The 10th Anniversary of Vaccines—Vaccines against HIV and Other Viruses

A special issue of Vaccines (ISSN 2076-393X). This special issue belongs to the section "HIV Vaccines".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2024 | Viewed by 8324

Special Issue Editor

School of Medicine and Health Sciences, George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052, USA
Interests: HIV accessory genes; HIV-related lipid disregulation; HIV-related mechanisms of inflammation; HIV-infected cells; anti-HIV compounds; HIV-1 translocation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In 2022, we will celebrate the 10th anniversary volume of the journal Vaccines (ISSN 2076-393X), and we would be thrilled if you could join us on this wonderful occasion.

Vaccines is an international, peer-reviewed, quick-refereeing, open access journal published online by MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Vaccines is indexed by SCIE, PubMed (NLM), as well as others. The impact factor for this journal is 4.422, and it ranks 74/162 (Q2) in “Immunology” and 63/140 (Q2) in “Medicine, Research & Experimental Pharmacology” in Web of Science. The inaugural issue was released in 2013, and in 2020, we published the 1000th paper in this journal. In 2021, we have achieved our goal of publishing 1200 papers in one year. Vaccines is rapidly developing.

In recongition of this significant milestone, we are launching a Special Issue entitled “The 10th Anniversary of Vaccines—Vaccines against HIV and other viruses”. This Special Issue will include high-quality papers on topics within the broad scope of Vaccines. We will consider manuscripts that investigate anti-viral and anti-HIV immunity, immunological responses to potential viral vaccine antigens, the testing of viral vaccine candidates in animals and humans, the delivery methods of viral vaccine antigens, studies on vaccine adjuvants related to viral vaccine development, investigations of viral vaccine strategies that aim to raise broadly neutralizing antibodies, and theoretical studies that suggest and rationalize novel types of viral vaccines or novel ways of stimulating protective anti-viral immunity. It is our pleasure to invite you to contribute an original research paper or a comprehensive review article for peer review and possible publication in Vaccines

Prof. Dr. Michael Bukrinsky
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Vaccines is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 2389 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Crosslinkers between Peptide Antigen and Carrier Protein for Fusion Peptide-Directed Vaccines against HIV-1
Vaccines 2022, 10(11), 1916; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10111916 - 12 Nov 2022
Viewed by 2123
Abstract
Conjugate-vaccine immunogens require three components: a carrier protein, an antigen, and a crosslinker, capable of coupling antigen to carrier protein, while preserving both T-cell responses from carrier protein and B-cell responses from antigen. We previously showed that the N-terminal eight residues of the [...] Read more.
Conjugate-vaccine immunogens require three components: a carrier protein, an antigen, and a crosslinker, capable of coupling antigen to carrier protein, while preserving both T-cell responses from carrier protein and B-cell responses from antigen. We previously showed that the N-terminal eight residues of the HIV-1 fusion peptide (FP8) as an antigen could prime for broad cross-clade neutralizing responses, that recombinant heavy chain of tetanus toxin (rTTHC) as a carrier protein provided optimal responses, and that choice of crosslinker could impact both antigenicity and immunogenicity. Here, we delve more deeply into the impact of varying the linker between FP8 and rTTHC. In specific, we assessed the physical properties, the antigenicity, and the immunogenicity of conjugates for crosslinkers ranging in spacer-arm length from 1.5 to 95.2 Å, with varying hydrophobicity and crosslinking-functional groups. Conjugates coupled with different degrees of multimerization and peptide-to-rTTHC stoichiometry, but all were well recognized by HIV-fusion-peptide-directed antibodies VRC34.01, VRC34.05, PGT151, and ACS202 except for the conjugate with the longest linker (24-PEGylated SMCC; SM(PEG)24), which had lower affinity for ACS202, as did the conjugate with the shortest linker (succinimidyl iodoacetate; SIA), which also had the lowest peptide-to-rTTHC stoichiometry. Murine immunizations testing seven FP8-rTTHC conjugates elicited fusion-peptide-directed antibody responses, with SIA- and SM(PEG)24-linked conjugates eliciting lower responses than the other five conjugates. After boosting with prefusion-closed envelope trimers from strains BG505 clade A and consensus clade C, trimer-directed antibody-binding responses were lower for the SIA-linked conjugate; elicited neutralizing responses were similar, however, though statistically lower for the SM(PEG)24-linked conjugate, when tested against a strain especially sensitive to fusion-peptide-directed responses. Overall, correlation analyses revealed the immunogenicity of FP8-rTTHC conjugates to be negatively impacted by hydrophilicity and extremes of length or low peptide-carrier stoichiometry, but robust to other linker parameters, with several commonly used crosslinkers yielding statistically indistinguishable serological results. Full article
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11 pages, 788 KiB  
Article
Vaccine-Induced Seroreactivity Impacts the Accuracy of HIV Testing Algorithms in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Exploratory Study
Vaccines 2022, 10(7), 1062; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10071062 - 01 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1853
Abstract
The detection of vaccine-induced HIV antibody responses by rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) may confound the interpretation of HIV testing results. We assessed the impact of vaccine-induced seroreactivity (VISR) on the diagnosis of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. Samples collected from healthy participants of HIVIS [...] Read more.
The detection of vaccine-induced HIV antibody responses by rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) may confound the interpretation of HIV testing results. We assessed the impact of vaccine-induced seroreactivity (VISR) on the diagnosis of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. Samples collected from healthy participants of HIVIS and TaMoVac HIV vaccine trials after the final vaccination were analyzed for VISR using HIV testing algorithms used in Mozambique and Tanzania that employ two sequential RDTs. The samples were also tested for VISR using Enzygnost HIV Integral 4 ELISA and HIV western blot assays. Antibody titers to subtype C gp140 were determined using an in-house enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The frequency of VISR was 93.4% (128/137) by Enzygnost HIV Integral 4 ELISA, and 66.4% (91/137) by western blot assay (WHO interpretation). The proportion of vaccine recipients that would have been misdiagnosed as HIV-positive in Mozambique was half of that in Tanzania: 26.3% (36/137) and 54.0% (74/137), respectively, p < 0.0001. In conclusion, the HIV RDTs and algorithms assessed here will potentially misclassify a large proportion of the HIV vaccine recipients if no other test is used. Increased efforts are needed to develop differential serological or molecular tools for use at the point of care. Full article
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11 pages, 1634 KiB  
Article
Antiviral Activities of HIV-1-Specific Human Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies Are Isotype-Dependent
Vaccines 2022, 10(6), 903; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10060903 - 06 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1582
Abstract
Broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) offer promising opportunities for preventing HIV-1 infection. The protection mechanisms of bNAbs involve the Fc domain, as well as their Fab counterpart. Here, different bNAb isotypes including IgG1, IgA1, IgA2, and IgA122 (IgA2 with the hinge of IgA1) were [...] Read more.
Broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) offer promising opportunities for preventing HIV-1 infection. The protection mechanisms of bNAbs involve the Fc domain, as well as their Fab counterpart. Here, different bNAb isotypes including IgG1, IgA1, IgA2, and IgA122 (IgA2 with the hinge of IgA1) were generated and then produced in CHO cells. Their ability to neutralize pseudovirus and primary HIV-1 isolates were measured, as well as their potential ADCC-like activity using a newly developed assay. In our work, gp41-specific IgA seems to be more efficient than IgG1 in inducing ADCC-like activity, but not in its virus neutralization effect. We show that either gp120-specific IgA or IgG1 isotypes are both efficient in neutralizing different viral strains. In contrast, gp120-specific IgG1 was a better ADCC-like inducer than IgA isotypes. These results provide new insights into the neutralization and ADCC-like activity of different bNAbs that might be taken into consideration when searching for new treatments or antibody-based vaccines. Full article
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16 pages, 1998 KiB  
Article
NK Cell Subset Redistribution and Antibody Dependent Activation after Ebola Vaccination in Africans
Vaccines 2022, 10(6), 884; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10060884 - 31 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1816
Abstract
Natural killer cells play an important role in the control of viral infections both by regulating acquired immune responses and as potent innate or antibody-mediated cytotoxic effector cells. NK cells have been implicated in control of Ebola virus infections and our previous studies [...] Read more.
Natural killer cells play an important role in the control of viral infections both by regulating acquired immune responses and as potent innate or antibody-mediated cytotoxic effector cells. NK cells have been implicated in control of Ebola virus infections and our previous studies in European trial participants have demonstrated durable activation, proliferation and antibody-dependent NK cell activation after heterologous two-dose Ebola vaccination with adenovirus type 26.ZEBOV followed by modified vaccinia Ankara-BN-Filo. Regional variation in immunity and environmental exposure to pathogens, in particular human cytomegalovirus, have profound impacts on NK cell functional capacity. We therefore assessed the NK cell phenotype and function in African trial participants with universal exposure to HCMV. We demonstrate a significant redistribution of NK cell subsets after vaccine dose two, involving the enrichment of less differentiated CD56dimCD57 and CD56dimFcεR1γ+ (canonical) cells and the increased proliferation of these subsets. Sera taken after vaccine dose two support robust antibody-dependent NK cell activation in a standard NK cell readout; these responses correlate strongly with the concentration of anti-Ebola glycoprotein specific antibodies. These sera also promote comparable IFN-γ production in autologous NK cells taken at baseline and post-vaccine dose two. However, degranulation responses of post-vaccination NK cells were reduced compared to baseline NK cells and these effects could not be directly attributed to alterations in NK cell phenotype after vaccination. These studies demonstrate consistent changes in NK cell phenotypic composition and robust antibody-dependent NK cell function and reveal novel characteristics of these responses after heterologous two dose Ebola vaccination in African individuals. Full article
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