The Network aims to promote multi-disciplinary approaches to address challenging vaccine-related questions. This page contains a curated list of publications that highlight high-impact and collaborative approaches.

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  • Journal article
    Pallett MA, Crepin VF, Serafini N, Habibzay M, Kotik O, Sanchez-Garrido J, Di Santo J, Shenoy AR, Berger CN, Frankel GMet al., 2017,

    Bacterial virulence factor inhibits caspase-4/11 activation in intestinal epithelial cells

    , Mucosal Immunology, Vol: 10, Pages: 602-612, ISSN: 1935-3456

    The human pathogen enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC), as well as the mouse pathogen Citrobacter rodentium, colonize the gut mucosa via attaching and effacing lesion formation and cause diarrheal diseases. EPEC and C. rodentium type III secretion system (T3SS) effectors repress innate immune responses and infiltration of immune cells. Inflammatory caspases such as caspase-1 and caspase-4/11 are crucial mediators of host defense and inflammation in the gut via their ability to process cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18. Here we report that the effector NleF binds the catalytic domain of caspase-4 and inhibits its proteolytic activity. Following infection of intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) EPEC inhibited caspase-4 and IL-18 processing in an NleF-dependent manner. Depletion of caspase-4 in IECs prevented the secretion of mature IL-18 in response to infection with EPECΔnleF. NleF-dependent inhibition of caspase-11 in colons of mice prevented IL-18 secretion and neutrophil influx at early stages of C. rodentium infection. Neither wild-type C. rodentium nor C. rodentiumΔnleF triggered neutrophil infiltration or IL-18 secretion in Cas11 or Casp1/11-deficient mice. Thus, IECs have a key role in modulating early innate immune responses in the gut via a caspase-4/11—IL-18 axis, which is targeted by virulence factors encoded by enteric pathogens.

  • Journal article
    Bosse JT, Li Y, Rogers J, Fernandez Crespo R, Li Y, Chaudhuri R, Holden MTG, Maskell DJ, Tucker AW, Wren BW, Rycroft AR, Langford PR, BRaDP1T Consortiumet al., 2017,

    Whole genome sequencing for surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae

    , Frontiers in Microbiology, Vol: 8, ISSN: 1664-302X

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation between antimicrobial resistance (AMR) profiles of 96 clinical isolates of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, an important porcine respiratory pathogen, and the identification of AMR genes in whole genome sequence (wgs) data. Susceptibility of the isolates to nine antimicrobial agents (ampicillin, enrofloxacin, erythromycin, florfenicol, sulfisoxazole, tetracycline, tilmicosin, trimethoprim, and tylosin) was determined by agar dilution susceptibility test. Except for the macrolides tested, elevated MICs were highly correlated to the presence of AMR genes identified in wgs data using ResFinder or BLASTn. Of the isolates tested, 57% were resistant to tetracycline [MIC ≥ 4 mg/L; 94.8% with either tet(B) or tet(H)]; 48% to sulfisoxazole (MIC ≥ 256 mg/L or DD = 6; 100% with sul2), 20% to ampicillin (MIC ≥ 4 mg/L; 100% with blaROB-1), 17% to trimethoprim (MIC ≥ 32 mg/L; 100% with dfrA14), and 6% to enrofloxacin (MIC ≥ 0.25 mg/L; 100% with GyrAS83F). Only 33% of the isolates did not have detectable AMR genes, and were sensitive by MICs for the antimicrobial agents tested. Although 23 isolates had MIC ≥ 32 mg/L for tylosin, all isolates had MIC ≤ 16 mg/L for both erythromycin and tilmicosin, and no macrolide resistance genes or known point mutations were detected. Other than the GyrAS83F mutation, the AMR genes detected were mapped to potential plasmids. In addition to presence on plasmid(s), the tet(B) gene was also found chromosomally either as part of a 56 kb integrative conjugative element (ICEApl1) in 21, or as part of a Tn7 insertion in 15 isolates. Our results indicate that, with the exception of macrolides, wgs data can be used to accurately predict resistance of A. pleuropneumoniae to the tested antimicrobial agents and provides added value for routine surveillance.

  • Journal article
    Joseph S, Quinn K, Greenwood A, Cope A, McKay P, Hayes P, Kopycinski J, Gilmour J, Miller A, Geldmacher C, Nadai Y, Ahmed M, Montefiori D, Dally L, Bouliotis G, Lewis D, Tatoud R, Wagner R, Esteban M, Shattock R, McCormack S, Weber Jet al., 2017,

    A comparative phase I study of combination, homologous subtype-C DNA, MVA, and Env gp140 protein/adjuvant HIV vaccines in two immunization regimes

    , Frontiers in Immunology, Vol: 8, ISSN: 1664-3224

    There remains an urgent need for a prophylactic HIV vaccine. We compared combined MVA and adjuvanted gp140 to sequential MVA/gp140 after DNA priming. We expected Env-specific CD4+ T-cells after DNA and MVA priming, and Env-binding antibodies in 100% individuals after boosting with gp140 and that combined vaccines would not compromise safety and might augment immunogenicity. Forty volunteers were primed three times with DNA plasmids encoding (CN54) env and (ZM96) gag-pol-nef at 0, 4 and 8 weeks then boosted with MVA-C (CN54 env and gag-pol-nef) and glucopyranosyl lipid adjuvant—aqueous formulation (GLA-AF) adjuvanted CN54gp140. They were randomised to receive them in combination at the same visit at 16 and 20 weeks (accelerated) or sequentially with MVA-C at 16, 20, and GLA-AF/gp140 at 24 and 28 weeks (standard). All vaccinations were intramuscular. Primary outcomes included ≥grade 3 safety events and the titer of CN54gp140-specific binding IgG. Other outcomes included neutralization, binding antibody specificity and T-cell responses. Two participants experienced asymptomatic ≥grade 3 transaminitis leading to discontinuation of vaccinations, and three had grade 3 solicited local or systemic reactions. A total of 100% made anti-CN54gp140 IgG and combining vaccines did not significantly alter the response; geometric mean titer 6424 (accelerated) and 6578 (standard); neutralization of MW965.2 Tier 1 pseudovirus was superior in the standard group (82 versus 45% responders, p = 0.04). T-cell ELISpot responses were CD4+ and Env-dominant; 85 and 82% responding in the accelerated and standard groups, respectively. Vaccine-induced IgG responses targeted multiple regions within gp120 with the V3 region most immunodominant and no differences between groups detected. Combining MVA and gp140 vaccines did not result in increased adverse events and did not significantly impact upon the titer of Env-specific binding antibodies, which were seen in 100% individuals. The ap

  • Journal article
    Winskill P, Walker P, Griffin J, Ghani Aet al., 2017,

    Modelling the cost-effectiveness of introducing the RTS,S malaria vaccine relative to scaling up other malaria interventions in sub-Saharan Africa

    , BMJ Global Health, Vol: 2, ISSN: 2059-7908

    Objectives: To evaluate the relative cost-effectiveness of introducing the RTS,S malaria vaccine in sub-Saharan Africa compared with further scale-up of existing interventions.Design: A mathematical modelling and cost-effectiveness study.Setting: Sub-Saharan Africa.Participants: People of all ages.Interventions: The analysis considers the introduction and scale-up of the RTS,S malaria vaccine and the scale-up of long lasting insecticide treated bed nets (LLINs), indoor residual spraying (IRS) and seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC).Main outcome measure: The number of Plasmodium falciparum cases averted in all age groups over a ten year period.Results: Assuming access to treatment remains constant, increasing coverage of LLINs was consistently the most cost-effective intervention across a range of transmission settings and was found to occur early in the cost-effectiveness scale-up pathway. IRS, RTS,S and SMC entered the cost-effective pathway once LLIN coverage had been maximised. If non-linear production functions are included to capture the cost of reaching very high coverage, the resulting pathways become more complex and result in selection of multiple interventions.Conclusions: RTS,S was consistently implemented later in the cost-effectiveness pathway than the LLINs, IRS and SMC but was still of value as a fourth intervention in many settings to reduce burden to the levels set out in the international goals.

  • Journal article
    Kaslow DC, Kalil J, Bloom D, Breghi G, Colucci AM, De Gregorio E, Madhavan G, Meier G, Seabrook R, Xu Xet al., 2017,

    The role of vaccines and vaccine decision-making to achieve the goals of the Grand Convergence in public health.

    , Vaccine, Vol: 35 Suppl 1, Pages: A10-A15

    On 17 and 18 July 2015, a meeting in Siena jointly sponsored by ADITEC and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) was held to review the goals of the Global Health 2035 Grand Convergence, to discuss current vaccine evaluation methods, and to determine the feasibility of reaching consensus on an assessment framework for comprehensively and accurately capturing the full benefits of vaccines. Through lectures and workshops, participants reached a consensus that Multi-Criteria-Decision-Analysis is a method suited to systematically account for the many variables needed to evaluate the broad benefits of vaccination, which include not only health system savings, but also societal benefits, including benefits to the family and increased productivity. Participants also agreed on a set of "core values" to be used in future assessments of vaccines for development and introduction. These values include measures of vaccine efficacy and safety, incident cases prevented per year, the results of cost-benefit analyses, preventable mortality, and the severity of the target disease. Agreement on this set of core assessment parameters has the potential to increase alignment between manufacturers, public health agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and policy makers (see Global Health 2035 Mission Grand Convergence [1]). The following sections capture the deliberations of a workshop (Working Group 4) chartered to: (1) review the list of 24 parameters selected from SMART vaccines (see the companion papers by Timmis et al. and Madhavan et al., respectively) to determine which represent factors (see Table 1) that should be taken into account when evaluating the role of vaccines in maximizing the success of the Global Health 2035 Grand Convergence; (2) develop 3-5 "core values" that should be taken into account when evaluating vaccines at various stages of development; and (3) determine how vaccines can best contribute to the Global Health 2035 Grand Convergence effort.

  • Journal article
    Pearson JS, Giogha C, Muhlen S, Nachbur U, Pham CLL, Zhang Y, Hildebrand JM, Oates CV, Lung TWF, Ingle D, Dagley LF, Bankovacki A, Petrie EJ, Schroeder GN, Crepin VF, Frankel G, Masters SL, Vince J, Murphy JM, Sunde M, Webb AI, Silke J, Hartland ELet al., 2017,

    EspL is a bacterial cysteine protease effector that cleaves RHIM proteins to block necroptosis and inflammation

    , NATURE MICROBIOLOGY, Vol: 2, ISSN: 2058-5276
  • Journal article
    Nyombayire J, Anzala O, Gazzard B, Karita E, Bergin P, Hayes P, Kopycinski J, Omosa-Manyonyi G, Jackson A, Bizimana J, Farah B, Sayeed E, Parks CL, Inoue M, Hironaka T, Hara H, Shu T, Matano T, Dally L, Barin B, Park H, Gilmour J, Lombardo A, Excler J-L, Fast P, Laufer DS, Cox JHet al., 2017,

    First-in-Human Evaluation of the Safety and Immunogenicity of an Intranasally Administered Replication-Competent Sendai Virus-Vectored HIV Type 1 Gag Vaccine: Induction of Potent T-Cell or Antibody Responses in Prime-Boost Regimens

    , JOURNAL OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES, Vol: 215, Pages: 95-104, ISSN: 0022-1899
  • Journal article
    Wang Q, Yang H, Liu X, Dai L, Ma T, Qi J, Wong G, Peng R, Liu S, Li J, Li S, Song J, Liu J, He J, Yuan H, Xiong Y, Liao Y, Li J, Yang J, Tong Z, Griffin BD, Bi Y, Liang M, Xu X, Qin C, Cheng G, Zhang X, Wang P, Qiu X, Kobinger G, Shi Y, Yan J, Gao GFet al., 2016,

    Molecular determinants of human neutralizing antibodies isolated from a patient infected with Zika virus

    , Science Translational Medicine, Vol: 8, ISSN: 1946-6234

    The 2015–2016 outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV) disease has affected many countries and is a major public health concern. ZIKV is associated with fetal microcephaly and neurological complications, and countermeasures are needed to treat and prevent ZIKV infection. We report the isolation of 13 specific human monoclonal antibodies from a single patient infected with ZIKV. Two of the isolated antibodies (Z23 and Z3L1) demonstrated potent ZIKV-specific neutralization in vitro without binding or neutralizing activity against strains 1 to 4 of dengue virus, the closest relative to ZIKV. These two antibodies provided postexposure protection to mice in vivo. Structural studies revealed that Z23 and Z3L1 bound to tertiary epitopes in envelope protein domain I, II, or III, indicating potential targets for ZIKV-specific therapy. Our results suggest the potential of antibody-based therapeutics and provide a structure-based rationale for the design of future ZIKV-specific vaccines.

  • Journal article
    Johnson R, Byrne A, Berger CN, Klemm E, Crepin VF, Dougan G, Frankel Get al., 2016,

    The type III secretion system effector SptP of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi

    , Journal of Bacteriology, Vol: 199, ISSN: 1098-5530

    Strains of the various Salmonella enterica serovars cause gastroenteritis or typhoid fever in humans, with virulence depending on the action of two type III secretion systems (Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 [SPI-1] and SPI-2). SptP is a Salmonella SPI-1 effector, involved in mediating recovery of the host cytoskeleton postinfection. SptP requires a chaperone, SicP, for stability and secretion. SptP has 94% identity between S. enterica serovar Typhimurium and S Typhi; direct comparison of the protein sequences revealed that S Typhi SptP has numerous amino acid changes within its chaperone-binding domain. Subsequent comparison of ΔsptP S Typhi and S. Typhimurium strains demonstrated that, unlike SptP in S. Typhimurium, SptP in S Typhi was not involved in invasion or cytoskeletal recovery postinfection. Investigation of whether the observed amino acid changes within SptP of S Typhi affected its function revealed that S Typhi SptP was unable to complement S. Typhimurium ΔsptP due to an absence of secretion. We further demonstrated that while S. Typhimurium SptP is stable intracellularly within S Typhi, S Typhi SptP is unstable, although stability could be recovered following replacement of the chaperone-binding domain with that of S. Typhimurium. Direct assessment of the strength of the interaction between SptP and SicP of both serovars via bacterial two-hybrid analysis demonstrated that S Typhi SptP has a significantly weaker interaction with SicP than the equivalent proteins in S. Typhimurium. Taken together, our results suggest that changes within the chaperone-binding domain of SptP in S Typhi hinder binding to its chaperone, resulting in instability, preventing translocation, and therefore restricting the intracellular activity of this effector. IMPORTANCE: Studies investigating Salmonella pathogenesis typically rely on Salmonella Typhimurium, even though Salmonella Typhi causes the more severe disease in humans. As such, an understanding of S. Typhi

  • Journal article
    Habibi MS, Chiu C, 2016,

    Controlled human infection with RSV: the opportunities of experimental challenge

    , Vaccine, Vol: 35, Pages: 489-495, ISSN: 1873-2518

    Despite the recent explosion in RSV vaccine development, there remain substantial hurdles to overcome before licensing of effective vaccines will allow widespread use, particularly in high-risk populations. Incomplete understanding of mechanisms and correlates of protection against RSV mean that, for the time being, successful RSV vaccines must directly demonstrate efficacy, which necessitates large and costly clinical trials in naturally infected patients. To mitigate the risks inherent in progressing to these late-stage trials, experimental human RSV infection studies have recently been re-established, representing the interface between pre-clinical models and observational studies of patients. Not only can they be used for early proof-of-concept clinical trials to test vaccine efficacy, but human challenge studies also offer the potential to better understand protective immunity against RSV infection to improve vaccine design and delivery. In the past, controlled human infection studies with RSV have been instrumental in elucidating the influence of factors such as route of infection and type of inoculum on the course of disease. Recently, efficacy trials of novel RSV antiviral drugs have also been successfully undertaken. Now, with advances in technology, detailed investigations of human mucosal immunity in the RSV-infected airway are possible. These have indicated defects in RSV-induced humoral and CD8+ T cell immunity that may contribute to the recurrent symptomatic infection that occurs throughout life and should be circumvented by optimal vaccines. Here, we discuss the insights derived from RSV human challenge models; the major impediments to their more widespread uptake; and their potential benefit in accelerating vaccine development, including future directions to further enhance the relevance of these models to at-risk patient populations.

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