Safety of and immunological response to a recombinant vaccinia virus vaccine expressing HIV envelope glycoprotein

E. L. Cooney, A. C. Collier, P. D. Greenberg, R. W. Coombs, J. Zarling, D. E. Arditti, M. C. Hoffman, S. L. Hu, L. Corey

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In a randomised phase I trial of a recombinant vaccinia virus vaccine expressing the gp160 envelope gene of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIVAC-1e) 35 healthy, HIV-seronegative males, 31 of whom had a history of smallpox immunisation and 4 of whom were vaccinia naive, were vaccinated and then boosted 8 weeks later with HIVAC-1e or standard NY strain vaccinia virus. The frequency, duration, and titre of virus isolation from the vaccination site and occurrence of local side-effects were similar between the two groups of vaccinees. Vaccinia-naive (vac-n) subjects shed virus from the vaccination site for longer and at a higher titre than did vaccinia-primed (vac-p) individuals (19 vs 7 days and 107 vs 105 pfu/ml, respectively). In-vitro T-cell proliferative responses to one or more HIV antigen preparations developed in 13 of 16 vaccinia-primed subjects inoculated with HIVAC-1e. T-cell responses were, however, transient and in no subject did antibodies to HIV become detectable. The 2 vaccinia-naive subjects vaccinated with HIVAC-1e showed strong T-cell responses to homologous and heterologous strains of whole virus and to recombinant gp160 protein that remained detectable for over a year; antibodies to HIV envelope also developed in both. Recombinant vaccinia virus vaccines induce T-cell priming to the foreign gene products in most individuals. If used as the sole immunising agent they will be most efficacious in vaccinia-naive individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-572
Number of pages6
JournalThe Lancet
Issue number8741
StatePublished - Mar 9 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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