The presence of vector-specific immune responses may hamper the induction of responses to a foreign antigen encoded by the vector. We evaluated the impact of pre-existing immunity to vaccinia virus on the induction of HIV-specific responses after immunization of healthy volunteers with a HIV-1 DNA prime-MVA boost vaccine. Following three priming immunizations with HIV-1 DNA plasmids, the volunteers were boosted with a single injection of recombinant MVA encoding HIV-1 proteins. Pre-existing immunity to vaccinia virus did not reduce the proportion of individuals who responded to HIV-1, but did lower the magnitude of responses. Our results suggest that vaccinia-based vectors can be used to efficiently induce immune responses to vectored HIV-1 antigens, even in individuals with pre-existing immunity to vaccinia virus.
- HIV-1 vaccine
- Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA)
- Pre-existing immunity