Safety and Immunogenicity of a Replication-Incompetent Adenovirus Type 5 HIV-1 Clade Bgag/pol/nefVaccine in Healthy Adults

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The safety and immunogenicity of the MRK adenovirus type 5 human immunodeficiency virus type 1 clade B gag/pol/nef vaccine, a replication-incompetent adenovirus type 5—vectored vaccine designed to elicit cell-mediated immunity against conserved human immunodeficiency virus proteins, was assessed in a phase 1 trial.


Healthy adults not infected with human immunodeficiency virus were enrolled in a multicenter, dose-escalating, blind, placebo-controlled study to evaluate a 3-dose homologous prime-boost regimen of the trivalent MRK adenovirus type 5 human immunodeficiency virus type 1 vaccine containing from 3×106 to 1×1011 viral particles per 1-mL dose administered on day 1, during week 4 and during week 26. Adverse events were recorded for 29 days after each intradeltoid injection. The primary immunogenicity end point was the proportion of study participants with a positive unfractionated Gag-, Pol-, or Nef-specific interferon-γ enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot response measured 4 weeks after administration of the last dose.


Of 259 randomized individuals, 257 (99%) received ≥1 dose of vaccine or placebo and were included in the safety analyses. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot results were available for 217 study participants (84%) at week 30. No serious vaccine-related adverse events occurred. No study participant discontinued participation because of vaccine-related adverse events. The frequency of injection-site reactions was dose dependent. Vaccine doses of ≥3×109 viral particles elicited positive enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot responses to ≥1 vaccine component in >60% of recipients. High baseline antibody titers against adenovirus type 5 diminished enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot responses at all doses except the 3×1010 viral particle dose.


The vaccine was generally well tolerated and induced cell-mediated immune responses against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 peptides in most healthy adults. Despite these findings, vaccination in a proof-of-concept trial with use of this vaccine was discontinued because of lack of efficacy.

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