We investigated whether vaccination of healthy HIV-seronegative and HIV-1-seropositive antiretroviral therapy-treated subjects with recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara expressing an HIV-1 immunogen (MVA.HIVA) induced MVA-specific T cell responses. Using IFN-γ Elispot assays, we observed new or increased responses to MVA virus in 52% of HIV-seronegative subjects and 93% HIV-1 seropositive subjects; MVA-specific T cell frequencies were generally low and correlated poorly with T cell responses to the HIV-1 immunogen. In two vaccinees, responses were mapped to CD8+ T cell epitopes present in replication-competent vaccinia virus. These data support further evaluation of MVA as a viral vector for HIV-1 immunogens.
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