Despite more than two decades of extensive research, the development of an effective vaccine for HlV-1 remains elusive. A significant critical hurdle that compounds this challenge in vaccine development includes a lack of knowledge in defining the key correlate of protection against infection with HIV-1. Emerging evidence in various preclinical and clinical studies suggest a key role for HIV-1 specific neutralizing antibody responses present in high levels both systemic and at mucosal surfaces, as well as a role for polyfunctional T cell responses that can control the spread of the virus. It is now well documented that innate immunity plays a central role in shaping the quality and longevity of adapfive immune responses. Rational approaches that mediate robust activafion of innate immunity and deliver HlV-1 specific anfigens to key innate immune cells such as dendrific cells (DCs) could significanfiy enhance the magnitude, quality and persistence of ensuing humoral and T cell immunity against the HIV-1 virus. Recent studies have demonstrated that select combinations of ligands for toll like receptors (TLRs) can mediate such robust activation of DCs. Our proposal is driven by the hypothesis that such synergistic increases in DC acfivation would translate into synergisfic enhancement in frequencies and quality of anfigen specific B and T cells. Our studies in mice using a variety of protein anfigens and combinafion of ligands for TLR-4 (MPL) and TLR-7 (R837) delivered in novel synthefic nanoparticle formulations indicate synergisfic increases in antigen specific memory B cell, CD4 and CDS T cell responses, which persist for almost the life fime of the animal. Furthermore, our best adjuvant chosen from mice studies when tested in non human primates with a whole inacfivated 2009 H1N1 flu virus mediated robust neutralizafing anfibody responses even with a single immunizafion. Collecfively, these data strongly support our hypothesis that the combination of ligands for TLR-4 and TLR-7/8 could significantly enhance the quality of B cell and T cell responses against SIV antigens. Here we propose to evaluate SIV virus like particle (VLP) anfigens adjuvanted with toll like receptor (TLR) ligands encapsulated in biodegradable nanoparticles in mediafing protective immunity against the SIV virus in non human primates.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Research Program--Cooperative Agreements (U19)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAI1)
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Emory University
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