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In the absence of strategies for reliable induction of antibodies broadly neutralizing human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), vaccine efforts have shifted toward the induction of cell-mediated immunity. Here we describe the construction and immunogenicity of novel T-cell vaccine NS1.HIVA, which delivers the HIV-1 clade A consensus-derived immunogen HIVA on the surface of tubular structures spontaneously formed by protein NS1 of bluetongue virus. We demonstrated that NS1 tubules can accommodate a protein as large as 527 amino acids without losing their self-assembly capability. When injected into BALB/c mice by several routes, chimeric NS1.HIVA tubules induced HIV-1-specific major histocompatibility complex class I-restricted T cells. These could be boosted by modified virus Ankara expressing the same immunogen and generate a memory capable of gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) production, proliferation, and lysis of sensitized target cells. Induced memory T cells readily produced IFN-gamma 230 days postimmunization, and upon a surrogate virus challenge, NS1.HIVA vaccine alone decreased the vaccinia virus vv.HIVA load in ovaries by 2 orders of magnitude 280 days after immunization. Thus, because of its T-cell immunogenicity and antigenic simplicity, the NS1 delivery system could serve as a priming agent for heterologous prime-boost vaccination regimens. Its usefulness in primates, including humans, remains to be determined.

Original publication




Journal article


J Virol

Publication Date





14822 - 14833


Animals, Bluetongue virus, HIV Antibodies, Humans, Immunization, Secondary, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, T-Lymphocyte Subsets, Vaccines, DNA, Vaccines, Synthetic, Viral Vaccines