Immunogenicity evaluation of the HIV-1 Tat containing polyepitope DNA vaccine adjuvanted with CpG-ODNs in mice

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Biological Sciences, Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Sciences (IASBS), Zanjan, Iran

2 Department of Hepatitis and AIDS, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran


Objective(s): HIV-1 is still considered a serious threat to human health, and accessibility of a suitable and efficient vaccine is urgently needed to address the disease burden. DNA vaccines employ the cells of the vaccinated hosts for in situ production of the vaccines. This strategy is an alternative and effective approach for traditional vaccination against high-risk pathogens, e.g., HIV-1. On the other hand, polyepitope vaccines, containing several immunogenic and conserved epitopes from virus vital regulatory and structural proteins, could more efficiently induce cellular and humoral immune responses against different clades of the virus.
Materials and Methods: Herein, we comparatively investigated the immunogenic potency of the HIV-1 polytope DNA vaccine containing CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG-ODNs) in BALB/c mice. To this end, after verifying the expression of the recombinant sequence in the eukaryotic HEK 293 cell line, it was amplified and extracted in the prokaryotic host cells (E. coli DH5α)) and then formulated and administered intramuscularly (IM) to the experimental mice (on days 0, 14, and 28) with and without CpG-ODNs adjuvant.
Results: Taken together, the results demonstrated that CpG-ODNs adjuvanted DNA vaccine could significantly elicit cellular and humoral immune responses in the immunized animals in comparison with the control ones (p <0.05).
Conclusion: Regarding the obtained results and also considering the advantages of polytopic and DNA vaccines, this approach might be considered a new regimen in HIV-1/AIDS vaccination.


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