Antibody to HSV gD peptide induced by vaccination does not protect against HSV-2 infection in HSV-2 seronegative women.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


PloS one, Volume 12, Issue 5, p.e0176428 (2017)


BACKGROUND: In the HIV-1 vaccine trial RV144, ALVAC-HIV prime with an AIDSVAX® B/E boost reduced HIV-1 acquisition by 31% at 42 months post first vaccination. The bivalent AIDSVAX® B/E vaccine contains two gp120 envelope glycoproteins, one from the subtype B HIV-1 MN isolate and one from the subtype CRF01_AE A244 isolate. Each envelope glycoprotein harbors a highly conserved 27-amino acid HSV-1 glycoprotein D (gD) tag sequence that shares 93% sequence identity with the HSV-2 gD sequence. We assessed whether vaccine-induced anti-gD antibodies protected females against HSV-2 acquisition in RV144.

METHODS: Of the women enrolled in RV144, 777 vaccine and 807 placebo recipients were eligible and randomly selected according to their pre-vaccination HSV-1 and HSV-2 serostatus for analysis. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgA responses to gD were determined by a binding antibody multiplex assay and HSV-2 serostatus was determined by Western blot analysis. Ninety-three percent and 75% of the vaccine recipients had anti-gD IgG and IgA responses two weeks post last vaccination, respectively. There was no evidence of reduction in HSV-2 infection by vaccination compared to placebo recipients over 78 weeks of follow-up. The annual incidence of HSV-2 infection in individuals who were HSV-2 negative at baseline or HSV-1 positive and HSV-2 indeterminate at baseline were 4.38/100 person-years (py) and 3.28/100 py in the vaccine and placebo groups, respectively. Baseline HSV-1 status did not affect subsequent HSV-2 acquisition. Specifically, the estimated odds ratio of HSV-2 infection by Week 78 for female placebo recipients who were baseline HSV-1 positive (n = 422) vs. negative (n = 1120) was 1.14 [95% confidence interval 0.66 to 1.94, p = 0.64)]. No evidence of reduction in the incidence of HSV-2 infection by vaccination was detected.

CONCLUSIONS: AIDSVAX® B/E containing gD did not confer protection from HSV-2 acquisition in HSV-2 seronegative women, despite eliciting anti-gD serum antibodies.