HIV vacines based on the induction of T cell responses can reduce the progression to AIDS as well as reduce the virus transmission by generating broad and functionally relevant responses. CD4+ T cells have a critical role in controlling the viral replication and progression for the immunodeficiency. It has been shown by our group that the DNA vaccine HIVBr18, encoding 18 HIV-1 epitopes to CD4+ T cells, was able to induce long-lasting and polifunctional CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses, towards epitopes in HIV conserved regions, in BALB/c and transgenic mice to HLA class II molecules. As this vaccine is able to induce broad responses against conserved epitopes in the context of multiples HLA class II molecules, we believe that such vaccine concept may deal with the genetic variability of HIV and increase vaccination coverage of the population.Recently, several methods for increasing the immunogenicity of DNA vaccines in humans were developed. In this project, we aim to increase the immunogenicity of the HIVBr18 vaccine using in vivo electroporation and plasmid-encoded virus-like particles (plasmo-VLP), strategies that have been proved effective for increasing the immunogenicity of several vaccine constructions.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: