Humoral and Cell-Mediated Immune Responses to Live Recombinant BCG-HIV Vaccines

Nature. 1991 Jun 6;351(6326):479-82. doi: 10.1038/351479a0.


Several viral and bacterial live recombinant vaccine vehicles are being developed to produce a new generation of vaccines against a broad spectrum of infectious diseases. The human tuberculosis vaccine Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) has features that make it a particularly attractive live recombinant vaccine vehicle. BCG and other mycobacteria are highly effective adjuvants, and the immune response to mycobacteria has been studied extensively. With nearly two billion immunizations, BCG has a long record of safe use in man. It is one of the few vaccines that can be given at birth, it engenders long-lived immune responses with only a single dose, and there is a worldwide distribution network with experience in BCG vaccination. Recently developed molecular genetic tools and methods for mycobacteria have provided the means to introduce foreign genes into BCG. Here we report that a variety of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 polypeptides can be expressed in BCG recombinants under the control of the mycobacterial hsp70 promoter and that the foreign polypeptides produced in BCG can induce antibody and T-cell responses. These results demonstrate that BCG can be used as a live recombinant vaccine vehicle to induce immune responses to pathogen proteins produced by the bacillus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation
  • Antigens, Viral / genetics
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology*
  • BCG Vaccine / genetics
  • BCG Vaccine / immunology*
  • DNA, Recombinant
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Products, env / genetics
  • Gene Products, env / immunology
  • Gene Products, gag / genetics
  • Gene Products, gag / immunology
  • Gene Products, pol / genetics
  • Gene Products, pol / immunology
  • HIV-1 / genetics
  • HIV-1 / immunology*
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / genetics
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Immunization
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mycobacterium bovis / genetics
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / genetics
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / immunology*
  • Viral Vaccines / genetics
  • Viral Vaccines / immunology*


  • Antigens, Viral
  • BCG Vaccine
  • DNA, Recombinant
  • DNA, Viral
  • Gene Products, env
  • Gene Products, gag
  • Gene Products, pol
  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Vaccines, Synthetic
  • Viral Vaccines