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Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection affects 257 million people globally. Current therapies suppress HBV but viral rebound occurs on cessation of therapy; novel therapeutic strategies are urgently required. To develop a therapeutic HBV vaccine that can induce high magnitude T cells to all major HBV antigens, we have developed a novel HBV vaccine using chimpanzee adenovirus (ChAd) and modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) viral vectors encoding multiple HBV antigens. ChAd vaccine alone generated very high magnitude HBV specific T cell responses to all HBV major antigens. The inclusion of a shark Invariant (SIi) chain genetic adjuvant significantly enhanced the magnitude of T-cells against HBV antigens. Compared to ChAd alone vaccination, ChAd-prime followed by MVA-boost vaccination further enhanced the magnitude and breadth of the vaccine induced T cell response. Intra-cellular cytokine staining study showed that HBV specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cells were polyfunctional, producing combinations of IFNγ, TNF-α, and IL-2. In summary, we have generated genetically adjuvanted ChAd and MVA vectored HBV vaccines with the potential to induce high-magnitude T cell responses through a prime-boost therapeutic vaccination approach. These pre-clinical studies pave the way for new studies of HBV therapeutic vaccination in humans with chronic hepatitis B infection.

Original publication

DOI

10.3390/vaccines8020184

Type

Journal article

Journal

Vaccines (Basel)

Publication Date

14/04/2020

Volume

8

Keywords

ChAd, ChAdOx1, Hepatitis B virus (HBV), MVA, T cell vaccine, chimpanzee adenovirus, modified vaccinia Ankara, therapeutic HBV vaccine