Human cytomegalovirus-vectored vaccines against HIV : Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS

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T-CELLS IN HIV INFECTION: Edited by Mathias Lichterfeld and Tony Kelleher

Human cytomegalovirus-vectored vaccines against HIV

Abad-Fernandez, Mariaa,b; Goonetilleke, Nilua,b

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Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS 14(2):p 137-142, March 2019. | DOI: 10.1097/COH.0000000000000524


Purpose of review 

CMV-vectored vaccines expressing SIV antigens have mediated unprecedented levels of virus control following SIV challenge in rhesus macaques. Remarkably, protection was dependent on nonclassically restricted CD8+ T cells. Here, we review the latest research in CMV-vectored vaccines in both humans and nonhuman primates as well as recent advances in the understanding nonclassically restricted T cells, particularly MHC-E-restricted CD8+ T cells.

Recent findings 

Recent studies have investigated human translation of CMV-vectored vaccines including studies to ensure vaccine vector safety. Other work has focused on testing of animal models to investigate the relative contribution of MHC diversity and CMV strain on T-cell induction. Lastly, several groups have investigated MHC-E peptide binding, including HLA-E, have found that MHC-E can accommodate different peptide motifs, consistent with the original observations in CMV-vaccinated macaques.


CMV remains a promising vaccine vector with the potential to be protective against multiple diseases, including HIV. However, CMV is highly species-specific and in humans, congenital infection can lead to serious birth defects. To ensure safe translation to humans, further clinical and animal studies are needed to better understand CMV-vectored immunity as well as more basic immunological questions relating to the induction of classical vs. nonclassical T cells.

Copyright © 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

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