Therapeutic vaccination expands and improves the function of the HIV-specific memory T-cell repertoire

Joseph P. Casazza, Kathryn A. Bowman, Selorm Adzaku, Emily C. Smith, Mary E. Enama, Robert T. Bailer, David A. Price, Emma Gostick, Ingelise J. Gordon, David R. Ambrozak, Martha C. Nason, Mario Roederer, Charla A. Andrews, Frank M. Maldarelli, Ann Wiegand, Mary F. Kearney, Deborah Persaud, Carrie Ziemniak, Raphael Gottardo, Julie E. LedgerwoodBarney S. Graham, Richard A. Koup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. The licensing of herpes zoster vaccine has demonstrated that therapeutic vaccination can help control chronic viral infection. Unfortunately, human trials of immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vaccine have shown only marginal efficacy.Methods. In this double-blind study, 17 HIV-infected individuals with viral loads of <50 copies/mL and CD4+ T-cell counts of >350 cells/μL were randomly assigned to the vaccine or placebo arm. Vaccine recipients received 3 intramuscular injections of HIV DNA (4 mg) coding for clade B Gag, Pol, and Nef and clade A, B, and C Env, followed by a replication-deficient adenovirus type 5 boost (1010 particle units) encoding all DNA vaccine antigens except Nef. Humoral, total T-cell, and CD8+ cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) responses were studied before and after vaccination. Single-copy viral loads and frequencies of latently infected CD4+ T cells were determined.Results. Vaccination was safe and well tolerated. Significantly stronger HIV-specific T-cell responses against Gag, Pol, and Env, with increased polyfunctionality and a broadened epitope-specific CTL repertoire, were observed after vaccination. No changes in single-copy viral load or the frequency of latent infection were observed.Conclusions. Vaccination of individuals with existing HIV-specific immunity improved the magnitude, breadth, and polyfunctionality of HIV-specific memory T-cell responses but did not impact markers of viral control.Clinical Trials Registration. NCT00270465

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1829-1840
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2013


  • HIV
  • cytotoxic T lymphocytes
  • humoral immunity
  • therapy
  • vaccination
  • viral latency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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