The development of a highly effective vaccine remains a key strategic goal to aid the control and eventual eradication of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. In recent years, the reticulocyte-binding protein homolog 5 (RH5) has emerged as the most promising blood-stage P. falciparum candidate antigen to date, capable of conferring protection against stringent challenge in Aotus monkeys. We report on the first clinical trial to our knowledge to assess the RH5 antigen — a dose-escalation phase Ia study in 24 healthy, malaria-naive adult volunteers. We utilized established viral vectors, the replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus serotype 63 (ChAd63), and the attenuated orthopoxvirus modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA), encoding RH5 from the 3D7 clone of P. falciparum. Vaccines were administered i.m. in a heterologous prime-boost regimen using an 8-week interval and were well tolerated. Vaccine-induced anti-RH5 serum antibodies exhibited cross-strain functional growth inhibition activity (GIA) in vitro, targeted linear and conformational epitopes within RH5, and inhibited key interactions within the RH5 invasion complex. This is the first time to our knowledge that substantial RH5-specific responses have been induced by immunization in humans, with levels greatly exceeding the serum antibody responses observed in African adults following years of natural malaria exposure. These data support the progression of RH5-based vaccines to human efficacy testing.
Ruth O. Payne, Sarah E. Silk, Sean C. Elias, Kazutoyo Miura, Ababacar Diouf, Francis Galaway, Hans de Graaf, Nathan J. Brendish, Ian D. Poulton, Oliver J. Griffiths, Nick J. Edwards, Jing Jin, Geneviève M. Labbé, Daniel G.W. Alanine, Loredana Siani, Stefania Di Marco, Rachel Roberts, Nicky Green, Eleanor Berrie, Andrew S. Ishizuka, Carolyn M. Nielsen, Martino Bardelli, Frederica D. Partey, Michael F. Ofori, Lea Barfod, Juliana Wambua, Linda M. Murungi, Faith H. Osier, Sumi Biswas, James S. McCarthy, Angela M. Minassian, Rebecca Ashfield, Nicola K. Viebig, Fay L. Nugent, Alexander D. Douglas, Johan Vekemans, Gavin J. Wright, Saul N. Faust, Adrian V.S. Hill, Carole A. Long, Alison M. Lawrie, Simon J. Draper
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is a global health threat, compounded by the emergence of drug-resistant strains. A hallmark of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) is the formation of hypoxic necrotic granulomas, which upon disintegration, release infectious Mtb. Furthermore, hypoxic necrotic granulomas are associated with increased disease severity and provide a niche for drug-resistant Mtb. However, the host immune responses that promote the development of hypoxic TB granulomas are not well described. Using a necrotic Mtb mouse model, we show that loss of Mtb virulence factors, such as phenolic glycolipids, decreases the production of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-17 (also referred to as IL-17A). IL-17 production negatively regulates the development of hypoxic TB granulomas by limiting the expression of the transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF1α). In human TB patients, HIF1α mRNA expression is increased. Through genotyping and association analyses in human samples, we identified a link between the single nucleotide polymorphism rs2275913 in the IL-17 promoter (–197G/G), which is associated with decreased IL-17 production upon stimulation with Mtb cell wall. Together, our data highlight a potentially novel role for IL-17 in limiting the development of hypoxic necrotic granulomas and reducing disease severity in TB.
Racquel Domingo-Gonzalez, Shibali Das, Kristin L. Griffiths, Mushtaq Ahmed, Monika Bambouskova, Radha Gopal, Suhas Gondi, Marcela Muñoz-Torrico, Miguel A. Salazar-Lezama, Alfredo Cruz-Lagunas, Luis Jiménez-Álvarez, Gustavo Ramirez-Martinez, Ramón Espinosa-Soto, Tamanna Sultana, James Lyons-Weiler, Todd A. Reinhart, Jesus Arcos, Maria de la Luz Garcia-Hernandez, Michael A. Mastrangelo, Noor Al-Hammadi, Reid Townsend, Joan-Miquel Balada-Llasat, Jordi B. Torrelles, Gilla Kaplan, William Horne, Jay K. Kolls, Maxim N. Artyomov, Javier Rangel-Moreno, Joaquín Zúñiga, Shabaana A. Khader
The innate immune response shapes the development of adaptive immunity following infections and vaccination. However, it can also induce symptoms such as fever and myalgia, leading to the possibility that the molecular basis of immunogenicity and reactogenicity of vaccination are inseparably linked. To test this possibility, we used the yellow fever live-attenuated vaccine (YFLAV) as a model to study the molecular correlates of reactogenicity or adverse events (AEs). We analyzed the outcome of 68 adults who completed a YFLAV clinical trial, of which 43 (63.2%) reported systemic AEs. Through whole-genome profiling of blood collected before and after YFLAV dosing, we observed that activation of innate immune genes at day 1, but not day 3 after vaccination, was directly correlated with AEs. These findings contrast with the gene expression profile at day 3 that we and others have previously shown to be correlated with immunogenicity. We conclude that although the innate immune response is a double-edged sword, its expression that induces AEs is temporally distinct from that which engenders robust immunity. The use of genomic profiling thus provides molecular insights into the biology of AEs that potentially forms a basis for the development of safer vaccines.
Candice Y.Y. Chan, Kuan Rong Chan, Camillus J.H. Chua, Sharifah nur Hazirah, Sujoy Ghosh, Eng Eong Ooi, Jenny G. Low
BACKGROUND. Inflammation and monocytes are thought to be important to human malaria pathogenesis. However, the relationship of inflammation and various monocyte functions to acute malaria, recovery from acute malaria, and asymptomatic parasitemia in endemic populations is poorly understood. METHODS. We evaluated plasma cytokine levels, monocyte subsets, monocyte functional responses, and monocyte inflammatory transcriptional profiles of 1- to 10-year-old Kenyan children at the time of presentation with acute uncomplicated malaria and at recovery 6 weeks later; these results were compared with analogous data from asymptomatic children and adults in the same community. RESULTS. Acute malaria was marked by elevated levels of proinflammatory and regulatory cytokines and expansion of the inflammatory “intermediate” monocyte subset that returned to levels of healthy asymptomatic children 6 weeks later. Monocytes displayed activated phenotypes during acute malaria, with changes in surface expression of markers important to innate and adaptive immunity. Functionally, acute malaria monocytes and monocytes from asymptomatic infected children had impaired phagocytosis of P. falciparum–infected erythrocytes relative to asymptomatic children with no blood-stage infection. Monocytes from both acute malaria and recovery time points displayed strong and equivalent cytokine responsiveness to innate immune agonists that were independent of infection status. Monocyte transcriptional profiles revealed regulated and balanced proinflammatory and antiinflammatory and altered phagocytosis gene expression patterns distinct from malaria-naive monocytes. CONCLUSION. These observations provide insights into monocyte functions and the innate immune response during uncomplicated malaria and suggest that asymptomatic parasitemia in children is not clinically benign. FUNDING. Support for this work was provided by NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (R01AI095192-05), the Burroughs Wellcome Fund/American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and the Rainbow Babies & Children’s Foundation.
Katherine R. Dobbs, Paula Embury, John Vulule, Peter S. Odada, Bruce A. Rosa, Makedonka Mitreva, James W. Kazura, Arlene E. Dent
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infects almost all infants by 2 years of age, and severe bronchiolitis resulting from RSV infection is the primary cause of hospitalization in the first year of life. Among infants hospitalized due to RSV-induced bronchiolitis, those with a specific mutation in the chemokine receptor CX3CR1, which severely compromises binding of its ligand CX3CL1, were at a higher risk for more severe viral bronchiolitis than those without the mutation. Here, we show that RSV infection of newborn mice deficient in CX3CR1 leads to significantly greater neutrophilic inflammation in the lungs, accompanied by an increase in mucus production compared with that induced in WT mice. Analysis of innate and adaptive immune responses revealed an early increase in the number of IL-17+ γδ T cells in CX3CR1-deficient mice that outnumbered IFN-γ+ γδ T cells as well as IFN-γ+ NK cells, IFN-γ being host protective in the context of RSV infection. This bias toward IL-17+ γδ T cells persisted at a later time. The lungs of CX3CR1-deficient mice expressed higher levels of IL-1β mRNA and protein, and blockade of IL-1β signaling using IL-1 receptor antagonist significantly reduced the number of IL-17+ γδ T cells in the lungs of infected mice. Blockade of IL-17RC abolished RSV-induced lung pathology in infected CX3CR1-deficient mice. We propose that, in infants harboring mutant CX3CR1, targeting the IL-17R may minimize disease severity and hospitalization in early life.
Sudipta Das, Mahesh Raundhal, Jie Chen, Timothy B. Oriss, Rachael Huff, John V. Williams, Anuradha Ray, Prabir Ray
Promising therapeutic approaches for eradicating HIV include transcriptional activation of provirus from latently infected cells using latency-reversing agents (LRAs) and immune-mediated clearance to purge reservoirs. Accurate detection of cells capable of producing viral antigens and virions, and the measurement of clearance of infected cells, is essential to assessing therapeutic efficacy. Here, we apply enhanced methodology extending the sensitivity limits for the rapid detection of subfemtomolar HIV gag p24 capsid protein in CD4+ T cells from ART-suppressed HIV+ individuals, and we show viral protein induction following treatment with LRAs. Importantly, we demonstrate that clinical administration of histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACis; vorinostat and panobinostat) induced HIV gag p24, and ex vivo stimulation produced sufficient viral antigen to elicit immune-mediated cell killing using anti-gp120/CD3 bispecific antibody. These findings extend beyond classical nucleic acid endpoints, which are confounded by the predominance of mutated, defective proviruses and, of paramount importance, enable assessment of cells making HIV protein that can now be targeted by immunological approaches.
Guoxin Wu, Michael Swanson, Aarthi Talla, Donald Graham, Julie Strizki, Daniel Gorman, Richard J.O. Barnard, Wade Blair, Ole S. Søgaard, Martin Tolstrup, Lars Østergaard, Thomas A. Rasmussen, Rafick-Pierre Sekaly, Nancie M. Archin, David M. Margolis, Daria J. Hazuda, Bonnie J. Howell
Clinical responses to infection or vaccination and the development of effective immunity are characterized in humans by a marked interindividual variability. To gain an insight into the factors affecting this variability, we used a controlled human infection system to study early immune events following primary infection of healthy human volunteers with blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum malaria. By day 4 of infection, a dichotomous pattern of high or low expression of a defined set of microRNAs (miRs) emerged in volunteers that correlated with variation in parasite growth rate. Moreover, high-miR responders had higher numbers of activated CD4+ T cells, and developed significantly enhanced antimalarial antibody responses. Notably, a set of 17 miRs was identified in the whole blood of low-miR responders prior to infection that differentiated them from high-miR responders. These data implicate preexisting host factors as major determinants in the ability to effectively respond to primary malaria infection.
Julie G. Burel, Simon H. Apte, Penny L. Groves, Michelle J. Boyle, Christine Langer, James G. Beeson, James S. McCarthy, Denise L. Doolan
Cellular and humoral constituents of the immune system differ significantly between children and adults, yet very little is known about the impact of early-life pathogen exposure on this immunologic transition. We examined CD4+ and CD8+ T cell subsets defined by CCR7 and CD45RA expression in two longitudinal pediatric cohorts experiencing divergent levels of pathogen burden. Using multiparameter flow cytometry, along with serological, cytokine, and transcriptomic data, we show that cumulative pathogen burden promotes the development of atypical CD8dim T cells with an innate-like profile (Granzyme Bhi, IFNγlow, TNFαlow, PLFZhi, ID2hi, IKZF2hi) in contrast to age-matched children residing in a low pathogen–exposure area who display a more conventional CD8bright profile (IFNγ+, TNFα+, CCL4+). Furthermore, these unconventional T cells had stunted proliferation, distinct transcriptional programs, and impaired T cell receptor signaling and were enriched in hallmark TNFα, NF-κB, and IL-6 gene signaling pathways, reminiscent of NK cells and type-1 innate lymphoid cells. Our findings suggest that these unconventional CD8dim T cells arise in a very particular immunological context and may provide a deeper understanding of the heterogeneity in human immune responses.
Yves T. Falanga, Michela Frascoli, Yasin Kaymaz, Catherine Forconi, John Michael Ong’echa, Jeffrey A. Bailey, Leslie J. Berg, Ann M. Moormann
BACKGROUND. Both seasonal and novel avian influenza viruses can result in severe infections requiring hospitalization. Anti-influenza antibodies (Abs) with Fc-mediated effector functions, such as Ab-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), are of growing interest in control of influenza but have not previously been studied during severe human infections. As such, the objective of this study was to examine Fc-mediated Ab functions in humans hospitalized with influenza infection. METHODS. Serum Ab response was studied in subjects hospitalized with either pandemic H7N9 avian influenza virus in China (n = 18) or circulating seasonal influenza viruses in Melbourne, Australia (n = 16). Recombinant soluble Fc receptor dimer ELISAs, natural killer (NK) cell activation assays, and Ab-dependent killing assays with influenza-infected target cells were used to assess the Fc functionality of anti-influenza hemagglutinin (HA) Abs during severe human influenza infection. RESULTS. We found that the peak generation of Fc functional HA Abs preceded that of neutralizing Abs for both severe H7N9 and seasonal influenza infections. Subjects who succumbed to complications of H7N9 infection demonstrated reduced HA-specific Fc receptor–binding Abs (in magnitude and breadth) immediately prior to death compared with those who survived. Subjects who recovered from H7N9 and severe seasonal influenza infections demonstrated increased Fc receptor–binding Abs not only against the homologous infecting strain but against HAs from different influenza A subtypes. CONCLUSION. Collectively, survivors of severe influenza infection rapidly generate a functional Ab response capable of mediating ADCC against divergent influenza viruses. Broadly binding HA Abs with Fc-mediated functions may be a useful component of protective immunity to severe influenza infection. FUNDING. The National Health and Medical Research Council ([NHMRC] grants 1023294, 1041832, and 1071916), the Australian Department of Health, and the joint University of Melbourne/Fudan University International Research and Research Training Fund provided funding for this study.
Hillary A. Vanderven, Lu Liu, Fernanda Ana-Sosa-Batiz, Thi H.O. Nguyen, Yanmin Wan, Bruce Wines, P. Mark Hogarth, Danielle Tilmanis, Arnold Reynaldi, Matthew S. Parsons, Aeron C. Hurt, Miles P. Davenport, Tom Kotsimbos, Allen C. Cheng, Katherine Kedzierska, Xiaoyan Zhang, Jianqing Xu, Stephen J. Kent
Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is the most common congenital infection and a known cause of microcephaly, sensorineural hearing loss, and cognitive impairment among newborns worldwide. Natural maternal HCMV immunity reduces the incidence of congenital infection, but does not prevent the disease altogether. We employed a nonhuman primate model of congenital CMV infection to investigate the ability of preexisting antibodies to protect against placental CMV transmission in the setting of primary maternal infection and subsequent viremia, which is required for placental virus exposure. Pregnant, CD4+ T cell–depleted, rhesus CMV–seronegative (RhCMV-seronegative) rhesus monkeys were treated with either standardly produced hyperimmune globulin (HIG) from RhCMV-seropositive macaques or dose-optimized, potently RhCMV-neutralizing HIG prior to intravenous challenge with an RhCMV mixture. HIG passive infusion provided complete protection against fetal loss in both groups. The dose-optimized, RhCMV-neutralizing HIG additionally inhibited placental transmission of RhCMV and reduced viral replication and diversity. Our findings suggest that the presence of durable and potently neutralizing antibodies at the time of primary infection can prevent transmission of systemically replicating maternal RhCMV to the developing fetus, and therefore should be a primary target of vaccines to eliminate this neonatal infection.
Cody S. Nelson, Diana Vera Cruz, Dollnovan Tran, Kristy M. Bialas, Lisa Stamper, Huali Wu, Margaret Gilbert, Robert Blair, Xavier Alvarez, Hannah Itell, Meng Chen, Ashlesha Deshpande, Flavia Chiuppesi, Felix Wussow, Don J. Diamond, Nathan Vandergrift, Mark R. Walter, Peter A. Barry, Michael Cohen-Wolkowiez, Katia Koelle, Amitinder Kaur, Sallie R. Permar
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