Co-immunization of DNA and Protein in the Same Anatomical Sites Induces Superior Protective Immune Responses against SHIV Challenge

Cell Rep. 2020 May 12;31(6):107624. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.107624.


We compare immunogenicity and protective efficacy of an HIV vaccine comprised of env and gag DNA and Env (Envelope) proteins by co-administration of the vaccine components in the same muscles or by separate administration of DNA + protein in contralateral sites in female rhesus macaques. The 6-valent vaccine includes gp145 Env DNAs, representing six sequentially isolated Envs from the HIV-infected individual CH505, and matching GLA-SE-adjuvanted gp120 Env proteins. Interestingly, only macaques in the co-administration vaccine group are protected against SHIV CH505 acquisition after repeated low-dose intravaginal challenge and show 67% risk reduction per exposure. Macaques in the co-administration group develop higher Env-specific humoral and cellular immune responses. Non-neutralizing Env antibodies, ADCC, and antibodies binding to FcγRIIIa are associated with decreased transmission risk. These data suggest that simultaneous recognition, processing, and presentation of DNA + Env protein in the same draining lymph nodes play a critical role in the development of protective immunity.

Keywords: ADCC; DNA; FcγR; HIV; Indian rhesus macaques; antibody; cellular immunity; humoral immunity; protein; vaccine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Immunization / methods*
  • Macaca / genetics*
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • Simian Immunodeficiency Virus / immunology*


  • Proteins
  • DNA