Predictors of HVTN 503 MRK-AD5 HIV-1 gag/pol/nef vaccine induced immune responses

Kathryn L. Hopkins, Fatima Laher, Kennedy Otwombe, Gavin Churchyard, Linda Gail Bekker, Stephen DeRosa, Maphoshane Nchabeleng, Koleka Mlisana, James Kublin, Glenda Gray

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7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Phambili, the Merck (MRK)-Adenovirus Type 5 (Ad5) HIV-1 gag/pol/nef subtype B vaccine study, conducted in South Africa, suspended enrollment and vaccination when companion study, Step, was found non-efficacious. Although the vaccine did not prevent HIV-1 infection or lower viral-load setpoint, immune responses recognized clades B and C HIV-1 subtypes. We investigated predictors of the vaccine-induced antigen-specific immune responses. Methods: Vaccine-induced immunogenicity was ascertained by interferon-c ELISpot assays on the first 186 enrolled participants receiving two vaccinations. Analyses, stratified by study arm/sex, were performed on baseline demographics [sex, age, Body Mass Index (BMI), site, Adenovirus Type-5 (Ad5) titer, Herpes Simplex Virus Type-2 (HSV2) status, heavy drinking]. Multivariate logistic regression determined predictors. Results: Of the 186 participants, 53.7% (n = 100) were female, median BMI was 22.5 [IQR: 20.4-27.0], 85.5% (n = 159) were Ad5 seropositive, and 18.8% (n = 35) drank heavily. All vaccine recipients responded to both clade B (n = 87; 47%) and/or C (n = 74; 40%), p = 0.17. In multivariate analysis, female sex [Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR): 6.478; p = 0.0159], overweight/obese BMI (AOR: 0.186; p = 0.0452), and heavy drinking (AOR: 0.270; p = 0.048) significantly predicted immune response to clade C for any antigens. A marginally significant predictor of clade C-pol antigen was female sex (AOR: 3.182; p = 0.0500). Conclusions: Sex, BMI, and heavy drinking affected vaccine-induced HIV-1 specific immune responses to clade C antigens. The role of female sex and overweight/obese BMI boosting and suppressing vaccine-induced HIV-1 specific immune responses, respectively, requires elucidation, including any effect on HIV vaccine efficacy, especially in the era of colliding epidemics (HIV and obesity).

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere103446
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume9
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes

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