Trivalent mosaic or consensus HIV immunogens prime humoral and broader cellular immune responses in adults

the NIAID HVTN 106 Study Group

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BACKGROUND. Mosaic and consensus HIV-1 immunogens provide two distinct approaches to elicit greater breadth of coverage against globally circulating HIV-1 and have shown improved immunologic breadth in nonhuman primate models. METHODS. This double-blind randomized trial enrolled 105 healthy HIV-uninfected adults who received 3 doses of either a trivalent global mosaic, a group M consensus (CON-S), or a natural clade B (Nat-B) gp160 env DNA vaccine followed by 2 doses of a heterologous modified vaccinia Ankara–vectored HIV-1 vaccine or placebo. We performed prespecified blinded immunogenicity analyses at day 70 and day 238 after the first immunization. T cell responses to vaccine antigens and 5 heterologous Env variants were fully mapped. RESULTS. Env-specific CD4+ T cell responses were induced in 71% of the mosaic vaccine recipients versus 48% of the CON-S recipients and 48% of the natural Env recipients. The mean number of T cell epitopes recognized was 2.5 (95% CI, 1.2–4.2) for mosaic recipients, 1.6 (95% CI, 0.82–2.6) for CON-S recipients, and 1.1 (95% CI, 0.62–1.71) for Nat-B recipients. Mean breadth was significantly greater in the mosaic group than in the Nat-B group using overall (P = 0.014), prime-matched (P = 0.002), heterologous (P = 0.046), and boost-matched (P = 0.009) measures. Overall T cell breadth was largely due to Env-specific CD4+ T cell responses. CONCLUSION. Priming with a mosaic antigen significantly increased the number of epitopes recognized by Env-specific T cells and enabled more, albeit still limited, cross-recognition of heterologous variants. Mosaic and consensus immunogens are promising approaches to address global diversity of HIV-1.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere163338
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number4
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes


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