Directly injected lentiviral vector-based T cell vaccine protects mice against acute and chronic viral infection
Lentiviral vector-based dendritic cell vaccines induce protective T cell responses against viral infection and cancer in animal models. In this study, we tested whether preventative and therapeutic vaccination could be achieved by direct injection of antigen expressing lentiviral vector, obviating the need for ex vivo transduction of dendritic cells. Injected lentiviral vector preferentially transduced splenic dendritic cells and resulted in long-term expression. Injection of a lentiviral vector encoding an MHC class I restricted T cell epitope of LCMV and CD40L induced an antigen-specific cytolytic CD8+ T lymphocyte response that protected the mice from infection. The injection of chronically infected mice with a lentiviral vector encoding LCMV MHC class I and II T cell epitopes and a soluble PD-1 microbody rapidly cleared the virus. Vaccination by direct injection of lentiviral vector was more effective in SAMHD1 knock-out mice, suggesting that lentiviral vectors containing Vpx, a lentiviral protein that increases the efficiency of dendritic cell transduction by inducing the degradation of SAMHD1, would be an effective strategy for the treatment of chronic disease in humans.
The monoclonal antibody combination REGEN-COV protects against SARS-CoV-2 mutational escape in preclinical and human studies
Monoclonal antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 are a clinically validated therapeutic option against COVID-19. Because rapidly emerging virus mutants are becoming the next major concern in the fight against the global pandemic, it is imperative that these therapeutic treatments provide coverage against circulating variants and do not contribute to development of treatment-induced emergent resistance. To this end, we investigated the sequence diversity of the spike protein and monitored emergence of virus variants in SARS-COV-2 isolates found in COVID-19 patients treated with the two-antibody combination REGEN-COV, as well as in preclinical inÂ vitro studies using single, dual, or triple antibody combinations, and in hamster inÂ vivo studies using REGEN-COV or single monoclonal antibody treatments. Our study demonstrates that the combination of non-competing antibodies in REGEN-COV provides protection against all current SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern/interest and also protects against emergence of new variants and their potential seeding into the population in a clinical setting.
REGN-COV2, a Neutralizing Antibody Cocktail, in Outpatients with Covid-19
BACKGROUND:Recent data suggest that complications and death from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) may be related to high viral loads. METHODS:In this ongoing, double-blind, phase 1-3 trial involving nonhospitalized patients with Covid-19, we investigated two fully human, neutralizing monoclonal antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein, used in a combined cocktail (REGN-COV2) to reduce the risk of the emergence of treatment-resistant mutant virus. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1:1) to receive placebo, 2.4 g of REGN-COV2, or 8.0 g of REGN-COV2 and were prospectively characterized at baseline for endogenous immune response against SARS-CoV-2 (serum antibody-positive or serum antibody-negative). Key end points included the time-weighted average change from baseline in viral load from day 1 through day 7 and the percentage of patients with at least one Covid-19-related medically attended visit through day 29. Safety was assessed in all patients. RESULTS:copies per milliliter (95% CI, -0.71 to -0.10) in the overall trial population. In the overall trial population, 6% of the patients in the placebo group and 3% of the patients in the combined REGN-COV2 dose groups reported at least one medically attended visit; among patients who were serum antibody-negative at baseline, the corresponding percentages were 15% and 6% (difference, -9 percentage points; 95% CI, -29 to 11). The percentages of patients with hypersensitivity reactions, infusion-related reactions, and other adverse events were similar in the combined REGN-COV2 dose groups and the placebo group. CONCLUSIONS:In this interim analysis, the REGN-COV2 antibody cocktail reduced viral load, with a greater effect in patients whose immune response had not yet been initiated or who had a high viral load at baseline. Safety outcomes were similar in the combined REGN-COV2 dose groups and the placebo group. (Funded by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and the Biomedical and Advanced Research and Development Authority of the Department of Health and Human Services; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04425629.).
Lentiviral-Vector-Based Dendritic Cell Vaccine Synergizes with Checkpoint Blockade to Clear Chronic Viral Infection
Dendritic cell vaccines are a promising strategy for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases but have met with mixed success. We report on a lentiviral vector-based dendritic cell vaccine strategy that generates a cluster of differentiation 8 (CD8) TÂ cell response that is much stronger than that achieved by standard peptide-pulsing approaches. The strategy was tested in the mouse lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) model. Bone marrow-derived dendritic cells from SAMHD1 knockout mice were transduced with a lentiviral vector expressing theÂ GP33 major-histocompatibility-complex (MHC)-class-I-restricted peptide epitope and CD40 ligand (CD40L) and injected into wild-type mice. The mice were highly protected against acute and chronic variant CL-13 LCMVs, resulting in a 100-fold greater decrease than that achieved with peptide epitope-pulsed dendritic cells. Inclusion of an MHC-class-II-restricted epitope in the lentiviral vector further increased the CD8 TÂ cell response and resulted in antigen-specific CD8 TÂ cells that exhibited a phenotype associated with functional cytotoxic TÂ cells. The vaccination synergized with checkpoint blockade to reduce the viral load of mice chronically infected with CL-13 to an undetectable level. The strategy improves upon current dendritic cell vaccine strategies; is applicable to the treatment of disease, including AIDS and cancer; and supports the utility of Vpx-containing vectors.
Lentiviral Vector-Based Dendritic Cell Vaccine Suppresses HIV Replication in Humanized Mice
HIV-1-infected individuals are treated with lifelong antiretroviral drugs to control the infection. A means to strengthen the antiviral TÂ cell response might allow them to control viral loads without antiretroviral drugs. We report the development of a lentiviral vector-based dendritic cell (DC) vaccine in which HIV-1 antigen is co-expressed with CD40 ligand (CD40L) and a soluble, high-affinity programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) dimer. CD40L activates the DCs, whereas PD-1 binds programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) to prevent checkpoint activation and strengthen the cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response. The injection of humanized mice with DCs transduced with vector expressing CD40L and the HIV-1 SL9 epitope induced antigen-specific TÂ cell proliferation and memory differentiation. Upon HIV-1 challenge of vaccinated mice, viral load was suppressed by 2 logs for 6Â weeks. Introduction of the soluble PD-1 dimer into a vector that expressed full-length HIV-1 proteins accelerated the antiviral response. The results support development of this approach as a therapeutic vaccine that might allow HIV-1-infected individuals to control virus replication without antiretroviral therapy.
Recent Advances in Lentiviral Vaccines for HIV-1 Infection
The development of an effective HIV vaccine to prevent and/or cure HIV remains a global health priority. Given their central role in the initiation of adaptive immune responses, dendritic cell (DC)-based vaccines are being increasingly explored as immunotherapeutic strategies to enhance HIV-specific T cells in infected individuals and, thus, promote immune responses that may help facilitate a functional cure. HIV-1-based lentiviral (LV) vectors have inherent advantages as DC vaccine vectors due to their ability to transduce non-dividing cells and integrate into the target cell genomic DNA, allowing for expression of encoded antigens over the lifespan of the cell. Moreover, LV vectors may express additional immunostimulatory and immunoregulatory proteins that enhance DC function and direct antigen-specific T cells responses. Recent basic and clinical research efforts have broadened our understanding of LV vectors as DC-based vaccines. In this review, we provide an overview of the pre-clinical and clinical LV vector vaccine studies for treating HIV to date. We also discuss advances in LV vector designs that have enhanced DC transduction efficiency, target cell specificity, and immunogenicity, and address potential safety concerns regarding LV vector-based vaccines.
Corrigendum: Recent Advances in Lentiviral Vaccines for HIV-1 Infection [Correction]
[This corrects the article on p. 243 in vol. 7, PMID: 27446074.].
Vpx-containing dendritic cell vaccine induces CTLs and reactivates latent HIV-1 in vitro
Eradication of human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) from an infected individual requires a means of inducing production of virus from latently infected cells and stimulating an immune response against the infected cells. We report the development of lentiviral vectors that transduce dendritic cells (DCs) to both induce production of virus from latently infected cells and stimulate antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). The vectors package Vpx, a lentiviral accessory protein that counteracts the SAMHD1-mediated block to DC transduction, allowing for long-term expression of vector-encoded proteins. The vectors encode influenza or HIV-1-derived epitopes fused via a self-cleaving peptide to CD40L that releases the peptide into the endoplasmic reticulum for entry into the antigen presentation pathway. Expression of CD40L caused transduced DCs to mature and produce Th1-skewing cytokines. The DCs presented antigen to CD8 T cells, enhancing antigen-specific CTLs. Coculture of the transduced DCs with latently infected cells induced high-level virus production, an effect that was mediated by tumor necrosis factor alpha. The ability of a DC vaccine to reactivate latent HIV-1 and stimulate an adaptive immune response provide a means to reduce the size of the latent reservoir in patients. This strategy can also be applied to develop DC vaccines for other diseases.
Attenuated Listeria monocytogenes Vectors Overcome Suppressive Plasma Factors during HIV Infection to Stimulate Myeloid Dendritic Cells to Promote Adaptive Immunity and Reactivation of Latent Virus
HIV-1 infection is characterized by myeloid dendritic cell (DC) dysfunction which blunts their responsiveness to vaccine adjuvants. We previously showed that non-viral factors in HIV-seropositive plasma are partially responsible for mediating this immune suppression. In this study we investigated recombinant Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) vectors, which naturally infect and potently activate DCs from seronegative donors, as a means to overcome DC dysfunction associated with HIV infection. Monocyte-derived DCs were cocultured with plasma from HIV-infected donors (HIV-moDCs) to induce a dysregulated state and infected with an attenuated, non-replicative vaccine strain of Lm expressing full length clade B consensus gag (KBMA Lm-gag). Lm infection stimulated cytokine secretion (IL-12p70, TNFalpha, IL-6) and Th-1 skewing of allogeneic naive CD4 T cells by HIV-moDCs, in contrast to the suppressive effects observed by HIV plasma on moDCs upon toll-like receptor ligand stimulation. Upon coculture of KBMA Lm-gag-infected moDCs from HIV-infected donors with autologous cells, expansion of polyfunctional, gag-specific CD8+ T cells was observed. Reactivation of latent proviruses by moDCs following Lm infection was also observed in models of HIV latency in a TNFalpha-dependent manner. These findings reveal the unique ability of Lm vectors to contend with dysregulation of HIV-moDCs , while simultaneously possessing the capacity to activate latent virus. Concurrent stimulation of innate and adaptive immunity and disruption of latency may be an approach to reduce the pool of latently infected cells during HIV infection. Further study of Lm vectors as part of therapeutic vaccination and eradication strategies may advance this evolving field.
Orthopedic surgical site infections: analysis of causative bacteria and implications for antibiotic stewardship
Data that can be used to guide perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis in our era of emerging antibiotic resistance are limited. We reviewed orthopedic surgeries complicated by surgical site infections (SSIs). Eighty percent of 69 arthroplasty and 80 spine fusion SSIs were infected with Gram-positive bacteria; most were staphylococcal species; and more than 25% of Staphylococcus aureus and more than 65% of coagulase-negative staphylococci were methicillin-resistant. Gram-negative bacteria were isolated from 30% of arthroplasty SSIs and 25% of spine fusion SSIs. Resistance to cefazolin was higher than 40%. A significant proportion of SSIs were caused by resistant organisms, and antibiotic guidelines were altered to provide more adequate surgical prophylaxis.