Building novel vaccines on a borrowed coat


Principal Investigator: F Nina Papavasiliou
Abstract: DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Vaccination (or active immunization) entails the introduction of a foreign material (antigen) into an individual in order to produce protection (immunity) to a particular disease. In simple terms, vaccination works by priming the immune system to recognize a particular antigen. One of the primary goals of vaccination is to generate protective titers of antibody, as well as long-term protection through the creation of memory B cells that can protect against the infectious agent. Successful vaccines must generate neutralizing antibody responses as well as B cell memory toward a specific pathogen. However, successful vaccines are the exception: it has been difficult to create a protective vaccine for a great number of infectious diseases (e.g. HIV) or even long lasting, protective vaccines against common diseases (e.g. flu). Despite many years of basic research, the reasons why most vaccines fail are not understood. In recent years, passive immunization against non-communicable diseases has also shown great promise. (This is best illustrated in the context of cancer, where the non-proprietary name for a majority of new drugs ends in -mab;an acronym that indicates the monoclonal antibody source). Active immunization to raise therapeutic antibodies is the next logical step. Therefore, understanding how to make good vaccines is of therapeutic interest both in the traditional context of infectious diseases and in the context of non- communicable diseases, most of which are currently incurable. To address this acute need for successful vaccines in both contexts, we propose to approach vaccine design in a completely new manner: rather than attempt to engineer an immunogenic vector, we sought to exploit an organism that has an inherent ability to stimulate a very strong B cell response in an infected individual, that results in tremendous antibody production and B cell memory. We have created a novel vaccine vector using the coat of the African trypanosome Trypanosoma brucei, an extracellular parasite that lives in the bloodstream of the infected mammalian host. T.brucei is completely exposed to the immune system and to evade it, it uses its coat as a decoy: it promotes the generation of antibody responses to it, and then switches coats, starting the cycle again, and establishing a chronic infection. Exploitation of T.brucei 's ability to elicit strong neutralizing antibody responses (and B cell memory) to its coat makes it an optimal (though clearly completely unconventional) vaccine vector, and we propose herein to use this in the development of therapeutic vaccines toward Alzheimer's and also toward drugs of abuse (nicotine;opiates). Finally, we hope to learn from T.brucei, so that in the future we can develop designer vaccines that successively mimic what this organism has evolved to achieve.
Funding Period: 2011-09-15 - 2016-08-31
more information: NIH RePORT

Top Publications

  1. pmc Using T. brucei as a biological epitope-display platform to elicit specific antibody responses
    Pete Stavropoulos
    Laboratory of Lymphocyte Biology, The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065, USA
    J Immunol Methods 362:190-4. 2010

Detail Information


  1. pmc Using T. brucei as a biological epitope-display platform to elicit specific antibody responses
    Pete Stavropoulos
    Laboratory of Lymphocyte Biology, The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065, USA
    J Immunol Methods 362:190-4. 2010
    ..This method offers an alternative approach to generating anti-peptide antibodies, and could be a useful option in cases where more traditional methods have failed...

Research Grants30

  1. Rocky Mountain Regional Center of Excellence or Biodefense and Emerging Infectiou
    John T Belisle; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..abstract_text> ..
  2. Oxidation in Inflammation and Cardiovascular Disease
    Stanley L Hazen; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..It may also lead to important insights for atherosclerosis risk assessment, diagnosis and therapy. ..
  3. Pathophysiologic and therapeutic mechanisms of aspirin exacerbated respiratory d*
    Joshua A Boyce; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..The coordination of the AADCRC is enhanced by an administrative Core. ..
  4. Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology and Immunogen Discovery
    Dennis R Burton; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..The team will be sustained by five Scientific Research Support Components (SRSCs), including strong Operations and Management, that have been assembled to maximally accelerate progress toward the designated goals. ..
  5. Induction of neutralizing antibodies targeting CD4 binding region of HIV-1 Env
    Shan Lu; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..Goal 5: To provide support to major projects on structure analysis of Env and to study the structure of novel antigens, and antigen-antibody interactions (Core A). ..
  6. Systems Analysis Vaccine Responses in Healthy and Hyporesponsive Humans
    Anna Karolina Palucka; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..abstract_text> ..
  7. Optimization of HIV vaccines for the induction of cross-reactive antibodies
    Shan Lu; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..RELEVANCE: To optimize the next generation polyvalent Env HIV vaccine formulations using the multi-gene, polyvalent DNA prime - protein boost technology platform. ..
  8. Systems Biological Analysis of Innate and Adaptive Responses to Vaccination
    Bali Pulendran; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..The successful completion of this program may provide insights into the defects that underlie poor vaccine efficacy in the elderly, and establish the broad utility of systems biology in predicting vaccine immunogenicity. ..
  9. Pacific NorthWest Regional Center of Excellence (PNWRCE)
    Jay A Nelson; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..pseudomallei host pathogen response during both the septicemic as well as the intracellular phases of the disease. ..
  10. Southeast Regional Centers of Excellence for Biodefense &Emerging Infectious Di
    Philip Frederick Sparling; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..SERCEB brings new investigators to the biodefense effort through a combination of educational programs, support of innovative new projects, and the synergistic interactions among its world-class investigators. ..
  11. New England Regional Center of Excellence in Biodefense and Emerging Infectious D
    Dennis L Kasper; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..NERCE will also continue its Developmental Projects program and Career Development in Biodefense program in an effort to initiate new research efforts and to attract new investigators to this field. ..
  12. Northeast Biodefense Center
    W Ian Lipkin; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..As a Center based in a School of Public Health and a State Department of Health, the NBC has a firm commitment to and practical understanding of Emergency Preparedness. ..
  13. Pacific Southwest RCE for Biodefense &Emerging Infectious Diseases Research
    Alan G Barbour; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..abstract_text> ..
  14. Optimizing HIV immunogen-BCR interactions for vaccine development
    LEONIDAS A STAMATATOS; Fiscal Year: 2013
    Rafi Ahmed; Fiscal Year: 2013
  16. Immunopharmacotherapy for the Treatment of Cocaine Abuse
    Kim D Janda; Fiscal Year: 2013
  17. Mucosal Immunity, Vaccines and Microbiota Interplay in Humans and Animal
    Marcelo B Sztein; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..Given the shortcomings of available measures to successfully control this infection, and its bioterrorism potential, to develop a S. dysenteriae type 1 vaccine is of great importance. ..
  18. Novel Ad/MVA and Ad/Protein HIV-1 Vaccines
    Dan H Barouch; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..To define the mechanism of blocking acquisition of stringent SIV challenges by conducting antigen formulation and adoptive transfer studies in rhesus monkeys. ..
  19. Optimizing Human B and T Cell Vaccines Against HIV Using Humanized BLT Mice
    Todd M Allen; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..This model will also enable us to rapidly test iterative vaccine design approaches to further optimize cellular immune responses to HIV. ..