More Surprises in the Development of an HIV Vaccine
In the current issue of Frontiers in Immunology, Jean-Marie Andrieu and collaborators, report results from non-human primate experiments designed to explore a new vaccine concept aimed at inducing tolerance to the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) (1). This approach, which is significantly different from other vaccine concepts tested to date, resulted in a surprisingly high level of protection. If the results are confirmed and extended to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), this approach may represent a game changing strategy, which should be welcomed by a field that has been marred by mostly disappointing results.
HIV Graphic from Russell Kightley Media
This is a commentary by two well-respected friends of mine on a very surprising result published by the Andrieu group recently, which seems to have been ignored by the mainstream HIV vaccine world.
This is not surprising, in that Andrieu is an outsider in this field – he is a cancer researcher – but is typical of the disappointing tendency in science to ignore contributions from outside the various "Golden Circles" that exist for various specialties.
Something that should elicit interest, though, is that this group has shown that a previously obscure
"…population of non-cytolytic MHCIb/E-restricted CD8+ T regulatory cells [that] suppressed the activation of SIV positive CD4+ T-lymphocytes".
This is interesting because Louis Picker’s groups’ recent findings, announced at the recent HIVR4P conference in Cape Town, highlighted the involvement of MHC-E proteins in what amounted to a cure of SIV infection in macaques by a modified Rhesus cytomegalovirus (RhCMV) HIV vaccine vector (see here: http://www.iavireport.org/Blog/archive/2013/09/13/cmv-based-vaccine-can-clear-siv-infection-in-macaques.aspx).
I tweeted at the time:
"Universal MHC-E-restricted CD8+ T cells – break all the rules for epitope recognition"
Could this be a link between the two mechanisms – both from way outside the orthodoxy, I will point out?
It will be interesting to see.