Vaccine 2016 07 0634(51) 6597-6609 pii 10.1016/j.vaccine.2016.06.071
The Brighton Collaboration Viral Vector Vaccines Safety Working Group (V3SWG) was formed to evaluate the safety of live, recombinant viral vaccines incorporating genes from heterologous viral and other microbial pathogens in their genome (so-called "chimeric virus vaccines"). Many such viral vector vaccines are now at various stages of clinical evaluation. Here, we introduce an attenuated form of recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV) as a potential chimeric virus vaccine for HIV-1, with implications for use as a vaccine vector for other pathogens. The rVSV/HIV-1 vaccine vector was attenuated by combining two major genome modifications. These modifications acted synergistically to greatly enhance vector attenuation and the resulting rVSV vector demonstrated safety in sensitive mouse and non-human primate neurovirulence models. This vector expressing HIV-1 gag protein has completed evaluation in two Phase I clinical trials. In one trial the rVSV/HIV-1 vector was administered in a homologous two-dose regimen, and in a second trial with pDNA in a heterologous prime boost regimen. No serious adverse events were reported nor was vector detected in blood, urine or saliva post vaccination in either trial. Gag specific immune responses were induced in both trials with highest frequency T cell responses detected in the prime boost regimen. The rVSV/HIV-1 vector also demonstrated safety in an ongoing Phase I trial in HIV-1 positive participants. Additionally, clinical trial material has been produced with the rVSV vector expressing HIV-1 env, and Phase I clinical evaluation will initiate in the beginning of 2016. In this paper, we use a standardized template describing key characteristics of the novel rVSV vaccine vectors, in comparison to wild type VSV. The template facilitates scientific discourse among key stakeholders by increasing transparency and comparability of information. The Brighton Collaboration V3SWG template may also be useful as a guide to the evaluation of other recombinant viral vector vaccines.