Mechanisms of the immunological control of HIV replication in LTNP and HIV vaccine candidates derived thereof

Funding: Hector foundation
Duration: 1.1.2009 – 31.12.2012

Long term non progressors (LTNPs) are HIV-positive patients who develop AIDS after much longer times. In some cases, this is due mechanistically due to potent CTL responses (compare ForProtect above). To develop novel vaccine candidates potentially giving rise to CTL responses with increased breadth, epitope-enriched Gag, Pol and Nef immunogens are being designed using in silico algorithms. In parallel, different viral vector systems (poxvirus (NYVAC), adenovirus, equine herpesvirus) are evaluated immunologically for their capacity to induce direct- and cross-presentation in human dendritic cells ex vivo. Finally, the best-in-class viral vectors will be combined with the novel immunogens and T cell profiles of (i) CTLs restimulated by infected human DCs ex vivo and (ii) of in vivo primed T cells from mice will be determined and assessed against T cell profiles from LTNPs.