Immunogenicity and Cross-reactivity of Rhesus Adenoviral Vectors.

Abstract

Adenovirus (Ad) vectors are being investigated as vaccine candidates, but baseline anti-vector immunity exists in human populations to both human Ad (HuAd) and chimpanzee Ad (ChAd) vectors. In this study, we investigated the immunogenicity and cross-reactivity of a panel of recently described rhesus adenoviral (RhAd) vectors. RhAd vectors elicited T cells with low exhaustion markers and robust anamnestic potential. Moreover, RhAd vector immunogenicity was unaffected by high levels of pre-existing anti-HuAd immunity. Both HuAd/RhAd and RhAd/RhAd prime-boost vaccine regimens were highly immunogenic, despite a degree of cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) between phylogenetically related RhAd vectors. We observed extensive vector-specific cross-reactive CD4 T cell responses and more limited CD8 T cell responses between RhAd and HuAd vectors, but the impact of vector-specific cellular responses was far less than vector-specific NAbs. These data suggest the potential utility of RhAd vectors and define novel heterologous prime-boost strategies for vaccine development.IMPORTANCE To date, most adenoviral vectors developed for vaccination have been HuAds from species B, C, D, and E and display moderate to high levels of pre-existing immunity in human populations. There is a clinical need for new adenoviral vectors that are not hindered by pre-existing immunity. Moreover, the development of RhAd vector vaccines expands our ability to vaccinate against multiple pathogens in a population that may have received other HuAd or ChAd vectors. We evaluated the immunogenicity and cross-reactivity of RhAd vectors, which belong to the poorly described adenovirus species G. These vectors induce robust cellular and humoral immune responses and were not hampered by pre-existing anti-HuAd vector immunity. Such properties make RhAd vectors attractive as potential vaccine vectors.

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