presentation_1.PDF

<p>Even though the rate of new human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infections is gradually decreasing worldwide, an effective preventive vaccine for HIV-1 is still urgently needed. The recombinant Mycobacterium bovis BCG (rBCG) is promising for the development of an HIV-1 vaccine. Recently, we showed that a recombinant Mycobacterium smegmatis expressing HIV-1 gag in a pMyong2 vector system (rSmeg-pMyong2-p24) increased the efficacy of a vaccine against HIV-1 in mice. Here, we evaluated the potential of an rBCG expressing HIV-1 p24 antigen Gag in pMyong2 (rBCG-pMyong2-p24) in a vaccine application for HIV-1 infection. We found that rBCG-pMyong2-p24 elicited an enhanced HIV-1 p24 Gag expression in rBCG and infected antigen-presenting cells. We also found that compared to rBCG-pAL-p24 in a pAL5000 derived vector system, rBCG-pMyong2-p24 elicited enhanced p24-specific immune responses in vaccinated mice as evidenced by higher levels of HIV-1 Gag-specific CD4 and CD8 T lymphocyte proliferation, gamma interferon ELISPOT cell induction, antibody production, and cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) responses. Furthermore, rBCG-pMyong2-p24 showed a higher level of p24-specific Ab production than rSmeg-pMyong2-p24 in the same pMyong2 vector system. In conclusion, our data indicated that a live recombinant BCG expressing HIV-1 Gag using a pMyong2 vector system, rBCG-pMyong2-p24 elicited an enhanced immune response against HIV-1 infections in a mouse model system. So, rBCG-pMyong2-p24 may have the potential as a prime vaccine in a heterologous prime-boost vaccine strategy for HIV-1 infection.</p>