Publications by authors named "David J M Lewis"

38 Publications

Systematic Evaluation of Kinetics and Distribution of Muscle and Lymph Node Activation Measured by F-FDG- and C-PBR28-PET/CT Imaging, and Whole Blood and Muscle Transcriptomics After Immunization of Healthy Humans With Adjuvanted and Unadjuvanted Vaccines.

Front Immunol 2020 5;11:613496. Epub 2021 Feb 5.

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Imperial Clinical Research Facility (NICRF), Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, United Kingdom.

Systems vaccinology has been applied to detect signatures of human vaccine induced immunity but its ability, together with high definition clinical imaging is not established to predict vaccine reactogenicity. Within two European Commission funded high impact programs, BIOVACSAFE and ADITEC, we applied high resolution positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) scanning using tissue-specific and non-specific radioligands together with transcriptomic analysis of muscle biopsies in a clinical model systematically and prospectively comparing vaccine-induced immune/inflammatory responses. 109 male participants received a single immunization with licensed preparations of either AS04-adjuvanted hepatitis B virus vaccine (AHBVV); MF59C-adjuvanted (ATIV) or unadjuvanted seasonal trivalent influenza vaccine (STIV); or alum-OMV-meningococcal B protein vaccine (4CMenB), followed by a PET/CT scan (n = 54) or an injection site muscle biopsy (n = 45). Characteristic kinetics was observed with a localized intramuscular focus associated with increased tissue glycolysis at the site of immunization detected by F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET/CT, peaking after 1-3 days and strongest and most prolonged after 4CMenB, which correlated with clinical experience. Draining lymph node activation peaked between days 3-5 and was most prominent after ATIV. Well defined uptake of the immune cell-binding radioligand C-PBR28 was observed in muscle lesions and draining lymph nodes. Kinetics of muscle gene expression module upregulation reflected those seen previously in preclinical models with a very early (~6hrs) upregulation of monocyte-, TLR- and cytokine/chemokine-associated modules after AHBVV, in contrast to a response on day 3 after ATIV, which was bracketed by whole blood responses on day 1 as antigen presenting, inflammatory and innate immune cells trafficked to the site of immunization, and on day 5 associated with activated CD4+ T cells. These observations confirm the use of PET/CT, including potentially tissue-, cell-, or cytokine/chemokine-specific radioligands, is a safe and ethical quantitative technique to compare candidate vaccine formulations and could be safely combined with biopsy to guide efficient collection of samples for integrated whole blood and tissue systems vaccinology in small-scale but intensive human clinical models of immunization and to accelerate clinical development and optimisation of vaccine candidates, adjuvants, and formulations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.613496DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7893084PMC
February 2021

Safety biomarkers for development of vaccines and biologics: Report from the safety biomarkers symposium held on November 28-29, 2017, Marcy l'Etoile, France.

Vaccine 2020 12 10;38(51):8055-8063. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Sanofi R&D, 1541 Avenue Marcel Mérieux, 69280 Marcy-l'Étoile, France. Electronic address:

Vaccines prevent infectious diseases, but vaccination is not without risk and adverse events are reported although they are more commonly reported for biologicals than for vaccines. Vaccines and biologicals must undergo vigorous assessment before and after licensure to minimise safety concerns. Potential safety concerns should be identified as early as possible during the development for vaccines and biologicals to minimize investment risk. State-of-the art tools and methods to identify safety concerns and biomarkers that are predictive of clinical outcomes are indispensable. For vaccines and adjuvant formulations, systems biology approaches, supported by single-cell microfluidics applied to translational studies between preclinical and clinical studies, could improve reactogenicity and safety predictions. Next-generation animal models for clinical assessment of injection-site reactions with greater relevance for target human population and criteria to define the level of acceptability of local reactogenicity at vaccine injection sites in pre-clinical animal species should be assessed. Advanced in silico machine-learning-based analytics, species-specific cell or tissue expression, receptor occupancy and kinetics and cell-based assays for functional activity are needed to improve pre-clinical safety assessment of biologicals. The in vitro MIMIC® system could be used to compliment preclinical and clinical studies for assessing immune-toxicity, immunogenicity, immuno-inflammatory and mode of action of biologicals and vaccines. Sanofi Pasteur brought together leading experts in this field to review the state-of-the-art at a unique 'Safety Biomarkers Symposium' on 28-29 November 2017. Here we summarise the proceedings of this symposium. This unique scientific meeting confirmed the importance for institutions and industrial organizations to collaborate to develop tools and methods needed for predicting reactogenicity and immune-inflammatory reactions to vaccines and biologicals, and to develop more accuracy, reliability safety biomarkers, to inform decisions on the attrition or advancement of vaccines and biologicals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2020.10.015DOI Listing
December 2020

Deciphering and predicting CD4+ T cell immunodominance of influenza virus hemagglutinin.

J Exp Med 2020 10;217(10)

Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Università della Svizzera italiana, Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, Bellinzona, Switzerland.

The importance of CD4+ T helper (Th) cells is well appreciated in view of their essential role in the elicitation of antibody and cytotoxic T cell responses. However, the mechanisms that determine the selection of immunodominant epitopes within complex protein antigens remain elusive. Here, we used ex vivo stimulation of memory T cells and screening of naive and memory T cell libraries, combined with T cell cloning and TCR sequencing, to dissect the human naive and memory CD4+ T cell repertoire against the influenza pandemic H1 hemagglutinin (H1-HA). We found that naive CD4+ T cells have a broad repertoire, being able to recognize naturally processed as well as cryptic peptides spanning the whole H1-HA sequence. In contrast, memory Th cells were primarily directed against just a few immunodominant peptides that were readily detected by mass spectrometry-based MHC-II peptidomics and predicted by structural accessibility analysis. Collectively, these findings reveal the presence of a broad repertoire of naive T cells specific for cryptic H1-HA peptides and demonstrate that antigen processing represents a major constraint determining immunodominance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1084/jem.20200206DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7537397PMC
October 2020

Characterization of potential biomarkers of reactogenicity of licensed antiviral vaccines: randomized controlled clinical trials conducted by the BIOVACSAFE consortium.

Sci Rep 2019 12 30;9(1):20362. Epub 2019 Dec 30.

GSK, Siena, Italy.

Biomarkers predictive of inflammatory events post-vaccination could accelerate vaccine development. Within the BIOVACSAFE framework, we conducted three identically designed, placebo-controlled inpatient/outpatient clinical studies (NCT01765413/NCT01771354/NCT01771367). Six antiviral vaccination strategies were evaluated to generate training data-sets of pre-/post-vaccination vital signs, blood changes and whole-blood gene transcripts, and to identify putative biomarkers of early inflammation/reactogenicity that could guide the design of subsequent focused confirmatory studies. Healthy adults (N = 123; 20-21/group) received one immunization at Day (D)0. Alum-adjuvanted hepatitis B vaccine elicited vital signs and inflammatory (CRP/innate cells) responses that were similar between primed/naive vaccinees, and low-level gene responses. MF59-adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine (ATIV) induced distinct physiological (temperature/heart rate/reactogenicity) response-patterns not seen with non-adjuvanted TIV or with the other vaccines. ATIV also elicited robust early (D1) activation of IFN-related genes (associated with serum IP-10 levels) and innate-cell-related genes, and changes in monocyte/neutrophil/lymphocyte counts, while TIV elicited similar but lower responses. Due to viral replication kinetics, innate gene activation by live yellow-fever or varicella-zoster virus (YFV/VZV) vaccines was more suspended, with early IFN-associated responses in naïve YFV-vaccine recipients but not in primed VZV-vaccine recipients. Inflammatory responses (physiological/serum markers, innate-signaling transcripts) are therefore a function of the vaccine type/composition and presence/absence of immune memory. The data reported here have guided the design of confirmatory Phase IV trials using ATIV to provide tools to identify inflammatory or reactogenicity biomarkers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-56994-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6937244PMC
December 2019

Adeno-associated virus vectored immunoprophylaxis to prevent HIV in healthy adults: a phase 1 randomised controlled trial.

Lancet HIV 2019 04 15;6(4):e230-e239. Epub 2019 Mar 15.

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Background: A preventive vaccine for HIV is a crucial public health need; adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated antibody gene delivery could be an alternative to immunisation to induce sustained expression of neutralising antibodies to prevent HIV. We assessed safety and tolerability of rAAV1-PG9DP, a recombinant AAV1 vector encoding the gene for PG9, a broadly neutralising antibody against HIV.

Methods: This first-in-human, proof-of-concept, double-blind, phase 1, randomised, placebo-controlled, dose-escalation trial was done at one clinical research centre in the UK. Healthy men aged 18-45 years without HIV infection were randomly assigned to receive intramuscular injection with rAAV1-PG9DP or placebo in the deltoid or quadriceps in one of four dose-escalating cohorts (group A, 4 × 10 vector genomes; group B, 4 × 10 vector genomes; group C, 8 × 10 vector genomes; and group D, 1·2 × 10 vector genomes). Volunteers were followed up for 48 weeks. The primary objective was to assess safety and tolerability. A secondary objective was to assess PG9 expression in serum and related HIV neutralisation activity. All volunteers were included in primary and safety analyses. The trial is complete and is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01937455.

Findings: Between Jan 30, 2014, and Feb 28, 2017, 111 volunteers were screened for eligibility. 21 volunteers were eligible and provided consent, and all 21 completed 48 weeks of follow-up. Reactogenicity was generally mild or moderate and resolved without intervention. No probably or definitely related adverse events or serious adverse events were recorded. We detected PG9 by HIV neutralisation in the serum of four volunteers, and by RT-PCR in muscle biopsy samples from four volunteers. We did not detect PG9 by ELISA in serum. PG9 anti-drug antibody was present in ten volunteers in the higher dose groups. Both anti-AAV1 antibodies and AAV1-specific T-cell responses were detected.

Interpretation: Future studies should explore higher doses of AAV, alternative AAV serotypes and gene expression cassettes, or other broadly neutralising HIV antibodies.

Funding: International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, United States Agency for International Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, US National Institutes of Health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3018(19)30003-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6443625PMC
April 2019

Safety and Immunogenicity of a Heterologous Prime-Boost Ebola Virus Vaccine Regimen in Healthy Adults in the United Kingdom and Senegal.

J Infect Dis 2019 04;219(8):1187-1197

Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.

Background: The 2014 West African outbreak of Ebola virus disease highlighted the urgent need to develop an effective Ebola vaccine.

Methods: We undertook 2 phase 1 studies assessing safety and immunogenicity of the viral vector modified vaccinia Ankara virus vectored Ebola Zaire vaccine (MVA-EBO-Z), manufactured rapidly on a new duck cell line either alone or in a heterologous prime-boost regimen with recombinant chimpanzee adenovirus type 3 vectored Ebola Zaire vaccine (ChAd3-EBO-Z) followed by MVA-EBO-Z. Adult volunteers in the United Kingdom (n = 38) and Senegal (n = 40) were vaccinated and an accelerated 1-week prime-boost regimen was assessed in Senegal. Safety was assessed by active and passive collection of local and systemic adverse events.

Results: The standard and accelerated heterologous prime-boost regimens were well-tolerated and elicited potent cellular and humoral immunogenicity in the United Kingdom and Senegal, but vaccine-induced antibody responses were significantly lower in Senegal. Cellular immune responses measured by flow cytometry were significantly greater in African vaccinees receiving ChAd3 and MVA vaccines in the same rather than the contralateral limb.

Conclusions: MVA biomanufactured on an immortalized duck cell line shows potential for very large-scale manufacturing with lower cost of goods. This first trial of MVA-EBO-Z in humans encourages further testing in phase 2 studies, with the 1-week prime-boost interval regimen appearing to be particularly suitable for outbreak control.

Clinical Trials Registration: NCT02451891; NCT02485912.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiy639DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6452431PMC
April 2019

Safety and efficacy of novel malaria vaccine regimens of RTS,S/AS01B alone, or with concomitant ChAd63-MVA-vectored vaccines expressing ME-TRAP.

NPJ Vaccines 2018 9;3:49. Epub 2018 Oct 9.

1The Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX3 7DQ UK.

We assessed a combination multi-stage malaria vaccine schedule in which RTS,S/AS01B was given concomitantly with viral vectors expressing multiple-epitope thrombospondin-related adhesion protein (ME-TRAP) in a 0-month, 1-month, and 2-month schedule. RTS,S/AS01B was given as either three full doses or with a fractional (1/5th) third dose. Efficacy was assessed by controlled human malaria infection (CHMI). Safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine regimen was also assessed. Forty-one malaria-naive adults received RTS,S/AS01B at 0, 4 and 8 weeks, either alone (Groups 1 and 2) or with ChAd63 ME-TRAP at week 0, and modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) ME-TRAP at weeks 4 and 8 (Groups 3 and 4). Groups 2 and 4 received a fractional (1/5th) dose of RTS,S/AS01B at week 8. CHMI was delivered by mosquito bite 11 weeks after first vaccination. Vaccine efficacy was 6/8 (75%), 8/9 (88.9%), 6/10 (60%), and 5/9 (55.6%) of subjects in Groups 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. Immunological analysis indicated significant reductions in anti-circumsporozoite protein antibodies and TRAP-specific T cells at CHMI in the combination vaccine groups. This reduced immunogenicity was only observed after concomitant administration of the third dose of RTS,S/AS01B with the second dose of MVA ME-TRAP. The second dose of the MVA vector with a four-week interval caused significantly higher anti-vector immunity than the first and may have been the cause of immunological interference. Co-administration of ChAd63/MVA ME-TRAP with RTS,S/AS01B led to reduced immunogenicity and efficacy, indicating the need for evaluation of alternative schedules or immunization sites in attempts to generate optimal efficacy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41541-018-0084-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6177476PMC
October 2018

Molecular Signatures of Immunity and Immunogenicity in Infection and Vaccination.

Front Immunol 2017 15;8:1563. Epub 2017 Nov 15.

Department of Infectious Diseases, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, Netherlands.

Vaccinology aims to understand what factors drive vaccine-induced immunity and protection. For many vaccines, however, the mechanisms underlying immunity and protection remain incompletely characterized at best, and except for neutralizing antibodies induced by viral vaccines, few correlates of protection exist. Recent omics and systems biology big data platforms have yielded valuable insights in these areas, particularly for viral vaccines, but in the case of more complex vaccines against bacterial infectious diseases, understanding is fragmented and limited. To fill this gap, the EC supported ADITEC project (http://www.aditecproject.eu/; http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/4/128/128cm4.full) featured a work package on "Molecular signatures of immunity and immunogenicity," aimed to identify key molecular mechanisms of innate and adaptive immunity during effector and memory stages of immune responses following vaccination. Specifically, technologies were developed to assess the human immune response to vaccination and infection at the level of the transcriptomic and proteomic response, T-cell and B-cell memory formation, cellular trafficking, and key molecular pathways of innate immunity, with emphasis on underlying mechanisms of protective immunity. This work intersected with other efforts in the ADITEC project. This review summarizes the main achievements of the work package.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2017.01563DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5699440PMC
November 2017

Safety Profile and Immunologic Responses of a Novel Vaccine Against Shigella sonnei Administered Intramuscularly, Intradermally and Intranasally: Results From Two Parallel Randomized Phase 1 Clinical Studies in Healthy Adult Volunteers in Europe.

EBioMedicine 2017 Aug 15;22:164-172. Epub 2017 Jul 15.

GSK Vaccines Institute for Global Health, Siena, Italy. Electronic address:

Background: Approximately 164,000 deaths yearly are due to shigellosis, primarily in developing countries. Thus, a safe and affordable Shigella vaccine is an important public health priority. The GSK Vaccines Institute for Global Health (GVGH) developed a candidate Shigella sonnei vaccine (1790GAHB) using the Generalized Modules for Membrane Antigens (GMMA) technology. The paper reports results of 1790GAHB Phase 1 studies in healthy European adults.

Methods: To evaluate the safety and immunogenicity profiles of 1790GAHB, we performed two parallel, phase 1, observer-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, dose escalation studies in France ("study 1") and the United Kingdom ("study 2") between February 2014 and April 2015 (ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02017899 and NCT02034500, respectively) in 18-45years old subjects (50 in study 1, 52 in study 2). Increasing doses of Alhydrogel adsorbed 1790, expressed by both O Antigen (OAg) and protein quantity, or placebo were given either by intramuscular route (0.059/1, 0.29/5, 1.5/25, 2.9/50, 5.9/100μg of OAg/μg of protein; study 1) or by intradermal (ID), intranasal (IN) or intramuscular (IM) route of immunization (0.0059/0.1, 0.059/1, 0.59/10μg ID, 0.29/5, 1.2/20, 4.8/80μg IN and 0.29/5μg IM, respectively; study 2). In absence of serologic correlates of protection for Shigella sonnei, vaccine induced immunogenicity was compared to anti-LPS antibody in a population naturally exposed to S. sonnei.

Findings: Vaccines were well tolerated in both studies and no death or vaccine related serious adverse events were reported. In study 1, doses ≥1.5/25μg elicited serum IgG median antibody greater than median level in convalescent subjects after the first dose. No vaccine group in study 2 achieved median antibody greater than the median convalescent antibody.

Interpretation: Intramuscularly administered Shigella sonnei GMMA vaccine is well tolerated, up to and including 5.9/100μg and induces antibody to the OAg of at least the same magnitude of those observed following natural exposure to the pathogen. Vaccine administered by ID or IN, although well tolerated, is poorly immunogenic at the doses delivered. The data support the use of the GMMA technology for the development of intramuscular multivalent Shigella vaccines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2017.07.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5552227PMC
August 2017

MUFINS: multi-formalism interaction network simulator.

NPJ Syst Biol Appl 2016 17;2:16032. Epub 2016 Nov 17.

School of Biosciences and Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK.

Systems Biology has established numerous approaches for mechanistic modeling of molecular networks in the cell and a legacy of models. The current frontier is the integration of models expressed in different formalisms to address the multi-scale biological system organization challenge. We present MUFINS (MUlti-Formalism Interaction Network Simulator) software, implementing a unique set of approaches for multi-formalism simulation of interaction networks. We extend the constraint-based modeling (CBM) framework by incorporation of linear inhibition constraints, enabling for the first time linear modeling of networks simultaneously describing gene regulation, signaling and whole-cell metabolism at steady state. We present a use case where a logical hypergraph model of a regulatory network is expressed by linear constraints and integrated with a Genome-Scale Metabolic Network (GSMN) of mouse macrophage. We experimentally validate predictions, demonstrating application of our software in an iterative cycle of hypothesis generation, validation and model refinement. MUFINS incorporates an extended version of our Quasi-Steady State Petri Net approach to integrate dynamic models with CBM, which we demonstrate through a dynamic model of cortisol signaling integrated with the human Recon2 GSMN and a model of nutrient dynamics in physiological compartments. Finally, we implement a number of methods for deriving metabolic states from ~omics data, including our new variant of the iMAT congruency approach. We compare our approach with iMAT through the analysis of 262 individual tumor transcriptomes, recovering features of metabolic reprogramming in cancer. The software provides graphics user interface with network visualization, which facilitates use by researchers who are not experienced in coding and mathematical modeling environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/npjsba.2016.32DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5516860PMC
November 2016

In depth comparative phenotyping of blood innate myeloid leukocytes from healthy humans and macaques using mass cytometry.

Cytometry A 2017 10 26;91(10):969-982. Epub 2017 Apr 26.

Immunology of viral infections and autoimmune diseases, CEA - Université Paris Sud 11 - INSERM U1184, 92265 Fontenay-aux-Roses, France.

Comparative immune-profiling of innate responses in humans and non-human primates is important to understand the pathogenesis of infectious and chronic inflammatory diseases as well as for the preclinical development of vaccines and immune therapies. However, direct comparisons of the two species are rare and were never performed using mass cytometry. Here, whole-blood-derived leukocytes from healthy humans and cynomolgus macaques were analyzed with mass cytometry. Two similar panels of around 30 monoclonal antibodies targeting human markers associated with innate myeloid cells to stain fixed human and macaque leukocytes were constructed. To compare the circulating innate cells from the two primate species, an analysis pipeline combining a clustering analysis by the Spanning-tree Progression Analysis of Density-normalized Events (SPADE) algorithm with a two-step hierarchical clustering of cells nodes and markers was used. Identical SPADE settings were applied to both datasets, except for the 20 clustering markers which slightly differed. A correlation analysis designed to compare the phenotypes of human and macaque cell nodes and based on 16 markers, including 15 shared clustering markers and CD19 for humans or CD20 for macaques, revealed similarities and differences between staining patterns. This study unique by the number of individuals (26 humans and 5 macaques) and the use of mass cytometry certainly contributes to better assess the advantages and limits of the use of non-human primates in preclinical research. © 2017 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cyto.a.23107DOI Listing
October 2017

A Comparative Phase I Study of Combination, Homologous Subtype-C DNA, MVA, and Env gp140 Protein/Adjuvant HIV Vaccines in Two Immunization Regimes.

Front Immunol 2017 22;8:149. Epub 2017 Feb 22.

Department of Medicine, Imperial College London , London , UK.

There remains an urgent need for a prophylactic HIV vaccine. We compared combined MVA and adjuvanted gp140 to sequential MVA/gp140 after DNA priming. We expected Env-specific CD4+ T-cells after DNA and MVA priming, and Env-binding antibodies in 100% individuals after boosting with gp140 and that combined vaccines would not compromise safety and might augment immunogenicity. Forty volunteers were primed three times with DNA plasmids encoding (CN54) env and (ZM96) gag-pol-nef at 0, 4 and 8 weeks then boosted with MVA-C (CN54 env and gag-pol-nef) and glucopyranosyl lipid adjuvant-aqueous formulation (GLA-AF) adjuvanted CN54gp140. They were randomised to receive them in combination at the same visit at 16 and 20 weeks (accelerated) or sequentially with MVA-C at 16, 20, and GLA-AF/gp140 at 24 and 28 weeks (standard). All vaccinations were intramuscular. Primary outcomes included ≥grade 3 safety events and the titer of CN54gp140-specific binding IgG. Other outcomes included neutralization, binding antibody specificity and T-cell responses. Two participants experienced asymptomatic ≥grade 3 transaminitis leading to discontinuation of vaccinations, and three had grade 3 solicited local or systemic reactions. A total of 100% made anti-CN54gp140 IgG and combining vaccines did not significantly alter the response; geometric mean titer 6424 (accelerated) and 6578 (standard); neutralization of MW965.2 Tier 1 pseudovirus was superior in the standard group (82 versus 45% responders,  = 0.04). T-cell ELISpot responses were CD4+ and Env-dominant; 85 and 82% responding in the accelerated and standard groups, respectively. Vaccine-induced IgG responses targeted multiple regions within gp120 with the V3 region most immunodominant and no differences between groups detected. Combining MVA and gp140 vaccines did not result in increased adverse events and did not significantly impact upon the titer of Env-specific binding antibodies, which were seen in 100% individuals. The approach did however affect other immune responses; neutralizing antibody responses, seen only to Tier 1 pseudoviruses, were poorer when the vaccines were combined and while T-cell responses were seen in >80% individuals in both groups and similarly CD4 and Env dominant, their breadth/polyfunctionality tended to be lower when the vaccines were combined, suggesting attenuation of immunogenicity and cautioning against this accelerated regimen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2017.00149DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5319954PMC
February 2017

Anticipating policy considerations for a future HIV vaccine: a preliminary study.

Vaccine 2016 07 4;34(32):3697-701. Epub 2016 Apr 4.

Department of Medical Biotechnology, University of Siena, Italy.

Background: New human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections continue to occur worldwide. Despite previous failures, there is renewed optimism about developing an efficacious HIV prophylactic vaccine following the 31.2% vaccine efficacy (modified intention to treat analysis) achieved in the RV-144 trial. Intense efforts at characterising the immune responses in the trial participants who appeared to gain some protection from the candidate vaccine are ongoing to delineate correlates of protection. However, the characteristics of a vaccine suitable for programmatic introduction in high prevalence areas remain undefined.

Aims: We set out to ascertain the vaccination policies and strategies that policy makers involved in vaccine introductions would advise were a candidate HIV vaccine to become available.

Methods: Structured questionnaires in both English and French were self-administered to consenting policy makers such as members of National Immunisation Technical Advisory Groups. Members from three out of the six WHO regional groups were purposively reached for their responses.

Results: Thirty-seven key opinion leaders were approached through self-administered questionnaires delivered by e-mail or in person. Nine responses were received, representing a 24.3% response rate. The responses received were from three [Africa (6), Americas (1) and Europe (2)] out of the six WHO regions. All respondents would prioritise the vaccination of commercial sex workers over other risk groups if there was an efficacious HIV vaccine. Vaccine efficacy was considered to be the most important factor, ahead of vaccine safety and cost, in determining the acceptability of a new prophylactic HIV vaccine.

Conclusions: It is expected that the first generation HIV vaccines may be modestly efficacious. However, even a modestly efficacious vaccine might curtail the spread of HIV if universal or near-universal coverage is achieved. It is important to anticipate policy discussions which would influence how rapidly an HIV vaccine would be rolled-out programmatically to achieve maximum impact.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2016.03.086DOI Listing
July 2016

Application of "Systems Vaccinology" to Evaluate Inflammation and Reactogenicity of Adjuvanted Preventative Vaccines.

J Immunol Res 2015 25;2015:909406. Epub 2015 Aug 25.

Clinical Research Facility, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London W12 0HS, UK.

Advances in "omics" technology (transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, genomics/epigenomics, etc.) allied with statistical and bioinformatics tools are providing insights into basic mechanisms of vaccine and adjuvant efficacy or inflammation/reactogenicity. Predictive biomarkers of relatively frequent inflammatory reactogenicity may be identified in systems vaccinology studies involving tens or hundreds of participants and used to screen new vaccines and adjuvants in in vitro, ex vivo, animal, or human models. The identification of rare events (such as those observed with initial rotavirus vaccine or suspected autoimmune complications) will require interrogation of large data sets and population-based research before application of systems vaccinology. The Innovative Medicine Initiative funded public-private project BIOVACSAFE is an initial attempt to systematically identify biomarkers of relatively common inflammatory events after adjuvanted immunization using human, animal, and population-based models. Discriminatory profiles or biomarkers are being identified, which require validation in large trials involving thousands of participants before they can be generalized. Ultimately, it is to be hoped that the knowledge gained from such initiatives will provide tools to the industry, academia, and regulators to select optimal noninflammatory but immunogenic and effective vaccine adjuvant combinations, thereby shortening product development cycles and identifying unsuitable vaccine candidates that would fail in expensive late stage development or postmarketing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/909406DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4562180PMC
August 2016

Ebola: missed opportunities for Europe-Africa research.

Lancet Infect Dis 2015 Nov 28;15(11):1254-5. Epub 2015 Jul 28.

UNZA-UCLMS Research and Training Project, University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia; Division of Infection and Immunity, University College London, London, UK; NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(15)00236-4DOI Listing
November 2015

Efficacy of fewer than three doses of an HPV-16/18 AS04-adjuvanted vaccine: combined analysis of data from the Costa Rica Vaccine and PATRICIA Trials.

Lancet Oncol 2015 Jul 9;16(7):775-86. Epub 2015 Jun 9.

Departments of Pathology and Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque, NM, USA. Electronic address:

Background: There is some evidence to suggest that one or two doses of the HPV vaccine provides similar protection to the three-dose regimen. The main aim of the study was to ascertain HPV-16/18 vaccine efficacy in both full and naive cohorts and to explore protection conferred against non-vaccine HPV types, by number of doses received.

Methods: Summary data from the Costa Rica Vaccine Trial (CVT; NCT00128661) and ~the PATRICIA trial (NCT001226810), two phase 3, double-blind, randomised controlled clinical trials of the HPV-16/18 AS04-adjuvanted vaccine in young women, were combined in a post-hoc analysis (GlaxoSmithKline [GSK] e-track number 202142) to investigate the efficacy of fewer than three doses of the HPV-16/18 vaccine after 4 years of follow-up. Women were randomly assigned to receive three doses of the HPV-16/18 vaccine or to a control vaccine; yet, some received fewer doses. After exclusion of women with less than 12 months of follow-up or those who were HPV-16/18 DNA-positive at enrolment (for the HPV-16/18 endpoint), we calculated vaccine efficacy against one-time detection of incident HPV infections after three, two, and one dose(s). The primary study endpoint was one-time detection of first incident HPV-16/18 infections accumulated during the follow-up phase.

Findings: We assessed vaccine efficacy against incident HPV-16/18 infection in the modified total vaccinated cohort (22 327 received three doses, 1185 two doses, 543 one dose). Vaccine efficacy against incident HPV-16/18 infections for three doses was 77·0% (95% CI 74·7-79·1), two doses was 76·0% (62·0-85·3), and one dose was 85·7% (70·7-93·7). Vaccine efficacy against incident HPV-31/33/45 infections for three doses was 59·7% (56·0-63·0), two doses was 37·7% (12·4-55·9), and one dose was 36·6% (-5·4 to 62·2). Vaccine efficacy against incident HPV-16/18 infection for two-dose women who received their second dose at 1 month was 75·3% (54·2-87·5) and 82·6% (42·3-96·1) for those who received the second dose at 6 months (CVT data only). Vaccine efficacy against HPV-31/33/45 for two-dose women who received their second dose at 6 months (68·1%, 27·0-87·0; CVT data only), but not those receiving it at one month (10·1%, -42·0 to 43·3), was similar to the three-dose group.

Interpretation: 4 years after vaccination of women aged 15-25 years, one and two doses of the HPV-16/18 vaccine seem to protect against cervical HPV-16/18 infections, similar to the protection provided by the three-dose schedule. Two doses separated by 6 months additionally provided some cross-protection. These data argue for a direct assessment of one-dose efficacy of the HPV-16/18 vaccine.

Funding: US National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health Office of Research on Women's Health, and Ministry of Health of Costa Rica (CVT); GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals SA (PATRICIA).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(15)00047-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4498478PMC
July 2015

Corrigendum: BCG immunotherapy for bladder cancer--the effects of substrain differences.

Nat Rev Urol 2015 Jul 19;12(7):360. Epub 2015 May 19.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nrurol.2015.114DOI Listing
July 2015

Post hoc analysis of the PATRICIA randomized trial of the efficacy of human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16)/HPV-18 AS04-adjuvanted vaccine against incident and persistent infection with nonvaccine oncogenic HPV types using an alternative multiplex type-specific PCR assay for HPV DNA.

Clin Vaccine Immunol 2015 Feb 24;22(2):235-44. Epub 2014 Dec 24.

GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA.

The efficacy of the human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16)/HPV-18 AS04-adjuvanted vaccine against cervical infections with HPV in the Papilloma Trial against Cancer in Young Adults (PATRICIA) was evaluated using a combination of the broad-spectrum L1-based SPF10 PCR-DNA enzyme immunoassay (DEIA)/line probe assay (LiPA25) system with type-specific PCRs for HPV-16 and -18. Broad-spectrum PCR assays may underestimate the presence of HPV genotypes present at relatively low concentrations in multiple infections, due to competition between genotypes. Therefore, samples were retrospectively reanalyzed using a testing algorithm incorporating the SPF10 PCR-DEIA/LiPA25 plus a novel E6-based multiplex type-specific PCR and reverse hybridization assay (MPTS12 RHA), which permits detection of a panel of nine oncogenic HPV genotypes (types 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 45, 52, 58, and 59). For the vaccine against HPV types 16 and 18, there was no major impact on estimates of vaccine efficacy (VE) for incident or 6-month or 12-month persistent infections when the MPTS12 RHA was included in the testing algorithm versus estimates with the protocol-specified algorithm. However, the alternative testing algorithm showed greater sensitivity than the protocol-specified algorithm for detection of some nonvaccine oncogenic HPV types. More cases were gained in the control group than in the vaccine group, leading to higher point estimates of VE for 6-month and 12-month persistent infections for the nonvaccine oncogenic types included in the MPTS12 RHA assay (types 31, 33, 35, 45, 52, 58, and 59). This post hoc analysis indicates that the per-protocol testing algorithm used in PATRICIA underestimated the VE against some nonvaccine oncogenic HPV types and that the choice of the HPV DNA testing methodology is important for the evaluation of VE in clinical trials. (This study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under registration no. NCT00122681.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/CVI.00457-14DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4308870PMC
February 2015

Effect of a quadrivalent meningococcal ACWY glycoconjugate or a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine on meningococcal carriage: an observer-blind, phase 3 randomised clinical trial.

Lancet 2014 Dec 18;384(9960):2123-31. Epub 2014 Aug 18.

Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK; Public Health England, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, UK.

Background: Meningococcal conjugate vaccines protect individuals directly, but can also confer herd protection by interrupting carriage transmission. We assessed the effects of meningococcal quadrivalent glycoconjugate (MenACWY-CRM) or serogroup B (4CMenB) vaccination on meningococcal carriage rates in 18-24-year-olds.

Methods: In this phase 3, observer-blind, randomised controlled trial, university students aged 18-24 years from ten sites in England were randomly assigned (1:1:1, block size of three) to receive two doses 1 month apart of Japanese Encephalitis vaccine (controls), 4CMenB, or one dose of MenACWY-CRM then placebo. Participants were randomised with a validated computer-generated random allocation list. Participants and outcome-assessors were masked to the treatment group. Meningococci were isolated from oropharyngeal swabs collected before vaccination and at five scheduled intervals over 1 year. Primary outcomes were cross-sectional carriage 1 month after each vaccine course. Secondary outcomes included comparisons of carriage at any timepoint after primary analysis until study termination. Reactogenicity and adverse events were monitored throughout the study. Analysis was done on the modified intention-to-treat population, which included all enrolled participants who received a study vaccination and provided at least one assessable swab after baseline. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, registration number NCT01214850.

Findings: Between Sept 21 and Dec 21, 2010, 2954 participants were randomly assigned (987 assigned to control [984 analysed], 979 assigned to 4CMenB [974 analysed], 988 assigned to MenACWY-CRM [983 analysed]); 33% of the 4CMenB group, 34% of the MenACWY-CRM group, and 31% of the control group were positive for meningococcal carriage at study entry. By 1 month, there was no significant difference in carriage between controls and 4CMenB (odds ratio 1·2, 95% CI 0·8-1·7) or MenACWY-CRM (0·9, [0·6-1·3]) groups. From 3 months after dose two, 4CMenB vaccination resulted in significantly lower carriage of any meningococcal strain (18·2% [95% CI 3·4-30·8] carriage reduction), capsular groups BCWY (26·6% [10·5-39·9] carriage reduction), capsular groups CWY (29·6% [8·1-46·0] carriage reduction), and serogroups CWY (28·5% [2·8-47·5] carriage reduction) compared with control vaccination. Significantly lower carriage rates were also noted in the MenACWY-CRM group compared with controls: 39·0% (95% CI 17·3-55·0) carriage reduction for serogroup Y and 36·2% (15·6-51·7) carriage reduction for serogroup CWY. Study vaccines were generally well tolerated, with increased rates of transient local injection pain and myalgia in the 4CMenB group. No safety concerns were identified.

Interpretation: Although we detected no significant difference between groups at 1 month after vaccine course, MenACWY-CRM and 4CMenB vaccines reduced meningococcal carriage rates during 12 months after vaccination and therefore might affect transmission when widely implemented.

Funding: Novartis Vaccines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60842-4DOI Listing
December 2014

Effect of vaginal immunization with HIVgp140 and HSP70 on HIV-1 replication and innate and T cell adaptive immunity in women.

J Virol 2014 Oct 9;88(20):11648-57. Epub 2014 Jul 9.

King's College London at Guy's Hospital, London, United Kingdom

The international effort to prevent HIV-1 infection by vaccination has failed to develop an effective vaccine. The aim of this vaccine trial in women was to administer by the vaginal mucosal route a vaccine consisting of HIV-1 gp140 linked to the chaperone 70-kDa heat shock protein (HSP70). The primary objective was to determine the safety of the vaccine. The secondary objective was to examine HIV-1 infectivity ex vivo and innate and adaptive immunity to HIV-1. Protocol-defined female volunteers were recruited. HIV-1 CN54gp140 linked to HSP70 was administered by the vaginal route. Significant adverse reactions were not detected. HIV-1 was significantly inhibited ex vivo in postimmunization CD4(+) T cells compared with preimmunization CD4(+) T cells. The innate antiviral restrictive factor APOBEC3G was significantly upregulated, as were CC chemokines which induce downregulation of CCR5 in CD4(+) T cells. Indeed, a significant inverse correlation between the proportion of CCR5(+) T cells and the concentration of CCL-3 or CCL-5 was found. Importantly, the upregulation of APOBEC3G showed a significant inverse correlation, whereas CCR5 exhibited a trend to correlate with inhibition of HIV-1 infection (r = 0.51). Furthermore, specific CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell proliferative responses were significantly increased and CD4(+) T cells showed a trend to have an inverse correlation with the viral load (r = -0.60). However, HIVgp140-specific IgG or IgA antibodies were not detected. The results provide proof of concept that an innate mechanism consisting of CC chemokines, APOBEC3G, and adaptive immunity by CD4 and CD8 T cells might be involved in controlling HIV-1 infectivity following vaginal mucosal immunization in women. (This study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under registration no. NCT01285141.) Importance: Vaginal immunization of women with a vaccine consisting of HIVgp140 linked to the 70-kDa heat shock protein (HSP70) elicited ex vivo significant inhibition of HIV-1 replication in postimmunization CD4(+) T cells compared with that in preimmunization peripheral blood mononuclear cells. There were no significant adverse events. The vaccine induced the significant upregulation of CC chemokines and the downmodulation of CCR5 expression in CD4(+) T cells, as well as an inverse correlation between them. Furthermore, the level of CCR5 expression was directly correlated with the viral load, consistent with the protective mechanism in which a decrease in CCR5 molecules on CD4(+) T cells decreases HIV-1 envelope binding. Expression of the antiviral restriction factor APOBEC3G was inversely correlated with the viral load, suggesting that it may inhibit intracellular HIV-1 replication. Both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells showed HIVgp140- and HSP70-specific proliferation. A strong inverse correlation between the proportion of CC chemokine-modulated CCR5-expressing CD4(+) T cells and the stimulation of CD4(+) or CD8(+) T cell proliferation by HIVgp140 was found, demonstrating a significant interaction between innate and adaptive immunity. This is the first clinical trial of vaginal immunization in women using only HIVgp140 and HSP70 administered by the mucosal route (3 times) in which a dual innate protective mechanism was induced and enhanced by significant adaptive CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell proliferative responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01621-14DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4178755PMC
October 2014

Challenges and responses in human vaccine development.

Curr Opin Immunol 2014 Jun 19;28:18-26. Epub 2014 Feb 19.

Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, Siena, Italy.

Human vaccine development remains challenging because of the highly sophisticated evasion mechanisms of pathogens for which vaccines are not yet available. Recent years have witnessed both successes and failures of novel vaccine design and the strength of iterative approaches is increasingly appreciated. These combine discovery of novel antigens, adjuvants and vectors in the preclinical stage with computational analyses of clinical data to accelerate vaccine design. Reverse and structural vaccinology have revealed novel antigen candidates and molecular immunology has led to the formulation of promising adjuvants. Gene expression profiles and immune parameters in patients, vaccinees and healthy controls have formed the basis for biosignatures that will provide guidelines for future vaccine design.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.coi.2014.01.009DOI Listing
June 2014

BCG immunotherapy for bladder cancer--the effects of substrain differences.

Nat Rev Urol 2013 Oct 17;10(10):580-8. Epub 2013 Sep 17.

The Urology Centre, Guy's Hospital, 1st Floor, Southwark Wing, Great Maze Pond, London SE1 9RT, UK.

Genetic mutations have been progressively introduced to BCG by repeated serial passage over many decades of its culture and global dissemination. Thus, marked differences exist in the phenotype, antigenicity, reactogenicity, and clinical characteristics of the numerous substrains of BCG currently in use for bladder cancer immunotherapy. These differences influence proposed mycobacterial antitumour mechanisms and toxicity, potentially resulting in variations in clinical efficacy and adverse effects. However, although there is evidence of substrain-related differences in the clinical efficacy of BCG as a tuberculosis vaccine, evidence of an effect on bladder cancer immunotherapy remains elusive, owing to the lack of appropriately powered head-to-head comparative clinical trials, the nonstandardization of BCG manufacture, and variation in treatment protocols--possibly itself a response to underlying substrain differences. Advances in our understanding of mycobacterial genetics, structure and function, and host-pathogen interactions might explain differences in clinical practice and outcomes. These advances are guiding the identification of biomarkers for reactogenicity and efficacy, and the rational design of immunotherapeutic strategies to eliminate the use of live bacilli for bladder cancer therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nrurol.2013.194DOI Listing
October 2013

Randomised clinical trial investigating the specificity of a novel skin test (C-Tb) for diagnosis of M. tuberculosis infection.

PLoS One 2013 14;8(5):e64215. Epub 2013 May 14.

Department of Vaccine Development, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Background: Tuberculin skin testing is simple and relatively inexpensive, but the specificity of PPD is affected by BCG vaccination.

Objective: Determine optimal dose and specificity of recombinant ESAT-6 and CFP-10 (C-Tb) produced in Lactococcus lactis for diagnosis of M. tuberculosis infection.

Methods: In a dose finding phase I trial 0.01 or 0.1 µg preserved and unpreserved C-Tb was injected by Mantoux technique in 38 patients with active tuberculosis and induration responses measured. In a phase II specificity trial in 151 uninfected, BCG vaccinated participants 0.1 µg C-Tb was compared to 2 TU PPD.

Results: 0.1 µg C-Tb gave a median induration of 15 mm after 2 days. Phenol preservation did not affect the response. The specificity of C-Tb was 99.3% (95% CI 96-100%) regarding indurations ≥5 mm as a positive outcome. This was higher than the specificity of PPD (63% using a cut-off of 5 mm or 92% using a cut-off of 15 mm to adjust for non-specific BCG responses). Local adverse reactions following C-Tb injection included transient itching and discomfort as expected components of the immune response.

Conclusion: C-Tb offers a simple and convenient skin test to diagnose M. tuberculosis infection using a single, universal cut-off unaffected by BCG vaccination.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01033929 and NCT01241188.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0064215PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3653866PMC
December 2013

Potential use of inflammation and early immunological event biomarkers in assessing vaccine safety.

Biologicals 2013 Mar 27;41(2):115-24. Epub 2012 Nov 27.

WHO Center for Vaccinology and Neonatal Immunology, University of Geneva, CMU, 1 rue Michel-Servet, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland.

Highly effective vaccines have traditionally been designed in a rather empirical way, often with incomplete understanding of their mode of action. Full assessment of efficacy and reactogenicity takes time and, as a result, vaccine introduction to the market is usually slow and expensive. In addition, in rare cases, unacceptable reactogenicity may only become apparent after years of development or even widespread use. However, recent advances in cell biology and immunology offer a range of new technologies and systems for identifying biological responses or "biomarkers" that could possibly be used to evaluate and predict efficacy and safety during vaccine development and post-marketing surveillance. This report reflects the conclusions of a group of scientists from academia, regulatory agencies and industry who attended a conference on the potential use of biomarkers to assess vaccine safety which was held in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, from 10 to 11 May 2012 and organized by the International Association for Biologicals (IABS). The conference focused particularly on determining which biomarkers might relate to vaccine efficacy and reactogenicity and whether our knowledge base was sufficiently robust at this time for the data to be used for decision-making. More information on the conference output can be found on the IABS website, http://www.iabs.org/.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biologicals.2012.10.005DOI Listing
March 2013

Systemic and mucosal immune responses to sublingual or intramuscular human papilloma virus antigens in healthy female volunteers.

PLoS One 2012 16;7(3):e33736. Epub 2012 Mar 16.

Infectious Diseases, St George's - University of London, London, United Kingdom.

Unlabelled: The sublingual route has been proposed as a needle-free option to induce systemic and mucosal immune protection against viral infections. In a translational study of systemic and mucosal humoral immune responses to sublingual or systemically administered viral antigens, eighteen healthy female volunteers aged 19-31 years received three immunizations with a quadravalent Human Papilloma Virus vaccine at 0, 4 and 16 weeks as sublingual drops (SL, n = 12) or intramuscular injection (IM, n = 6). IM antigen delivery induced or boosted HPV-specific serum IgG and pseudovirus-neutralizing antibodies, HPV-specific cervical and vaginal IgG, and elicited circulating IgG and IgA antibody secreting cells. SL antigens induced ~38-fold lower serum and ~2-fold lower cervical/vaginal IgG than IM delivery, and induced or boosted serum virus neutralizing antibody in only 3/12 subjects. Neither route reproducibly induced HPV-specific mucosal IgA. Alternative delivery systems and adjuvants will be required to enhance and evaluate immune responses following sublingual immunization in humans.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.govNCT00949572.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0033736PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3306286PMC
August 2012

Oral delivery of BCG Moreau Rio de Janeiro gives equivalent protection against tuberculosis but with reduced pathology compared to parenteral BCG Danish vaccination.

Vaccine 2010 Oct 12;28(43):7109-16. Epub 2010 Aug 12.

Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Health Protection Agency, Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP4 0JG, UK.

There is a need for an improved vaccine to better control human tuberculosis (TB), as the only currently available TB vaccine, bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) delivered parenterally, offers variable levels of efficacy. Therefore, recombinant strains expressing additional antigens are being developed alongside alternative routes to parenteral delivery. There is strong evidence that BCG Moreau (RdJ) is a safe and effective vaccine in humans when given by the oral route. This study compared the efficacy of a single oral dose of wild type BCG Moreau Rio de Janeiro (RdJ), or a recombinant RdJ strain expressing Ag85B-ESAT6 fusion protein, formulated with and without lipid to enhance oral delivery, with subcutaneous BCG Danish 1331 and saline control groups in a guinea pig aerosol infection model of pulmonary tuberculosis. Protection was measured as survival at 30 weeks post-challenge and reduced bacterial load and histopathology in lungs and spleen. Results showed that a single oral dose of BCG Moreau (RdJ) or recombinant BCG Moreau (RdJ)-Ag85B-ESAT6, formulated with or without lipid, gave protection equivalent to subcutaneously delivered BCG Danish in the 30 weeks post-challenge survival study. The orally delivered vaccines gave reduced pathology scores in the lungs (three of the four formulations) and spleens (all four formulations) compared to subcutaneously delivered BCG Danish. The oral wild type BCG Moreau (RdJ) in lipid and the unformulated oral wild type BCG Moreau (RdJ) vaccine also gave statistically lower bacterial loads in the lungs and spleens, respectively, compared to subcutaneously delivered BCG Danish. This study provides further evidence to show that lipid formulation does not impair vaccine efficacy and may enhance the delivery and stability of oral vaccines intended for use in countries with poor health infrastructure. Oral delivery also avoids needles (and associated cross-infection risks) and immunisation without the need for specially trained medical professional staff.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.07.087DOI Listing
October 2010

An investigation of clinical and immunological events following repeated aerodigestive tract challenge infections with live Mycobacterium bovis Bacille Calmette Guérin.

Vaccine 2010 Jul 15;28(33):5427-31. Epub 2010 Jun 15.

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, The Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire CB10 1SA, United Kingdom.

Bacille Calmette Guérin substrain Moreau Rio de Janeiro is an attenuated strain of Mycobacterium bovis that has been used extensively as an oral tuberculosis vaccine. We assessed its potential as a challenge model to study clinical and immunological events following repeated mycobacterial gut infection. Seven individuals received three oral challenges with approximately 10(7) viable bacilli. Clinical symptoms, T-cell responses and gene expression patterns in peripheral blood were monitored. Clinical symptoms were relatively mild and declined following each oral challenge. Delayed T-cell responses were observed, and limited differential gene expression detected by microarrays. Oral challenge with BCG Moreau Rio de Janeiro vaccine was immunogenic in healthy volunteers, limiting its potential to explore clinical innate immune responses, but with low reactogenicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.06.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3764428PMC
July 2010

Transient facial nerve paralysis (Bell's palsy) following intranasal delivery of a genetically detoxified mutant of Escherichia coli heat labile toxin.

PLoS One 2009 Sep 16;4(9):e6999. Epub 2009 Sep 16.

St George's Vaccine Institute, St George's University of London, London, United Kingdom.

Background: An association was previously established between facial nerve paralysis (Bell's palsy) and intranasal administration of an inactivated influenza virosome vaccine containing an enzymatically active Escherichia coli Heat Labile Toxin (LT) adjuvant. The individual component(s) responsible for paralysis were not identified, and the vaccine was withdrawn.

Methodology/principal Findings: Subjects participating in two contemporaneous non-randomized Phase 1 clinical trials of nasal subunit vaccines against Human Immunodeficiency Virus and tuberculosis, both of which employed an enzymatically inactive non-toxic mutant LT adjuvant (LTK63), underwent active follow-up for adverse events using diary-cards and clinical examination. Two healthy subjects experienced transient peripheral facial nerve palsies 44 and 60 days after passive nasal instillation of LTK63, possibly a result of retrograde axonal transport after neuronal ganglioside binding or an inflammatory immune response, but without exaggerated immune responses to LTK63.

Conclusions/significance: While the unique anatomical predisposition of the facial nerve to compression suggests nasal delivery of neuronal-binding LT-derived adjuvants is inadvisable, their continued investigation as topical or mucosal adjuvants and antigens appears warranted on the basis of longstanding safety via oral, percutaneous, and other mucosal routes.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0006999PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2737308PMC
September 2009

Unnecessary universal BCG in UK. Efficacy of BCG: three quarters full or one quarter empty?

Authors:
David J M Lewis

BMJ 2009 Feb 17;338:b635. Epub 2009 Feb 17.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b635DOI Listing
February 2009

Protection against tuberculosis induced by oral prime with Mycobacterium bovis BCG and intranasal subunit boost based on the vaccine candidate Ag85B-ESAT-6 does not correlate with circulating IFN-gamma producing T-cells.

Vaccine 2009 Jan 31;27(1):28-37. Epub 2008 Oct 31.

Institut Pasteur, Unité de Génétique Mycobactérienne, 25-28 rue du Docteur Roux, 75724 Paris Cedex 15, France.

The potent IFN-gamma inducing fusion antigen Ag85B-ESAT-6 (85B6) is a lead subunit candidate to improve current vaccination against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). The recombinant M. bovis BCG strain Myc3504 was constructed to secrete 85B6. It was based on commercial BCG strain Moreau Rio de Janeiro (BCG(MoWT)) which remains available for human oral administration. Myc 3504 induced higher levels of 85B6-specific IFN-gamma circulating T-cells as compared to BCG(MoWT). A novel needle-free mucosal immunization regimen combining oral prime with Myc3504 or BCG(MoWT) with intranasal boost with LTK-63-adjuvanted 85B6 was compared to subcutaneous prime-boost immunization. Strikingly whereas parenteral immunization induced sustained levels of 85B6-specific IFN-gamma secretion by circulating T-cells, mucosal regimens induced barely detectable IFN-gamma. Despite this, mice and guinea pigs immunized with the mucosal regimens were as efficiently protected against aerosol Mtb challenge as parenterally immunized animals. After Mtb challenge, anti-ESAT-6 IFN-gamma responses sharply increased in non-vaccinated mice as a hallmark of infection. Parenterally immunized mice that controlled Mtb infection, displayed anti-ESAT-6 IFN-gamma responses as high as non-immunized infected mice, compromising the possible use of ESAT-6 as a diagnostic tool. Interestingly, in mucosally immunized mice that were equally protected, post-challenge ESAT-6-specific IFN-gamma T-cell response remained low.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2008.10.034DOI Listing
January 2009