Efficient homologous prime-boost strategies for T cell vaccination based on virus-like particles.
Schwarz K., Meijerink E., Speiser DE., Tissot AC., Cielens I., Renhof R., Dishlers A., Pumpens P., Bachmann MF.
Induction of high frequencies of specific T cells by vaccination requires prime-boost regimens. To reach optimal immune responses, it is necessary to use different vectors for priming and boosting as e.g. DNA vaccination followed by boosting with a recombinant viral vector. Here, we show that vaccines based on virus-like particles (VLP) displaying peptide epitopes are equally effective to induce CTL responses if used in a homologous or heterologous prime-boost setting. Strikingly, high frequencies (>20% of CD8(+) cells) of protective CTL could be induced and maintained by weekly injection of VLP. Thus, the use of VLP may avoid the requirement for complicated heterologous prime-boost regimens, facilitating the development of effective T cell-based vaccines.