The closing day of AIDS Vaccine 2011 featured presentation of new developments that will provide insight into how best to protect against HIV acquisition, the important role of systems biology and analysis of breakthrough viruses, which are pointing us in new directions for the design of future vaccine candidates.
At the closing, Dr. José Esparza remarked, “I think we were all pretty impressed – both with the breadth and depth of the work presented here, and with the recognition that we are truly in an extraordinary era in HIV prevention research in general, and in HIV vaccine research in particular.”
Following are highlights from day 3 of the AIDS Vaccine 2011 conference:
- Nick Haining’s systems biology approach to expression profiles of T cells during chronic infections allowed identification of biological programs involved in T cell exhaustion. These programs appear to be evolutionary conserved to a large extent, allowing the use of small animal models to dissect the mechanisms to interfere and stimulate the immune system (WN. Haining, S05.03).
- Substituting for Alan Aderem, Erica Andersen-Nissen described the analysis of samples collected within days of vaccination in the HVTN 071 study. She showed that within 24 hrs, vaccinated volunteers developed uniform signatures of changes in expression and alternative splicing of genes involved in innate responses and T-cell trafficking. These signatures were distinct from those described earlier for yellow-fever vaccination (A. Aderem, S05.05).
- Dan Barouch presented data showing the results of an Ad26/MVA vaccine trial in macaques, in which several immune responses correlated with protection against acquisition, including Env Elisa, Tier 1 neutralizing antibodies and ADCC. He also showed that inclusion of the envelope into the vaccine candidate was critical for the observed protection (D. Barouch, S06.05).
- Morgane Rolland presented an analysis of sequences of breakthrough viruses in the RV144 trial, which did not find a statistically-significant impact of vaccination on the number of incoming viruses or their diversity from the strain used in the vaccine. However, there was evidence of a sieve effect both in gp120 and V2, with larger V2 loops in vaccines as well as specific sites under selection in that region. These findings lend further support to the role of V2-binding antibodies proposed based on immunogenicity correlate analysis (M. Rolland, S07.02).
- In his plenary talk, Steve Reed provided an overview of currently used and newly developed adjuvants, focused on rational design of new compounds that trigger specific innate mechanisms necessary to elicit robust and long-term adaptive immune response (S. Reed, PL03.03).
If you missed the session, check out the webcasts
- Plenary 3 on Novel Immunogens and Vaccine Delivery Strategies: Where Do We Go Next? discussed the current state and future plans for immunogen design, vector-based HIV vaccines and vaccine adjuvants.
- Closing Ceremony with Dan Barouch, who will co-Chair AIDS Vaccine 2012 with Galit Alter, Lindsey Baden and Bruce Walker.
- PDF versions of the posters presented at the AIDS Vaccine 2011 are available online. Click here to view the poster presentations by topic.
- Abstracts presented at AIDS Vaccine 2011 have been published online in AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses and are available here.
Other conference highlights: