Enhanced immunogenicity using an alphavirus replicon DNA vaccine against human immunodeficiency virus type 1

J Gen Virol. 2005 Feb;86(Pt 2):349-354. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.80481-0.


With the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) epidemic expanding at increasing speed, development of a safe and effective vaccine remains a high priority. One of the most central vaccine platforms considered is plasmid DNA. However, high doses of DNA and several immunizations are typically needed to achieve detectable T-cell responses. In this study, a Semliki Forest virus replicon DNA vaccine designed for human clinical trials, DREP.HIVA, encoding an antigen that is currently being used in human trials in the context of a conventional DNA plasmid, pTHr.HIVA, was generated. It was shown that a single immunization of DREP.HIVA stimulated HIV-1-specific T-cell responses in mice, suggesting that the poor immunogenicity of conventional DNA vaccines may be enhanced by using viral replicon-based plasmid systems. The results presented here support the evaluation of Semliki Forest virus replicon DNA vaccines in non-human primates and in clinical studies.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA, Viral / immunology*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / blood
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • HIV-1 / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Replicon / immunology
  • Semliki forest virus / genetics
  • Semliki forest virus / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Vaccination*
  • Vaccines, DNA / immunology
  • Viral Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Viral Vaccines / immunology*


  • DNA, Viral
  • Vaccines, DNA
  • Viral Vaccines