Safe and effective vaccine for HIV.
- VLPs are safer than live replicating vectored vaccines because of their lack of infectivity, allowing for use in immunocompromised patients.
- HIV VLPs extract both arms of immunity and create immune responses at local and distal, mucosal surfaces.
Most scientists agree that a successful HIV vaccine should induce both antibody and cell-mediated immune responses. Emory scientists have successfully constructed HIV virus-like particles (VLPs) that have been shown to induce both antibody and cellular immune responses in animals. These HIV VLPs have enhanced immunogenicity and are effective in inducing immune responses.
HIV VLPs resemble the HIV virus, but are non-infectious since they are devoid of the virus genes themselves. Delivery of this VLP vaccine induces broad neutralizing antibodies against HIV in blood and mucosal tissues. The use of VLPs for immunization has several advantages since the nonreplicative nature of VLPs and their lack of viral genomic RNA make them safe for broad and repeated application. In addition, since the assembly and arrangement of components in VLPs resembles that of the virus, they may be more effective in inducing neutralizing antibodies. Furthermore, VLPs are less likely to undergo aberrant events during purification that would alter their native properties. Many other vaccine approaches elicit immune response against other components present in the vaccine, which may limit the possibility of boosting immunity by repeated administration. In contrast, the VLP vaccine contains only HIV antigens, and can thus be administered repeatedly to boost immune responses. Thus, VLP vaccines provide a promising new approach for the development of a highly effective HIV vaccine with a high degree of safety.
HIV VLP vaccine has been shown to induce both antibody and cellular immune responses in mice and monkeys.