Experimental vaccine elicits robust response against both HIV and tuberculosis

May 22, 2012

Clinician researchers in China have developed a vaccine that acts simultaneously against HIV-1 and M. tuberculosis (Mtb). An estimated 14 million people worldwide are coinfected with the two pathogens. The research is published in the May 2012 issue of Clinical and Vaccine Immunology.

The vaccine is composed of from both pathogens. The team, led by Sidong Xiong of Fudan University, Shanghai, incorporated four Mtb epitopes (the part of an antigen that is recognized by the immune system) into a backbone composed of HIV-1 p24 protein, a protein that is known to produce against HIV-1. The logic of this construction: many epitopes are short , with poor unless they are introduced into a —which in this case was the p24 protein.

The vaccine induced cellular immune responses to both pathogens, in which immune system cells including macrophages search out and destroy pathogens; and humoral immune response against HIV-1, in which the immune system produces antibodies against the pathogen. The vaccine was tested in a mouse model. 

Tuberculosis is one of the leading causes of death worldwide; third, after hepatitis C and then HIV/AIDS among infectious diseases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). An estimated 2 billion—28 percent of the world’s population—are infected with M. tuberculosis, but most of these infections are latent. However, HIV infection is the strongest risk factor for the progression of latent tuberculosis infection to active TB.  And TB is the direct cause of death in about one quarter of all deaths among people with HIV/AIDS, according to the WHO.

More information: X. Li, W. Xu, and S. Xiong, 2012. A novel tuberculosis DNA vaccine in an HIV-1 p24 protein backbone confers protection against Mycobacterium tuberculosis and simultaneously elicits robust humoral and cellular responses to HIV-1. Clin. Vac. Immunol. 19:723-730.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Enzyme key to triggering anti-cancer immune response

June 27, 2017

An enzyme implicated in autoimmune diseases and viral infections also regulates radiation therapy's ability to trigger an immune response against cancer, Weill Cornell Medicine scientists found in a new study. Their discovery ...

Experts uncover first molecular events of organ rejection

June 23, 2017

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the University of Toronto have uncovered the first molecular steps that lead to immune system activation and eventual rejection of a transplanted organ. The ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.