Mucosal Vaccines for Poverty Related Diseases
Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Mycobacterium tuberculosis enter the human body at mucosal sites. The aim of the present project is to develop mucosally delivered vaccines against HIV and TB which will induce local immunity able to neutralise the pathogens at their port of entry and systemic immunity able to prevent systemic spread of the infection. The possible development of mucosal vaccines against malaria will be also investigated. The trust of the project derives from the recent proof of concept that mucosal vaccines are feasible in humans.
In this project, existing antigens which are known to be protective in animal models against HIV and TB will be formulated for mucosal delivery and tested in clinical trials. The antigens used for the initial clinical trials will be the latest generation of the envelop protein of HIV which being deleted of the loop 2 unmasks some of the conserved epitopes and induces broadly neutralising antibodies against primary isolates of HIV, the Gag and Tat proteins of HIV and the fusion protein of Ag85B and ESAT-6 of TB.
While the first trials are performed, new systems to deliver mucosal vaccines and basic mechanisms of mucosal immune responses and memory in humans will be studied. This will allow better understanding of the clinical results and optimisation of second generation vaccines to be tested in Developing Countries during the second phase of the project.
The project will be managed using the industrial knowledge of planning and management, to focus the participant laboratories in advancing the development of the vaccines against HIV, TB and malaria while increasing our understanding of mucosal immunology.