity characterized by higher frequencies of germinal center (PNAhi) B cells, higher frequencies of antigen-specific B-cell responses as well as an increased frequency of the highly differentiated (ICOShiCD150lo) Tfh-cell subset.
Eslamizar, L., C. Petrovas, D. J. Leggat, K. Furr, M. L. Lifton, G. Levine, S. Ma, et al. “Recombinant MVA-prime elicits neutralizing antibody responses by inducing antigen-specific B cells in the germinal center (Accepted).” In Npj Vaccines, Vol. 6, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41541-020-00277-1.