In recent years, replication-defective chimpanzee-derived adenoviruses have been extensively evaluated as genetic vaccines. These vectors share desirable properties with human adenoviruses like the broad tissue tropism and the ease of large-scale manufacturing. Additionally, chimpanzee adenoviruses have the advantage to overcome the negative impact of pre-existing anti-human adenovirus immunity. Areas covered: Here the authors review current pre-clinical research and clinical trials that utilize chimpanzee-derived adenoviral vectors as vaccines. A wealth of studies are ongoing to evaluate different vector backbones and administration routes with the aim of improving immune responses. The challenges associated with the identification of an optimal chimpanzee vector and immunization strategies for different immunological outcomes will be discussed. Expert commentary: The demonstration that chimpanzee adenoviruses can be safely used in humans has paved the way to the use of a whole new array of vectors of different serotypes. However, so far no predictive signature of vector immunity in humans has been identified. The high magnitude of T cell responses elicited by chimpanzee adenoviruses has allowed dissecting the qualitative aspects that may be important for protective immunity. Ultimately, only the results from the most clinically advanced products will help establish the efficacy of the vaccine vector platform in the field of disease prevention.
Keywords: T-cells; Vaccine; chimpanzee adenovirus; immunity; mucosal immunity; viral vector.