Modified vaccinia Ankara expressing HIVA antigen stimulates HIV-1-specific CD8 T cells in ELISpot assays of HIV-1 exposed infants.
Slyker JA., Lohman BL., Mbori-Ngacha DA., Reilly M., Wee EG-T., Dong T., McMichael AJ., Rowland-Jones SL., Hanke T., John-Stewart G.
Recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara expressing HIV-1 antigens (MVA.HIVA) was used in ELISpot assays to monitor HIV-1-specific T cell responses in infants. Responses to MVA.HIVA and HIV-1 peptides were examined in 13 infected and 81 exposed uninfected infants in Nairobi, Kenya. Responses to MVA.HIVA (38%) and peptide stimulation (38%) were similar in frequency (p=1.0) and magnitude (mean 176 versus 385 HIVSFU/10(6), p=0.96) in HIV-1 infected infants. In exposed uninfected infants, MVA.HIVA detected more positive responses and higher magnitude responses as compared to peptide. MVA.HIVA ELISpot is a sensitive method for quantification of HIV-1-specific CD8+ T cell responses in HIV-1 exposed infants. These results demonstrate the relevance of HIV-1 clade A consensus-derived immunogen HIVA for the viruses currently circulating in Nairobi.